Maggie Talbot and Kelly Rosenblatt

Pro

Valentine’s Day is my love. I can admit that I am the crazy obnoxious girl that plans what she is getting for her boyfriend two months in advance, and sure, I might go a little overboard sometimes, but Valentine’s Day is a holiday that makes my heart smile. Let’s face it: who doesn’t want a free excuse to gorge themselves in chocolate?

One of the best aspects of Valentine’s Day is the fearlessness that comes with it. That boy finally gets up the nerve to ask you on a date, or you go completely over the top with your gift (hoping you don’t freak out your date). Valentine’s Day makes people do crazy things, all for the happiness of others.

Despite what the cynics might say, Valentine’s Day is an actual holiday, not just an excuse for Hallmark to sell some cheesy cards and teddy bears. Originating centuries ago as a Pagan festival to worship an agricultural god, the holiday’s first association with love occurred during the middle ages. During this time, Charles, the Duke of Orleans, wrote a poem confessing his love for his wife, creating the first “Valentine.”

What I don’t understand is why men are so bitter about Valentine’s Day. It’s basically a free day to prove yourself as the “most romantic boyfriend of all time.” Get your girlfriend some flowers and you are automatically loved. Throw in a teddy bear and you are practically worshipped.

The same goes for women. It’s a time to unleash your inner Martha Stewart and make the infinite amount of cute crafts that Pinterest has to offer, and your boyfriend has to pretend it’s exactly what he wanted. Yes, pretend. But they are appreciative and they act excited while you feel like an amazing girlfriend. It’s a win-win situation.

Even the single ladies of the world should enjoy Valentine’s Day. Go get a pedicure while you eat some chocolate, or watch a cheesy romcom (and obsess over Ryan Gosling while you watch). Embrace your independence this year. Make some heart shaped pancakes and show yourself some love.

Of course, Valentine’s Day is the holiday of love. Loving your partner, loving your family, loving yourself. It’s a time to be cheesy and put yourself out there just to make someone else smile. It’s the one day when you can tell someone “I love you” just because you feel like it. Sure, it’s sappy, and yes, it can be a little ridiculous, but that’s the point, so let the holiday be what it is.

Con

February is around the corner which, unfortunately for all singles, means so is Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day is the one holiday that creates a distinct line of emotional separation in American society–and groundbreaking chocolate sales.

On Valentine’s Day, the vast majority of Americans are either feeling sentimental and romantic, or bleakly depressed and surly. But whether you’re on a romantic Valentine’s date or alone on your sofa, everyone ends up eating chocolate.Whether it’s a gift or not.

In recent years, an unofficial holiday has emerged, SAD or Singles Awareness Day, to celebrate the single people population. Usually celebrated on the fifteenth, SAD has become a trend in American pop culture, quickly picking up in popularity due to the neglected population of singles.

It’s not to say that the idea of Valentine’s Day is wrong. It’s safe to say you should show appreciation for your boyfriend, girlfriend, wife or husband, but the idea of everyone doing that on the same day undeniably excludes a significant portion of the population. The necessity of this holiday is unclear considering that love is personal and unconditional, so why don’t couples celebrate each other on their own anniversaries or on their own schedule?

Companies like Hallmark and all of the grocery stores in the country have taken the holiday to extreme heights, as they do with all holidays, and they make a killing year after year selling poor quality chocolate, flowers, cards, etc. These companies know what couples are going to buy for each other and they know what singles are going to buy themselves, so regardless of the amount of people in relationships, they still rake in the cash every year.

My message to all of the singles in America this year is to not fall for these Hallmark company traps, (that’s how they make their money) don’t let the couples’ affection emphasis get to you. Don’t let it lead you to depressingly eating Russell Stover in your sweats on the sofa this year. Instead, do something fun with other single friends, go to yoga, go to dinner or the movies, make some plans. Don’t feel like you have to be alone on Valentine’s Day just because you’re single. Remember, almost half of the population is feeling the same way.

This Valentine’s Day, I may be wearing all black, but I’m leaving the blues behind.