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Myth vs. Reality: Valentine's Day Edition

Myth vs. Reality: Valentine's Day Edition

By Chrissie Gruebel

Valentine's Day is about as polarizing as Zooey Deschanel; some people are obsessed, others aren't impressed … and a few of us just wanna know for sure if they'd look good with bangs before committing.

Unfortunately, you really can’t get away from Valentine's Day, can you? But no matter what side of the fence you’re on, there’s definitely one thing we can all agree on: Valentine's Day is just one day of your life. So let's all take a deep breath, relax, and read some myths and realities about February 14th!

Myth: Valentine's Day is a fake Hallmark holiday.

Reality: Valentine's Day is a real holiday (that Hallmark makes a buttload of money off of).

Haters to the left. No one's quite sure why V-Day actually became a thing, but a pretty common answer is that the Catholic Church tried to take the Satan out of the Roman Feast of Lupercalia, so they named they day for Saint Valentine, because he died on Feb. 14 and that’s romantic! Um, ok no.

Valentine's Day wasn’t actually associated with love until the Middle Ages. You know the drill…ye olde dudes wrote "thou completeth me" and all the ye olde ladies fell onto their fainting couches. In any case, the first "valentine" was written way back in 1415 and Hallmark wasn't a thing until 1910. So don’t be so mad at them.

Myth: Valentine’s Day is only good if there’s a grand romantic gesture involved.

Reality: Valentine’s Day is a romantic comedy starring two Taylors…but your life is not.

We should probably stop expecting our SOs to ride a horse bareback across the beach and kick down doors and kill the witch who stole our voice and save us with their amazing archery skills and scale a castle wall and sing a cappella and win a break-dance battle and be Colin Firth. K?

If you and your SO don’t have the same ideas about what Valentine’s Day is or isn’t, then you’re gonna run into a few teeny tiny issues. I’m not saying give him or her a list of things you want to happen, but read the cues. If he scoffs during Love Actually when Jamie flies to Portugal and asks Aurelia to marry him, he miiight not be big on the "grand gestures" thing (he also might not be a human being!). If he likes poetry and spends a lot of time staring into your eyes, then get your ready to be showered with roses and affection.

Main point: you can buy your own flowers and candy and teddy bears; if your relationship makes you happy every other day of the year, let this one slide.

Myth: Valentine’s Day is about making single people feel sad.

Reality: Valentine’s Day is about whatever you say it’s about.

Remember how you were single the day before Valentine’s Day and you didn’t even care? Valentine’s Day is not trying to make you feel bad about yourself! You can choose to celebrate or you can choose to ignore it—just like all holidays. For example, I choose to disregard Flag Day every year because we already have Fourth of July and I think the flag is getting a little too big for its britches.

And yeah, I know. It's kind of hard to ignore February 14 because it's all up in your face like "WHY SO LONELY?!" But there are tons of couples out there who don't buy into the hoopla and there are tons of single people who do! You choose your choice.

If your brain insists on making Valentine's Day into a thing, don’t make it about the lack or presence of a boyfriend or girlfriend. Make it about love. ALL love. Use it as an excuse to go out to dinner and just eat cake. Give that little old man on the bus a candy heart that says "hot stuff." Have fun. And remember, you won’t be single forever… unless you’re really terrible, or Lord Voldemort.

Myth: Valentine's Day is a competition over whose SO loves them more.

Reality: Valentine's Day is a competition only for people who value appearances.

Besides Russian roulette, the "I'm gonna compare my relationship to someone else's" is the riskiest little game you can play (even though we've ALL done it, myself included). At some point or another, you will end up on the losing side—unless your boyfriend is Ryan Gosling and if that's the case, sorry, but Imma wreck that home.

Anyway, yeah. Just don't do it—it will only end poorly for everyone involved. Also, in retrospect, Russian roulette is not a game.

Did this myth-busting post change your feelings about V-day?

Topics: Life
Tags: relationships, holidays, valentine's day, boyfriends, happiness, funny things, being single, myths and realities

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About the Author
Chrissie Gruebel

Chrissie Gruebel is a bunch of things separated by commas, but more often than not, she’s a writer, comedian, and wearer of too many colors at once. Here she is on Twitter: @chrissiegruebel.

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.

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