Breaking the traditional view of Valentine’s day | The Triangle

Breaking the traditional view of Valentine’s day

Photograph courtesy of Amanda Hatfield at Flickr.

Valentine’s Day has always been a holiday that I’ve had a very weird relationship with. It was a holiday that never felt all that exciting because it was supposedly for couples, so if you didn’t have a significant other, you couldn’t really celebrate it. However, as I got older and older, that conception of the holiday started to make less sense to me.

Yes, the holiday is meant to be a celebration of romantic love, but romance can have many different meanings to many different people. Take me for example. To me, romance literally just means “love,” no particular type of love, just love in general.

Like most kids, when I was younger, I partook in imagining I would ask someone to be my Valentine. I would never indulge in it though, as telling your crush that you liked them was already a difficult enough task. Doing so with the added weight of a holiday specifically designed to give people motivation to show their affection was enough to make my head explode from extreme pressure.

But now that idea is rather amusing. I’m not above it by any means, as I think it’s a very sweet gesture to show some love to someone you’re attracted to on Valentine’s Day. My problem with the holiday only arises when people start limiting it to only that day.

If we’re acting in the true spirit of the holiday, anyone should be able to be our Valentine. For me, there’s no restriction as to who you can choose to be your Valentine. The only requirement should be that that you have some kind of love for them. There are many different kinds of love, evidenced by the fact that you can go online and find websites that have entire detailed charts of different kinds of love and the types of characteristics that define each love.

But those kinds of charts and other similar Valentine’s Day-based content are just people’s opinions on love, and you can’t rely on other people’s definitions of love as your own. Love is something that you define for yourself, and nobody can tell you that your definition is right or wrong. It’s a completely subjective emotion, and that’s the beauty of it. You can feel a genuine love for anyone or anything.

I have a type of love for my mother, a type of love for my father, a type of love for my brother, my cousins and my friends. Now obviously, not all of them are my Valentines, but the traditional idea of someone being your Valentine is overly restrictive. All that matters at the end of the day is that whomever your valentine is, they should be someone who is special to you.

Christmas and her birthday aside, Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day are the two holidays when I always try to get my mother a gift of some sort. Some people find this to be a strange practice, but I think many people find it to be perfectly normal. I’ve always been a firm believer that if you’re a son and have a good relationship with your mom, you should always get her something on Valentine’s Day. It can be something small, like a Valentine’s Day card or roses. The thought is what matters, not the material item.

Valentine’s Day isn’t just for couples to celebrate. Regardless of how it was once perceived and how it is perceived today, the holiday will always be a day that gives a person an opportunity to express their love for someone in an extraordinary way. Your love is something that you control entirely on your own. Don’t feel as though you have to adhere to a set of rules or standards of love. How you choose to express it and to whom you chose to give it is your choice and nobody else’s.