In the days leading up to February 14th, millions of people will be rushing to the florists and chocolate stores to buy their loved ones gifts for the special day. But why is this day so special? And how did it come to be about love?
Some say that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in February to honor the anniversary of St. Valentine’s death. Others claim the Roman Christian church decided to place St. Valentine’s Day in the middle of February in an effort to “Christianize” the pagan festival dedicated to the god of agriculture.
Because I am a hopeless romantic, I like to believe that Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate St. Valentine’s death. As the story goes, St. Valentine was a priest that served during the 3rd century in Rome. The emperor at the time decided that single men were better soldiers than those who had wives, girlfriends, families, and children, so he outlawed marriage. Valentine saw how sad citizens became since they were unable to be with their loved ones. As a believer of true love, Valentine continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. He was executed on February 14th, 270 A.D. Since his death, every year on this day, young lovers would write notes, known as Valentines, to the women they admired. And this day turned into what we now know as St. Valentine’s Day.
It’s so sad to think that St. Valentine was executed for making sure young lovers got a chance to be with one another. Especially since Valentine’s Day has turned into the Hallmark holiday it is today. Once the first commercial Valentine’s Day cards were produced in 1840, there was no stopping capitalism and businesses profiting from love. Only capitalist societies can turn a day that was once so pure and simple into something to make a profit off of.
Millennials have many views about Valentine’s Day. If you’re in a couple, it’s a day to celebrate your love for one another. Young Millennial couples have defied the odds and are in very modern and committed relationships. Traditionally, it’ll be on the guy to plan the special day, but millennial women know exactly what they want so I won’t be surprised if the girlfriend or wife has something to say about where they’re going, or at least weighed in on the decision.
Then on the opposite end of the love spectrum, there are the Millennials who are having too much fun to not really care whether or not they have someone special to spend the day and evening with. They have their family, their friends and they’re happy with where they are in life. They don’t have time to settle down and be in a relationship because they have their futures to think about. They are the ones most likely to celebrate Valentine’s Day with their friends, rename it "Gal-entine’s Day" and spend the evening drinking wine while watching Parks and Rec with their best friends. They don’t need a man in their life to buy them chocolates and roses because they can do that for themselves.
Then on the same single side, we have the Millennials who hate Valentine’s Day. They are the ones who are single, mad about being single, and bitter they don’t have a loved one. They shut themselves away for the day and stay in bed Netflix and chilling with themselves. How one views Valentine’s Day stems from whether or not s/he likes the idea of being in a committed relationship. If you believe in commitment and are in a relationship, you will like it. If you don’t like commitment and you’re single on Valentine’s Day, who cares?! Not you. If you like commitment and you’re single on Valentine’s Day, you’re most likely bitter about your single status and this is the day that you find couples flaunting their happiness in your face.
But whatever you’re celebrating on February 14th (Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day, Single Awareness Day, etc.), the time leading up to this day is a beautiful time when the stores are fully stocked up on chocolate, stuffed teddy bears and candles. So why not enjoy the abundance of commodities and have a nice evening with some smooth tunes, a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon and your favorite group of friends.
Just don’t try to make dinner reservations, because all those happy couples booked them a month ago.
Born and raised in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, model, blogger, and hopeless romantic Felisa Wiley always knew that she was a city girl at heart. After leaving her comfortable island life behind, Felisa landed in Allentown, PA where she is currently a senior in college. Passionate about Millennials and anything that has to do with her generation, Felisa is the founder of AverageMillennial.com and uses her blog to explore and write about how social media, technology, and society shape and influence Millennials lifestyle.