I live in a Western, Anglo-American culture that feels pressured to buy flowers, chocolates, and heart-shaped balloons every year for our loved ones.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s kind to buy gifts for those we care about. But we can’t buy love, presence and affection. Often, it’s the thought that’s the most important thing.
The sad thing is that society – businesses, card-shops, restaurants – have all bought into this myth. They gift-wrap love and we participate in it all the more fervently every year. They monetise the pressure that people feel because we think we need to buy something or do something ‘special’ for Valentine’s Day – it’s become an obligation.
There might be people who treat their partners terribly all year and then think that a romantic, expensive Valentine’s Day can make up for it.
Or there might be people who feel like they’re letting their partner down because money is tight and they can’t afford expensive gifts, meals or whatever they feel compelled to buy.
If you wouldn’t do it on any other day of the year, don’t buy your partner something next Valentine’s Day.
We shouldn’t have to participate in commercialised ‘holidays’ to line someone else’s pockets.