Valentine’s Day. The one day of the year devoted strictly to the magic of romantic love, when the lucky recipients of flowers, chocolate and cute dates are envied by women everywhere.
For many men, Valentine’s Day is an obligation to spend money rather than an opportunity to think through how expressions of love can be meaningful.
“Valentine’s Day is a way for corporate America to take our money,” said Jonny Pickett, junior music composition major. “They convince you that to have a good time, you have to spend money on people you love. What’s wrong with a picnic at some cool park or camping?”
Similarly, Derek Glassick, graduate education student who has been engaged since August, said he sees Valentine’s Day as a “greeting card holiday” that has no meaning of a genuine romantic relationship.
“Our society’s perception of love is over-exaggerated,” Glassick said. “Love is so commercialized that its started to lose its value in a lot of places.”
A number of men, single or otherwise, noted that Valentine’s Day is not something guys really think about outside of what the women they know want from them.
For many, the holiday is less about showing the women in their lives that they love them and more about not wanting to challenge what they have been told is “normal” on special romantic occasions.
Adam Watson, junior English major, who has been dating his girlfriend for over a year, said he does not care about Valentine’s Day, in general.
“I’m not sure anyone really is obsessed with Valentine’s Day the way we’re made to think they are,” Watson said. “If I do something on Valentine’s Day, it’s because I want to do something for a girl, not because it really matters.”
Glassick said the holiday probably means something to his fiancee, but is glad she does not get upset when social holidays are missed.
“If we do end up doing something, we won’t go out,” Glassick said. “We will probably stay in and make dinner together.”
Despite commercialism in society, no matter how unimpressed some men are with Valentine’s Day, many have no issues with real expressions of love.