Guys are amazing, but when it comes to love, let’s face it: they aren’t always the best at communicating the drippy stuff. And nothing makes their brains twitch more like the performance anxieties of V-Day. In fact, I’ve noticed more and more men starting to push back on “corporate holiday”: the flowers, the candies, the mandatory special surprises and the extra showmanship of their love or else. Yeah, they don’t really like that. Okay with it, maybe. But like it, not so much.
But what I have found, after digging deeper, is that there is a lot more going with the V-Day haters than we give these guys credit for. In fact, more often than not, the frustration is all about how much they really do love their significant other. And they just want them to know it (and remember it) in a sincere and genuine way, everyday of the year. Not just on Valentine’s Day. To paint the broader picture, Zenfulie found four amazing guys to really help break it down.
Okay, what’s the real deal? What Don’t You Like About Valentine’s Day?
Ky: Valentine’s Day takes what’s meant to be genuine and sweet — gestures of appreciation or romance — and places an artificial obligation around it. Imagine if we all agreed that at 8:33 every Wednesday, couples are supposed to give compliments to each other. It wouldn’t take long before authentic compliments feel like a homework assignment with a deadline. That’s what Valentine’s Day feels like.
Wilham: This is the day where everyone brags about how much in love they are with each other. Why do they need one day to show it, they should show it each and every day.
Cyrus: The thought behind Valentine’s Day should be expressed everyday. On most holidays, everything is closed so you can spend time with loved ones. Valentine’s Day is when everything gets marked up and reservations are impossible.
So, then why do you think people like Valentine’s Day?
Ky: People like to feel special. Valentine’s Day breeds that feeling. It’d be weird for a girl to say, “Can you get me flowers and candy tomorrow?” Valentine’s Day does the asking for them.
Jared: I think people like ideas. People like the idea of getting dressed up, going to a fancy place, getting gifts. The problem that I see fairly often is when these nice ideas become rules and guidelines for living and judging how other people live.
Hmm… So do you think Valentine’s Day puts pressure on a relationship?
Wilham: People are pressured to spend an insane amount of money and plan the most romantic evening for their counterpart, and after 24 hours it’s over.
Jared: I think it can.
Cyrus: Totally, as do most holidays. There is nothing wrong with that, really. Unfortunately, for most people it becomes something they agonize over and then they just buy a meaningless gift at the last moment.
So then, what should your girl really understand about your dislike for Valentine’s Day?
Cyrus: That doing something small and intimate is worth much more than going out and spending lots of money to prove your love for someone.
Ky: Marketed consumer holidays should not play any role in deep personal relationships. I think it’s sad that it does. I’m ashamed to admit we’ve had a few fights because of it. If I don’t want to celebrate it, it’s based on principle and my un-American ways. It’s not based on any lack of love, or anything to do with you. I don’t like it because no matter what I end up doing for Valentine’s Day, the truthful answer to why I did it will be first, “Because it’s Valentine’s Day,” and second, “Because I love you.”
What do you think your girl should realize about V-Day versus how you express your affections?
Ky: True expressions of affection come about naturally and unprompted.
Jared: Never forget the other 300+ days that would likely included hundreds if not thousands of thoughtful expressions of affection.
What would you say to someone who is very upset that their significant other doesn’t want to celebrate Valentine’s Day?
Wilham: Tell them that you celebrate Valentine’s Day each and every day.
Ky: Remember that romance is just one facet of the entire dimension of love. It’s Valentine’s Day’s job to focus on that one side. That one holiday should not be the litmus test of your relationship. If Valentine’s Day is a bust, remember everything else that you have.
Cyrus: I would say, they shouldn’t feel like it’s directly related to them. Most people have a view on Valentine’s Day before they even meet their significant other. My suggestion would be to create your own day the day before or after to celebrate their love. That would make everything easier and cheaper for each other and yet they could have a special day.
Jared: You are likely being too selfish or you are with someone that has different values. If that is too simplistic then ask yourself some questions: Is it reasonable to expect someone to participate in something they don’t like? What values are your expectations built upon? Do you have to celebrate on V-Day or can it be some other day?
Sounds pretty fair to me. What do you think?