According to the National Retail Federation, in 2016, Americans spent a total of $19.7 billion on Valentine’s Day. To put that into perspective, it is more than the United States spent on Food and Agriculture in the year of 2015. The sheer monstrosity of Valentine’s Day’s spending shows how materialistic it has become and that it is extremely overrated.
Valentine’s Day spending is usually due to giving gifts, such as chocolate and roses. Though they may be sweet and symbolic, they are usually materialistic and take away from the true purpose of celebrating the holiday: to honor love, which cannot be bought or sold. One does not need gifts to know that they are loved.
However, critics may argue that some people are using the money to spend on experiences to continue to bond over together. Though it may be true, there are other days to show love for one another. One should display love and gratefulness about others throughout the year; Valentine’s Day is only one of 365 days.
Furthermore, the relationships Valentine’s Day celebrates are often temporary. It is commonly known that 50 percent of marriages end in divorce, and in high school, relationships often last less than two years. It is more meaningful to celebrate relationships that are often permanent or last a long time, rather than celebrating a relationship that will likely end relatively quickly.
According to the US Census, 110.6 million Americans over age 18 are single, which is 45.2 percent of the population. The high percentage of single people mean that there is a significant number of people who are excluded from the Valentine’s Day demographic, which adds to its overrated status.
Valentine’s Day also promotes the idea that one should be in a relationship to be fulfilled from an early age. Starting from elementary school, the holiday is pushed upon the next generation of Americans and often create an almost impossible to achieve ideals for love. It also excludes the portion of the population that is aromantic, or they do not experience romantic attraction. Since Valentine’s Day excludes different types of people, it is overrated.
On the same note, there are other types of relationships that should be celebrated. There are platonic and family relationships, and so much more. However, there are no prominent holidays celebrating any of those relationships, though they are of equal importance as romantic relationships, demonstrating the overhyped nature of Valentine’s Day.
Despite its outrageous amount of hype and commercialization, it does have some benefits. It reminds those in relationships to be more appreciative of their significant others. Valentine’s Day is overrated, but it still promotes positivity and happiness.
Article by MoCo Student staff writer Ashley Ye of Richard Montgomery High School