Valentine’s Day: On How It Backfires

The lesser-known origin of the Valentine’s Day name comes from St. Valentine. He was executed for performing marriage ceremonies to Roman soldiers even if it was forbidden. Nowadays Valentine’s Day is an occasion intended to express our lovingness to our romantic partner/s.

And why wouldn’t we join in and miss on the fun, right?

A holiday with risks

If your relationship is anywhere near the rocks, you might want to take note of this: Valentine’s Day can be risky for couples. People are expected to have a lovely dinner, and exchange cards and gifts.  That’s completely fine. However, society is increasingly encouraging to raise one’s expectations. We “should” have the most romantic dinner. It “should” be accompanied by the best drinks. We “should” have a great view afterward.

With the standards raising, a study (Morse & Neuberg, 2004) aimed at finding the holiday’s effect on ordinary couples. The couples actually became more dysfunctional during the Valentine’s season. Here are a couple of reasons why:

1. Valentine’s Day is a great day–to spend cash.

Obviously, a great date would require some amount of spending. Big businesses rejoice at the occasion. Moreover, they aggressively prepare their goods for people to take notice on Valentine’s.

These are only a few of the many Valentine’s messages intended to have a go at your dough. This also happens due to the increased demand for gifts, flowers, and other “necessities” .

2. Expectations are at an all time high.

During Valentine’s season, you just have to get that “perfect” date, with the “perfect” food and “perfect” gifts. Anything less can result in disappointment and unhappiness for the couple. This might even become a source of conflict for some.

3. It provides windows for comparisons.

This could create conflict for relationships that aren’t working well in the first place. If your partner isn’t as caring, understanding, or awesome compared to others, you’d simply feel worse about you as a couple.”He could’ve gotten me a bouquet and chocolates instead of this thing.” “My partner isn’t as caring as him.”

Facebook and other mass media outlets give you plenty of windows to compare your partner, especially on Valentine’s. This is unfortunate since comparing our partners with someone else drains the life out of our relationships. It puts our partners in a negative light, and disconnects us from them. Additionally, negative comparisons can give us the illusion of leaving the relationship for someone else. It’s simply bad.


Wait. Does that mean I shouldn’t join in on Valentine’s Day and go on dates? Definitely not. Continue to express your warm feelings. Make him/her happy. However, be mindful of your expectations. Are your expectations your own, or coming from an unrealistic source?

Also, it would be a tragedy to limit romance and lovingness on a single day per year.

Valentine’s Day is a great fire on the kindling that is your relationship.  Make yours burn for all years to come.  Don’t settle for just a holiday. Make an effort to express your affection daily. Send her flowers on a random day. Give him a love letter or express your gratitude. The list is endless.



Morse, K. A., & Neuberg, S. L. (2004). How do holidays influence relationship processes and outcomes? Examining the instigating and catalytic effects of Valentine’s Day. Personal Relationships, 11(4), 509-527. doi:10.1111/j.1475-6811.2004.00095.x

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13 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day: On How It Backfires”

  • Great post! It’s true you shouldn’t just base it all on Valentine’s day but continue to express those warm feelings consistently. I like the love letter idea! Will use it! Thanks

  • Haha! I used to be someone who really hated Valentines Day, not because I didn’t have a lover back then, but because of long queues at restaurants, heavy traffic (I used to work somewhere where there were a lot of flowershops near the streets), all those bitter posts on FB and friends who whines about not getting the “perfect” date or gift.

    Got a friend who was supposed to treat his girlf on a fancy dinner but he didn’t made a reservation because he didn’t expect lots of people (like hello!! it’s Valentines) and the girl got impatient so she suggested they go home. He didn’t prepare any gift, girl got mad at him for being sweet on ordinary days but why not on Valentines. *facepalm*

  • I’ve never celebrated Valentines Day even way back when I was still in a relationship. For me, it’s just a normal day. The most important thing is that you continue to shower love and care to your loved ones every single day.

  • Indeed, let’s celebrate love on a daily basis! Plus, I hope people bring back the old-school romantic ways. More effort not necessarily expensive. 🙂

  • I really like this post. I had some weird feelings this V-day as I was not in the same place as my SO, and it was hard not having all of the grand gestures and a nice dinner. I really had to step back and realize what was important, and that I don’t need a holiday to show my love.

  • This post nailed it! 😀 Everyday is valentines day. People should not just consider 14th valentines day and spend money on that day. Valentines day is the day of insecurities for those who are expecting too much from their partners. And another thing, efforts aren’t expensive. (Y)

  • I totally agree. Valentine’s Day has become pretty predictable nowadays. I like it when you said “Valentines day is a great day to SPEND CASH. Urgh. Gets a head shot. Hahaha. Great post!

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