Is Love Still in The Air?
That at once beloved and dreaded V-word:
Whether you view it as a Hallmark creation, or a celebration of Saint Valentine of Rome, it’s impossible to ignore, both socially and economically. Just step outside into the real world at this time of year. Reminders of love sit between the produce and cough medicine aisles, in the form of sweets and stuffed animals, and in the windows of shops in the form of necklaces and rings. Nicely done, Hallmark, chocolate and jewelry industries!
In 2019, Valentine’s Day looks very different than it did a decade ago. In 2009, over 60% of adults planned celebrations on February 14th. Today, that number has dropped to just over 50%. Meanwhile, according to the National Retailers Federation (NRF) in their 2019 Overview, spending on this day has continued to rise, and is expected to surpass $20 billion this year, with the average being $161 spent per individual.
This is also reflected in the way we're choosing to spend our money on the day of love. According to the NRF, more than a third of us under the age of 35 who are not “celebrating” still have plans to splurge on ourselves, or spend time with friends.
The consensus, it seems, both socially and economically, is less celebrating and more spending.
While our social dynamics have changed and the majority of calendar holidays are considered cliché, I personally am still fond of Valentine’s Day. It’s a gentle reminder that perhaps we at times need, a reminder to slow down and show a little care. While extravagance is not the definition of romance, being thoughtful is. From family to friends, showing your love is never overrated.
We’ve also all been in an anxious place around this day, whether that's because we don't know where we stand with someone, or because we feel disappointed. It becomes all-consuming. It sucks. I’ve been there. It is especially difficult seeing all the “romance” demonstrated all over social media. While the day may sting, look at it as an opportunity to step back and re-evaluate your present, the impact of others' actions on your wellbeing.
Yes, Valentine’s Day is traditionally a couple's holiday. However, how much importance we give to others' actions, or to the lack thereof is our choice. Spending the day showing yourself a little self love and reflecting on how to avoid being in the same place the next year might be just what is needed. Goodbye toxic dating patterns!
As for me, perhaps it is my upbringing but in our family we love to celebrate. Those who are close to me know that I celebrate everything in life. My Valentine’s Day usually includes exchanges of flowers and chocolates, and spending the afternoon with family. I take every chance to celebrate the love I do have in my life.
And that continues February 15th, also known as the day all chocolate goes on sale!