It's that time of the year again. Drug stores are stocked with giant teddy bears and sappy romance cards, vendors on the street are stocked up on red roses and wherever you go, someone is selling a box of chocolate.
As soon as February rolls around, Valentine's Day creeps up on us like a bad cold. Everyone is running around, making reservations and spending money on gifts to impress and woo his or her significant other.
I've been in a relationship for four years, but I'm not crazy about Valentine's Day. I don't expect my boyfriend to shower me with lavish gifts, and I don't necessarily want him to, either.
I personally look at Valentine's Day as a Hallmark holiday. It's one that big businesses try to get your money on. Chocolate prices go up, flowers become way more expensive per dozen and dinner specials turn from casual nights out to expensive, three-course meals.
Growing up, I hardly ever went without a Valentine. I even remember being in kindergarten and receiving countless lollipops and greeting cards in my construction paper mailbox. They never made me feel any more loved, and they never changed my self-esteem.
To this day, I feel exactly the same. I don't need people to shower me with love and affection for me to know they love me. I don't need someone to spend hundreds of dollars on gifts and items to prove his or her worth, and I definitely don't need to be spoiled in order to feel like my partner is loyal.
Don't get me wrong; I'm not a cynic when it comes to love. I believe in love, and I also believe in soulmates.
I think it's nice that people want to cherish and celebrate their loved ones and make them feel special. But I also don't think they need one day a year to do so.
So many times, I see friends of mine with boyfriends who forget the special events in their lives and don't give them the attention they want and deserve all year-round. But, they try to make up for it on Valentine's Day.
I've seen women who wait around to see how their boyfriends will celebrate them on Valentine's Day, but they end up extremely disappointed because they don't receive the things they expect or want. I also see friends of mine who go into dark, deep balls of sadness because they're single on Valentine's Day.
They haul themselves up in their beds with sappy movies and endless bottles of wine, wallowing in their loneliness. It's like a huge slap in the face saying, "If you're single, you're doing something wrong today."
I hate any day that deliberately goes out of its way to make others feel excluded or not good enough. For some reason, we feel the need to take hundreds of pictures of the things we receive and the surprises we get on Valentine's Day. We then blow those photos up all over social media, as if we need to prove to everyone that someone loves us.
Rather, we should just be enjoying this time with our loved ones. If you're in love with someone, you don't need one day to prove your worth. There are 365 days in a year, and one of them shouldn't have to be the be-all and end-all of your relationship.
Your SO also deserves someone who will do more than just shower him or her with lavish things one day a year. There are tons of ways to celebrate your love every single day. In fact, the little things count the most: texts to see how your day is going, surprises when you least expect them and celebrating the big, life-changing moments.
Even though I have love in my life, I'm not going out of my way to make Valentine's Day a big stink in our lives. Instead, I'm working an 11-hour double shift and going on like it's any other day in my life.
One day in the year isn't going to change how much I love my man or how much he loves me.