A combination of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition, Valentine’s Day has now, according to some, evolved into a hotbed of commercialism. In recent years, many have accused Valentine’s Day of being a magnet for transparent marketing campaigns. In fact, according to a recent Google report, four out of five consumers think Valentine’s Day has become too commercialised.
But something doesn’t add up. Year after year, millions of couples still take part in this gifting event; with total spend continuing to grow. There’s a clear misalignment between how people really feel about Valentine’s Day, and how much they’re choosing to spend on it.
This is because there’s a huge amount of pressure on couples to celebrate Valentine’s Day in the ‘right way’ – whatever that means! Even those who don’t believe in the principles behind Valentine’s Day are spending money to appease cultural expectations. However, this pressure can lead to conflict and sometimes even disappointment in a relationship.
Psychologist Lisa Aronson Fones claims that the idealised images of how Valentine’s Day ‘should be’ leads to high expectations for some couples, who often find their dreams dashed when reality doesn’t align with what they’ve pictured. This is especially true if your partner is a Valentine’s hater.
If you’re dating someone who doesn’t enjoy celebrating Valentine’s Day, then it’s best to find a compromise. Enjoying this holiday in a way that accommodates your partner’s opinion is about finding a balance; both in terms of your expectations and what they’re comfortable with. Fundamentally, if the clichés of Valentine’s Day don’t suit your partner, work out how to celebrate it in a way that does.
Lay Off The Labels
According to Laura VanderDrift, associate professor of psychology at Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences, whether it’s the activities that are associated with Valentine’s Day or the celebration itself that your partner doesn’t like, it’s easy to reframe the day as a chance to celebrate your relationship, as opposed to celebrating the day itself. This could involve recreating your first date, or something as simple as going for a walk together. Forget the cards, heart-shaped boxes and red roses. Instead, position your relationship as the focus for the day.
Stay Home And Make Time For Each Other
According to HelloFresh, over 70% of people are planning on staying in and cooking a romantic meal for their partner. This is a perfect way to show affection, and dodge the floods of people celebrating in pricey restaurants. Staying in can show your partner you care in an intimate, relaxed and comfortable environment.
Opt For Gifts With A Difference
Ethical gifts, such as the range from Traidcraft, are perfect for partners who disapprove of the increasing commercialisation of Valentine’s Day!
But, if you are after something more romantic, personalised gifts from sites such as Not on the High Street allow you to give your partner something meaningful and unique, whilst also supporting independent businesses.
If you are in a relationship with a Valentine’s Day Scrooge, then a little compromise is sure to change their perception. It’s best to shed your predispositions around this controversial holiday, and orchestrate a day that mirrors you and your partner, rather than go along with the crowd just for the sake of it.