Despite being the holiday of romance and love, St. Valentine’s Day has earned an almost infamous connotation.

It’s a given that this holiday will bring flower/chocolate/gift shops a sudden boost in income as men and women all over the world scramble to find the perfect gift for their loved one. There’s a plethora of ways that can be conjured up to express infatuation and adoration for someone, whether it be within the privacy of a home or in front of hundreds of people in the mall. It’s interesting to observe the various attitudes across the spectrum of people who partake in the day, as well as the age groups that render either such positive or negative responses.

[one_third]Hating Valentine’s Day doesn’t really benefit you or your love life.[/one_third]

I remember being in the sixth grade and hearing people complain that they won’t have their own Valentines, or how ‘forever alone’ they are (cue collective groan). Hating Valentine’s Day is so well portrayed in movies that it’s no surprise people of all ages are either rioting or throwing themselves a pity party.

Take the movie Valentine’s Day for example; Jessica Biel’s character throws an anti-Valentine’s Day party annually, complete with a piñata and other festive decor. She sourly picks through half eaten chocolate in the beginning of the movie establishing her lonesomeness quite clearly. It’s a quality movie, and a prime example of the Valentine’s Day shame that dawns upon many people.

You can guess why some people react with such distaste as February 14 approaches; it doesn’t really favor those who aren’t romantically involved with anyone. Some may see it as a rub in the face that they’re single— the countless bouquets and cute little teddy bears are all a cruel act to show them what they could have but don’t. There are, however, others who don’t observe the day with such a dread.

While it may be a disappointment to be utterly and hopelessly abandoned by the one person who makes your heart do triple flips, hating Valentine’s Day doesn’t really benefit you or your love life. Sure, maybe it momentarily brings you the sympathy sufficient enough to get your self esteem going through the day, but it’s not a requirement. I’m not vouching for being single and I’m not vouching for being in a relationship as both have their pros and cons. However, the fact that some people feel a need to outwardly express their eternal loneliness every single February can be a little lugubrious. After all, just like the other 364 days of the year, this one will eventually pass within a 24-hour span as well.

If you feel the need to be treated with a little extra love that day, then do so. Even if you have no one to surprise you, reward yourself with something you’ve been wanting. Give yourself some nourishment and care. Don’t let your head hang because there were no roses in your locker or on your front porch. It really is just another day, and the moment you let expectations from movies and books stop running your life, it’ll finally dawn on you that maybe romance doesn’t determine your self worth.

Watch HBA staff and students share their thoughts on Valentine’s Day in this video.