Why Some Feel St. Valentine’s Day Is Stupid (Explained)

Reports show that over 50% of US adults celebrate Valentine’s Day in some way each year. And with Valentine’s holiday spending at almost 22 billion as of 2021, it’s the 3rd largest commercial holiday of the year. But not everyone is a fan. Some feel St. Valentine’s Day is stupid.

Some feel St. Valentine’s Day is stupid, even though 51 percent of adults celebrate it in some form. Just about as many feel that unrealistic expectations, commercialization, and not understanding its history or real meaning makes the holiday stupid or silly to promote.

As a teacher for almost 20 years, I helped my students celebrate St. Valentine’s Day each year, making crafts, passing out cards, and enjoying a class party. As a wife and mom, I celebrated with family, too, usually with a special dinner and dessert, keeping the holiday in proper perspective. But many feel Valentine’s is stupid.

Stick around and we’ll briefly address this and whether or not celebrating St. Valentine’s Day is a waste of time.


What is the History of St. Valentine’s Day? An Overview

The history of St. Valentine’s day goes back to 3rd Century Rome, according to some tales.

Many of us have grown up celebrating St. Valentine’s Day, making hearts to give to mom and/or filling out cartoon character cards like these from Amazon for classmates. Then as we become adults, we trade those practices in for celebrating with romantic interests. Yet, most of us have no idea about the history of it.

Valentine’s Day history is linked to Ancient Roman paganism, though Father Valentine, a Catholic priest, is the holiday namesake. He was martyred in 3rd Century Rome for marrying couples after Emperor Claudius forbade it. The modern traditions of romantic cards and gifts came about in the 1800s.

Some more Valentine’s background:

  • According to NPR and Britannica, the earliest stories linking love in February are of Ancient Roman origin. In mid-February Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia. During this festival, men sacrificed a goat and a dog and whipped women with the animal hides in some sort of expectation to increase fertility.
  • Then there’s Father Valentine, as mentioned earlier, from 3rd Century Rome. According to Catholic history, Father Valentine was martyred when he defied Emperor Claudius II Gothicus’ edit forbidding marriage. Claudius was trying to keep men from having family ties so they’d stay in the army longer. Instead of following the Emperor’s new law, Father Valentine continued to marry young couples in love who sought his help. He was discovered, then imprisoned, and later killed.
  • However, it was a 5th Century Pope who made February 14th ‘St. Valentine’s Day’ in an effort to Christianize the fertility rituals and practices associated with the time.
  • The History Channel says that English poet Geoffrey Chaucer was the first credited for equating Valentine’s Day with romance in writing, when he wrote the 1375 poem, “Parliament of Foules.”
  •  Valentine’s Day became more commonly celebrated worldwide in the 14th Century for representing love, and by the 1800s was celebrated with cards given to loved ones.

As a teacher, Valentine’s Day is one of the longstanding traditional school party days. Due to religious diversification and nutritional concerns, many classroom parties in schools have gone by the wayside. But not Valentine’s Day parties. This is one we celebrated from my first teaching year in 1996 to my last in 2020!

Why is Valentine’s Day Considered Stupid?

Though Valentine’s Day is popular, about half of US adults prefer not to celebrate it, considering it stupid and annoying to do so. According to a survey, most people describe this day as overrated. Let’s consider why some people feel this way.

About 50 percent of US adults polled say they don’t plan to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day, feeling it’s a stupid, ridiculous, and unnecessary holiday. Unrealistic expectations, commercialization, insincerity, and an unclear history lead some to boycott celebrating St. Valentine’s Day.

Here’s a closer look at reasons almost half of US adults don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day:

  • Unrealistic Expectations of St. Valentine’s Day

Most people agree you should show love every day of the year, not just on Valentine’s Day. I remember many years when my husband, in protest of the holiday, would send me flowers or give me a card a week before St. Valentine’s Day. This was in direct opposition of what ‘society says to do’ based on the holiday’s modern custom. And I was just fine with that!

Another unrealistic expectation has to do with people thinking you should have a romantic partner on Valentine’s Day or people expect to have a proposal on Valentine’s Day.

Listen…if you happen to have a love interest, then that’s great! It shouldn’t matter if it’s on Feb. 14th or not. But if you don’t, please don’t force a relationship that’s not really working just so you have a date on Valentine’s Day. It’s not worth it!

And the same goes for marriage proposals! You shouldn’t coerce or manipulate someone to propose, or feel compelled to propose, just because it’s Valentine’s Day.

  • Commercialization of St. Valentine’s Day

There also exists some resistance in people to celebrating Valentine’s Day and thinking it’s stupid because of the commercialization of it. This study, found that people see modern practices associated with Valentine’s as a money-making day for business. And it’s not hard to see how this perception came about!

Just take a look at stores before the holiday, weeks or even months ‘before’ that is!

It seems like New Year’s Day isn’t even over when stores start stocking the shelves for St. Valentine’s! From teddy bears holding hearts and heart-shaped boxes of chocolate to bright cards with Cupid and red roses, the shops are bleeding with all things Valentine’s!

Then, there are the commercials telling us what to buy in order to show just how much we love our spouse, partner, even child. And why is it that the same $10 bouquet of roses from any other day of the year suddenly costs $50-75 on Valentine’s?

With statistics showing St. Valentine’s Day as the 3rd busiest store holiday, well, there’s no debate about it. Valentine’s is indeed commercialized!

Men spend more than women on St. Valentine’s Day$229.54
Women spend less than men on the holiday$97.77
Averages Spent on Spouse$93.24
Spent on Non-spousal family members (children included)$29.87 
On Friends$9.78
On Children’s classmates or teacher$8.63
Gift spending on co-workers$7.78
Spent on pets$6.94
Random gifts for others, such as neighbors$5.72
This table lists the spending on St. Valentine’s Day as reported by NRF in 2019.

  • Insincerity of St. Valentine’s Day
  • Telling someone you love them just because it’s February 14th (St. Valentine’s Day) is insincere. If you mean it, then show it and tell them the other days of the year. In fact, it’s more sincere and meaningful to tell someone you love them when they don’t expect it.

    It’s like when you’re a kid and you did something wrong like being mean to a friend or picking on a stranger. Or maybe you used your brother’s toy without permission and broke it. Your mom or dad probably had you say you’re sorry.

    But were you really? More than likely, you were only sorry because you got caught! However, truly being sorry is when you realize you did something wrong on your own and without any prodding from mom or day, you said you were sorry.

    It’s the same way with loving someone.

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    Is Valentine’s Day a Waste of Time?

    Stores have come to depend upon St. Valentine’s Day shopping for their businesses and many try to show love to local shops especially.

    While it’s true that most people embrace this love day, just about everyone can admit there are problems with it. People view it as a day to commercialize love, therefore, making it lose its meaning. And often the gifts feel insincere or people seem ungrateful, making it all just a waste of time.

    This day puts people in relationships under a lot of pressure to show love to their partners, which mainly affects men. They have to con their wives or girlfriends with gifts and flowers to show love to them, and if they do not do that, it may mean ‘you do not love her.’ And in actuality, that is just ridiculous!

    You can consider Valentine’s Day a waste of time since it seems meaningless. Either you show love to your spouse or partner all year; or you don’t love them at all. You shouldn’t need Valentine’s Day to do it!

    If you feel compelled to act a certain way or your loved one won’t think your feelings are true, then that’s a waste of time. You have much bigger things to be concerned about in a situation like this.

    You need not act a certain way simply because it is a holiday or because society expects you to do so. If you love someone, then show them love and celebrate it every day, not just on one random day of the year. Spending money to convince someone is also a waste of time!

    How to Keep St. Valentine’s Day from being Stupid

    Yet, St. Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be stupid! Feast days and holidays are an important part of our culture and tradition. So it’s okay to celebrate, but be sincere about it.

    It’s possible to not feel St. Valentine’s Day is stupid. Just like with Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and even birthdays, we can celebrate those we love on St. Valentine’s Day even though we show them all year long. By keeping the holiday in perspective, celebrations won’t get out of hand.

    Ways to keep Valentine’s Day in Proper Perspective:

    • Monitor your budget and don’t overspend
    • Keep celebrations realistic for your circumstances (If you haven’t been dating long, for instance, don’t buy an engagement ring!)
    • Don’t share on social media (that becomes a competition)
    • Make it meaningful rather than ‘showy’ or impersonal

    Wrapping Up Why Some Feel St. Valentine’s Day Is Stupid

    To wrap it up, many feel St. Valentine’s Day is stupid because of how it’s celebrated today. Today’s custom for St. Valentine’s is often intertwined with spending a lot of money in order to prove your love to someone. And this is not only stupid, but insincere and ultimately, a waste of time.

    Now, this isn’t to imply that you can’t celebrate St. Valentine’s Day! No, not at all!

    Just like with other special days like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, anniversaries, and even birthdays, it’s great to celebrate someone in a special way one day a year. However, the pressure and commercialization attached to St. Valentine’s Day aren’t good for love and it’s understandable why some people are pushing back.

    So go ahead and tell that special person in your life that you love him or her on Feb. 14th, and even give them a token of that love, but of course, don’t ignore them the other 364 days in the year too!

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    Sources WalletHub; Britannica; Forbes

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