It's Valentine's Day. A day devoted to love and showing that special someone you care about them. Unfortunately, regardless of if you are in a relationship, single or dating, almost everyone is subjected to one small, yet undeniably sad truth: No one can win on Valentine's Day. Valentine's Day is judgmental. Or, more appropriately, everyone who does and does not celebrate it is judgmental.
Regardless of what your love status is, almost everyone becomes a mean girl on the holiday devoted to love. Your friends, acquaintances and followers will talk behind your back and make comments as you walk down the street holding hands with your significant other. It doesn't matter whether you are spending the night in sweatpants or in a little black dress or suit, judgment will be passed. Valentine's Day has become the inescapably cruel soapbox on which everyone feels entitled to scrutinize one another.
Take a moment to go through your Twitter or Facebook feed. I can almost guarantee that you will find someone with a "Valentine's Day is overrated" or "my boyfriend is the best boyfriend ever!" or, "Oh, it's Valentine's Day? I thought it was Thursday." Just last night I saw multiple friends with tweets that read "girls need to calm down about V-Day" and "Valentine's Day reminds me of how bitter single people are."
Regardless of where your love life is on February 14th, you will be subjected to some type of preconceived discernment. If you are single, you have the choice of playing the I-don't-care-about-Valentine's Day card or the bitter singleton card. In case you weren't aware before, you lose either way.
Let's say you choose not to comment on the day. Perhaps you genuinely don't care, or you just don't want to seem bitter. Regardless of the reasoning, you will be subject to scrutiny. Your inaction to vilify the 14th is perceived as a cover-up for how you really feel (which for most people is the assumption that you are sad and miserable).
Tweet: "I Don't Have A Valentine & I'm Not Anti RT @(hidden for privacy): I feel like if everyone had a valentine they wouldn't be so anti-valentine's day lol"
Or, if you choose to be Debbie Downer, you're the bitter and lonely single person that just can't stand to see other people happy and in love. Your proclamations of commercialization, V-Day not being a "holiday" and the ridiculousness of having to have a day to show you love someone are labeled as a jealous, sad and pathetic.
Tweet: "You shouldn't need a specific day to show your love for someone #valentinesday #pointlessholiday"
As a newly single girl, I can speak firsthand that there is no easy way to handle this. Obviously, I don't want to come off as a hateful spinster because we all know how that will go, but let's be honest -- hearing a bunch of KAY Jewelers commercials and seeing co-workers get dozens of roses doesn't exactly lift my spirits while I'm still grieving my last relationship.
But even the people in relationships, the people who Valentine's Day is really for, can't escape some form of judgment.
Choosing to tweet and post pictures about your "amazingly fabulous and awesome" partner labels you fake and desperate. Bragging about your relationship isn't the best way to squelch skeptical minds who question if you are overcompensating for problems and fights. "Do you really need everyone to know how great your relationship is?" people will ask. I've heard on more than one occasion how a girl "just needs everyone to know she has a boyfriend."
Then again, just as the singleton who tries to play it cool, if you are coupled and ignore the holiday or don't celebrate in any special way, there will be those that criticize you for trying to be different.
Tweet: "Valentines day is pointless if u truly love someone why not treat them like every day is Valentine's Day not just once a year"
The last two years I spent in a relationship I didn't celebrate Valentine's Day. My boyfriend sent me flowers for no reason on random days throughout the year and wrote unexpected love emails just because. To me, that is what love is about. Letting your partner know how much they mean to you as often as possible. And as cash strapped young adults, I found it absurd to pay triple the amount on flowers or dinner when it all would be immensely cheaper the following week.
But even in a relationship I was judged and questioned for not celebrating. Was I just trying to be different? Was I some kind of feminist that didn't allow boys to buy me flowers? Were we having problems and in a fight and that's why he didn't get me anything?
It is a shame that a holiday with such good intentions gets tainted by the gossiping and judgmental opinions we all seem to have and continually share. It seems that no matter what is going on in your love life or how you celebrate or don't celebrate Valentine' Day, you will be looked upon a certain way, judged for your actions or inaction's and no one can escape it. Pretty ironic for a holiday devoted to showing someone you love and care about them, huh?
Note: All tweets were found by searching #valentinesday on Twitter
Follow Sarah Stackhouse on Twitter: www.twitter.com/stackhousesarah