Hate Valentine’s Day? Great Solutions for Singles and Skeptics

Photo (cc) by CarbonNYC [in SF!]

Valentine’s Day is not all hearts and flowers. There is a darker side, Angeline Close finds. She conducts consumer research and teaches advertising and marketing at the University of Georgia. Her research has uncovered conflicted feelings and outright animosity toward Valentine’s Day.

She described her findings in an email:

Some, even those happily in a romantic relationship, perceive aspects of exclusion on the holiday. For instance, love is not limited to heterosexual relationships, despite what Hallmark would have us believe with the copy in the vast majority (if not all) of their Valentine’s cards.

You’re not alone

If you hate Valentine’s Day, you may have more company than you realize. Nearly half, 45 percent, of 6,375 consumers polled in January for the National Retail Federation’s 2015 Valentine’s Day spending survey said they expect to sit out the holiday. The group is about half women and half men.

That leaves the 55 percent who will celebrate the occasion, of course. Many people tell Close that they welcome ​all the fuss about romance. But many say they feel left out. They complain that the holiday is a commercial event aimed at pressuring them​ ​to spend on​ meaningless​​ ​purchases, or they ​say they’re confused or anxious​ ​about whether they will fulfill their partners’ expectations for gifts, romance and sex.

Hijack Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day “fetishizes romantic love and therefore makes brutally clear, for many people, what they may lack,” says writer Kate Christensen, in Oprah Magazine.

For the confused and alienated, alternatives are springing up. Some are wry, some bitter and plenty are loving, but in a bigger, broader way. According to the Retail Federation survey:

  • 3 percent of those polled planned to buy “anti-Valentine’s Day gifts.”
  • Nearly 10 percent said they’d treat themselves to “something special.”
  • Nearly 11 percent planned to celebrate by getting together with family or “other single” friends.

Christensen is one of those who likes to make the holiday her own. Her article describes a Valentine’s Day dinner party she hosted for friends, including singles and couples, to celebrate their friendship and community.

“Some women convert the holiday from a celebration of sexual intimacy to a celebration of familial love,”​ ​Close​ ​writes, in an unpublished article she shared with Money Talks News. Children give valentines to everyone, including family and friends, and it’s only when we’re older that the emphasis on romance takes over, she observes.

Find an alternative

The flight from the packaged version of Valentine’s Day has people looking at alternative holidays such as:

1. Singles Awareness Day: Huffington Post Canada calls this the holiday “for people who hate V-Day.” (Check out the slide show of anti-Valentine’s Day cards.) There’s a site (alas, the acronym is SAD) that proposes moving the celebration from Feb. 14 to Feb. 15 to help shift the emphasis from romance: “This is the day that all of the single people can proudly stand up and show that it is OKAY to be single!”

2. Friendship Day: Finns don’t reject Valentine’s Day (Ystävänpäivä); they just give it a more-generous spin. They “do give roses, chocolates and greeting cards, but they focus on the friendship aspect,” says About.com.

3. Black Day: In Korea on April 14, singles mourn their supposedly lonely status and “drown their sorrows” with a bowl of black noodles, jjajang myeon, a national comfort food, Smithsonian Magazine says.

4. Singles’ Day: Guanggun Jie, the national Singles’ Day celebration, is China’s alternative. Celebrated Nov. 11, it began in the 1990s at universities and “is basically an excuse to party with all your unattached mates,” MTV says. Bloomberg, though, says the occasion has “morphed into the biggest online shopping day of the year.”

5. Quirkyalone Day: Blogger Sasha Cagen claims credit for founding her own alternative celebration for Feb. 14. She wrote up the premise in a manifesto, Quirkyalone: A Manifesto for Uncompromising Romantics. Quickyalone Day is not a singles’ pity party but “a feel-good alternative to the marketing barrage of Valentine’s Day and an antidote to the silicone version of love presented in shows such as “Hooking Up” and “The Bachelor,” she writes.

Maybe we should all accept alone as the new norm. After all, we’re marrying later, divorcing more frequently and living longer, and many of us now are living alone. Realtor.org quotes from MSN Real Estate:

Eric Klinenberg, a sociologist and author of “Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone,” says that young adults ages 18 to 34 are the fastest-growing group of people living alone. Solo households are also mostly women: 18 million women live alone versus 14 million men. The majority of solo households are in cities and metro areas.

“Anti-V” Cards and gifts

Commerce is catching up with the urge to strike back against V-Day. You’ll find anti-Valentine’s Day cards — electronic, video or old school — at Zazzle, Punchbowl and Jib Jab, to name a few.

At Someecards, some of the tamer e-cards say:

  • “Just wanted to remind you it’s too late to break up with me before Valentine’s Day.”
  • “Just remember that being alone on Valentine’s Day is no different than any other day of your life.”
  • “I can’t believe how much I’m not sick of you.”

For those who wish to go all out in the search for witty gifts, here are a few ideas:

Which faction do you identify with? The hearts-and-flowers bunch? Or the anti-V crowd? Post a comment below or at Money Talks News’ Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
This Is the Best Age to Buy Long-Term Care Insurance
This Is the Best Age to Buy Long-Term Care Insurance

If you wait too long to apply for coverage, you could be denied. So, when’s the sweet spot to apply?

Have You Heard of This Best Place to Retire in 2020?
Have You Heard of This Best Place to Retire in 2020?

The best place to retire in America is one you likely are not familiar with.

8 Types of Companies That Check Your Credit Report
8 Types of Companies That Check Your Credit Report

Federal law lets these entities peek at your credit — regardless of whether you’re borrowing money.

9 Forgotten Frugal Strategies — and How to Resurrect Them
9 Forgotten Frugal Strategies — and How to Resurrect Them

These time-tested methods can help us live smarter today.

15 Ways Retirees Can Make Their Savings Last Longer
15 Ways Retirees Can Make Their Savings Last Longer

Study these strategies to make your golden years gleam.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Whether you resell it for a big profit or add it to your own wardrobe, this type of clothing is a hidden steal.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds
Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds

Resolve to be clutter-free in 2021 with these secondhand purchases.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

10 Cars You Are Most Likely to Keep for 15 Years
10 Cars You Are Most Likely to Keep for 15 Years

The cars that owners hold onto the longest have one thing in common, a new study shows.

11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It
11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It

Seriously? Fibbing about the weather is a crime? This and other little-known legal traps await the unwary.

Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?
Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?

Researchers say too many doctors are overlooking this potential source of hypertension.

Does Wearing 2 Masks Protect You Better From COVID-19?
Does Wearing 2 Masks Protect You Better From COVID-19?

A growing number of people are wearing two masks instead of just one. Should you join them?

13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free
13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free

There are many ways to get cheap or free services and goods after reaching a certain age.

Taking a Multivitamin? Here’s Why You Should Reconsider
Taking a Multivitamin? Here’s Why You Should Reconsider

A new study has bad news for the millions of Americans who spend money on multivitamins.

21 Items to Cut From Your Budget That You Won’t Even Miss
21 Items to Cut From Your Budget That You Won’t Even Miss

Start off the new year by implementing these small-but-smart savings strategies. They’ll soon add up.

Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore
Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore

Starting this month, your ISP no longer can bill you for this fee.

9 Things You Should Never Leave in a Car
9 Things You Should Never Leave in a Car

Thinking of leaving these possessions in a car? Prepare for unexpected consequences.

Prepare to Pay More for These 31 Drugs in 2021
Prepare to Pay More for These 31 Drugs in 2021

More than 700 prescription medications have seen price hikes so far this year. Here’s a look at the worst.

15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021
15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021

Follow these tips to save, so you’ll have money for things that really matter.

5 States Lowering Taxes This Year and 2 Raising Them
5 States Lowering Taxes This Year and 2 Raising Them

State personal income tax rates, brackets and deductions just changed in these places.

7 Tricks to Cleaning Your Bathroom Faster
7 Tricks to Cleaning Your Bathroom Faster

These tips can get your bathroom sparkling with little time and no elbow grease.

20 Amazon Purchases We Loved in 2020
20 Amazon Purchases We Loved in 2020

These practical products made everyday life a little easier last year — and will do so in the new year, too.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.