Being single on Valentine’s Day is the worst, (intentional exageration for emphasis); it’s never easy, and it’s almost always an awkward experience. For many, it’s awkward because they have no one to go out with: this has never been a problem for me. I’m not a fan of the dating lifestyle, so not having a date for Valentine’s Day isn’t an area of awkwardness for me.
Valentine’s Day is awkward for me because we live in a society that expects and encourages young people to show affection for one another on this day. Our culture says “show love to each other” and “reveal your heart to those you have feelings for”. It’s pressure, and it’s become a mandate for teens and young adults especially. It’s frightening to me, primarily because I don’t want to live in a world where young people are being pushed by social expectation to show love to each other.
A more personal reason for disliking what this holiday has become, is that its setting and everything that occurs on that day makes me uncomfortable. This holiday instigates emotions, negatively in my case, but in all young people; emotions of love and affection, even things as small as admiration. I don’t like these feelings. I don’t know what to do with them. I don’t like the temptation to overstep my bounds, to make an inappropriate comment or aproach; and as a young man, –more importantly, as a weak, fallible human– it’s a real struggle to protect myself from doing something stupid because of the pressure of society.
Valentine’s Day forces me to raise my guard so that I don’t crumble under peer pressure and an atmosphere of openness that compels people to share their feelings. It’s okay to tell someone you love them. Your family members and close friends especially, even your pastor and church staff, or the people at work. But, when to tell “The One”, or someone you think might be “The One”, should be your choice alone. No pressure from society or cultural obligation should cause you to do something out of turn that you may regret later.
God knows when the right time is better than our culture or even ourselves. He will show you when and how to say “I love you”.
Really, why are we being pressed into society’s mold, adhering to its rules set for love, and allowing it to dictate when and how we love? How can we not be swarmed with feelings and emotions on Valentine’s Day when we’re around so many who post and talk about it?
I apologize, but I’m not a fan of Valentine’s Day, as a young adult. But, as a child under my parent’s roof, I respect and adhere to their opinions and traditions. No matter how awkward it is for me to face Valentine’s Day, I still go out with my sister. I still give her gifts and attempt to act more gentlemanly than I normally do to treat her like a lady. And, by these examples, hopefully show my younger siblings how to treat a young lady and how to become a gentleman of honor and virtue.
As always, thanks for reading.
—the anonymous novelist