Is there such a thing as a ‘perfect’ Valentine’s Day?

With Valentine’s Day drawing around the corner, those that are in relationships find themselves scrambling to pick out the perfect gifts for their loved ones, especially something that symbolizes, “I love you, so I’m buying you this as a token of my appreciation for you.” 

In addition to the expectation of reciprocal gift-giving, there stands a common insinuation for a date night, this usually involves a preplanned dinner reservation and some recreational activity thereafter. On the other end of the spectrum, those that are not in a relationship may find themselves facing the guilt, or conversely, the empowerment of being alone on V-Day. In order to get a better understanding of the differing ideals between these groups, I texted with members belonging to both affiliations and asked, “What is your opinion on Valentine’s day and what do you like to do on the day?”

 To begin, I spoke with Olivia Burke ‘22. who has been in a relationship since her freshman year. I began by asking Olivia the preformatted question, to which she responded, “I think Valentine’s Day is a fun way to show your love for your significant other or other special people in your life, like your friends.” 

She noted that “When I’m spending Valentine’s Day with my boyfriend, I like to have a romantic date night. We used to go out to a restaurant or see a movie, but with the pandemic going on we prefer to have a night in and order food and watch something on Hulu or Netflix and exchange Valentine’s gifts.” 

Afterward, I spoke with Olivia’s boyfriend, Luka Zedginidze ‘22. who stated, “It’s pretty nice that there is an ‘official’ date to celebrate your significant partner. It kinda provides an excuse to dedicate the whole day to each other, which is nice. I think every couple will have its own perfect Valentine’s date. It should be something meaningful.”

Class of Fairfield alumna, and my sister, Carolyn Mayer ‘18 stated, “I feel like Valentine’s Day becomes less important the more that you and a partner love and care for each other, it’s a little ironic. You grow to a point where you realize you don’t need a day to celebrate your love, you should be doing that every day. It’s a day of capitalist expectations, peacocking around. But my boyfriend still takes me out and I like it, so maybe I’m a hypocrite.” 

In terms of similar self-proclaimed hypocrisy, when asking single graduate student John Meagle the same question, he stated, “I hate it [Valentine’s Day] because it manipulates people to feel like they need to be extravagant and takes away from what relationships are really about; much to the detriment of people actually looking for real meaning or to people without the means to compete financially.” 

Meagle stated in a consecutive text, “I still like Valentine’s Day though, I enjoyed just spending it with my ex-girlfriends.” 

It seems that from this small sampling, the positive influence of Valentine’s Day is still very much prevalent in both optimists and pessimists alike. But, the lesson that can be gathered from these personal accounts is that Valentine’s Day’s meaning differs immensely depending on not only the person but the stage of life that they are in. 

Most readers may agree that as a child, the perfect Valentine’s Day was getting a letterbox full of candy in their elementary school classrooms. As a college student, the perfect Valentine’s Day may be a gesture from a friend, a CVS post-Valentine’s sale on candy, a date with a love interest, a ‘galentine’s’ day or generally just having a good day. 

The notion of a perfect Valentine’s Day aligns with that of any other day, one should do what makes them happy, and in doing so be sure to love themselves and love others in the process.


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