Valentine’s Day: Full of Love or Pressure?

Valentine%27s+Day%3A+Full+of+Love+or+Pressure%3F

Daisy Flores and Brandon Young

A lot of time and money is invested on a person’s Valentine’s Day sweetheart. Whether it’s by store-bought Valentine cards or a romantic night out, February 14th is the one day of the year where everyone seems to be celebrating a relationship or hoping to get into one. Overall it seems like a tradition to do something special on this particular date. However, nobody takes into account all the troubles and pressures that come along with this holiday. Given that many people, regardless of their relationship status, experience some form of pressure on Valentine’s Day, this special day is not always the relaxed, romantic celebration that people expect.

Being single comes with its pressures too. Many single students sit by, watching as couples walk the halls with flowers in one hand and a box of chocolate in the other. As more and more happy couples walk by, singles cannot help but wonder why they do not have someone to share this day with as well. Questions begin to form: “Why don’t I have a boyfriend/girlfriend? How come I didn’t get any flowers?” As these questions begin to accumulate, the pressure of getting into a relationship becomes greater. Steven Lopez lightheartedly remarked, “I’d feel weird, awkward, and lonely,” when asked about the way it would feel to be single on Valentine’s Day.

When asked about whether or not asking your crush out on Valentine’s Day was a thing she would attempt, sophomore Maariyah Ford replied, “Probably. If we already hung out, I’d just ask him; but if I didn’t know him, then I’d need to introduce myself.” PVA senior Giselle Arevalo explained “Yes, you should ask your crush out, but it depends on the time and interest you’ve put into the friendship. If you were to ask your friend out, you should make something–especially if you know what they like.”

Asking someone out is usually the most nerve-racking part at the beginning of a relationship. When asked about handling rejection, Kai Evans stated, “Shrug it off, it’s just high school. Not everybody is nice.” It can be agreed upon that rejection is not an ideal response on Valentine’s Day, but that does not stop people from trying. CAL senior Steven Lopez chuckled and answered, “I’d ask someone else and move on,” when asked the same question.

Aside from rejection, simply being in a relationship on Valentine’s Day contributes to social pressure. When Ford was asked if there is any pressure to have a boyfriend, she said, “Most people feel the pressure. Pressure comes from competition. Couples try to outdo other couples.” However, the qualities that make up an ideal relationship are well-known–trust, honesty, respect, commitment, communication, and physical attraction. An anonymous CAL senior responded with, “A high school couple should have similar interests and be attracted to each other.” Similarly, 12th grader Jonathan Galdamez answered the same question with, “It should solely be about just those two people. They shouldn’t be concerned about what others think. The best couples are those that keep to themselves. The only thing that matters is what they feel about one another.”

It is not uncommon to assume that couples go out to celebrate their relationship. When we approached Mouri Canenguez, a Tech and Biz senior, about the pressures of having to do something special, he replied, “Girls appear to be more expectant of guys to do something special, instead of the other way around.” Similarly, Steven Lopez responds with, “Both girls and guys should have equal responsibility of doing something special for the other.” Although, when Giselle Arevalo was asked this particular question she justified, “There is no need to do something special and go out. All that matters is that you are together on that day.”

Whether people find themselves single or in a relationship, the pressures of Valentine’s Day varies. However, just because the pressure is there, does not mean that people should have to feel the pressure of being in a relationship. Love comes when it comes. Even though people do not always experience the same degree of love, they should always appreciate and embrace every second of it.