Valentine's Day: It really, really sucks

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Valentine’s Day sucks.

In all seriousness, Valentine’s Day is awful. It’s all about love and romance, but for most people, love does not come easy. It’s a day where people feel compelled to put themselves out there only so they aren’t left out. It can be a lose-lose situation whether you try to get a date or can’t get one.

Valentine’s Day presents a unique challenge as far as holidays go. For many single people, it’s hard to watch all the couples go on dates and spend time together. Do you try to get your own date? Or would you rather be alone on Valentine’s Day? (Cue the “god, you’re pathetic” memes.) Love is a good thing, but having everyone celebrate it at once leaves out those who can’t be with someone they love. Even for couples, distance, work, and school can disrupt even the ahem best-laid Valentine’s Day plans. Valentine’s Day creates social pressure for everyone to add some romance to their life. For star-crossed lovers, hopeless romantics, and single people, it is an incredibly awkward time to navigate. For those lucky enough to have a date, there is so much pressure to make it perfect.

This pressure leads to feelings of dread toward Valentine’s Day. Not that there aren’t actual reasons to object to Valentine’s Day. In terms of holidays that exist mainly to get people to buy things, it is up there with Halloween and even Black Friday. Like Halloween, though, it is only special because of the people you get to spend it with. With Valentine’s Day, there are only so many people willing and able to spend that time with you. There is such a thing as Galentine’s Day, but hell would freeze over before I am able to get any male friends to celebrate it and actually consider how Valentine’s Day makes them feel. This only adds to the pressure of finding or being with that special someone. The heart decorations and chocolate candies are cute, but they’re less satisfying without someone to enjoy them with.

On top of this, life is still going full steam ahead on Valentine’s Day. There’s no day off, but, even if there was, Carnegie Mellon students would spend it doing homework. With social pressure, busy schedules, and the difficulty of finding someone to spend the day with, some people give up.

Now, I know what you’re thinking if you have read to this point. I can already imagine people sending me that picture of Megamind just because I’m a bit of a downer on Valentine’s Day. But I’m not single this Valentine’s Day! I swear! Distance and school make a celebration impossible this Valentine’s Day. I can’t be with my partner unless I’m willing to travel hundreds of miles without a car — on a Monday! The problem with Valentine’s Day is not romance. The problem is what to do when you can’t act on it, and all too often life gets in the way of love on Valentine’s Day.

For a select few, Valentine’s is a great day to recommit yourself to the people you love. It’s all the more satisfying to spend a day with a partner or people that you love in spite of all the factors that make relationships hard.

But on behalf of all the people who can’t be with their partners or don’t have one for this Valentine’s Day, it sucks. Spend it with a friend or take care of yourself. Maybe next time, you’ll be the one with a date.