Editor encourages realistic approach, chocolate

Editor encourages realistic approach, chocolate

As you peruse this edition of the newspaper, you may notice that the words “Valentine’s Day” are nonexistent, that is, if you disregard this sentence and the rest of this article.

Part of the reason we’re sticking to other news this February is simple: in the past, the couples we interviewed usually broke up just before the deadline—a week later. The lovebirds would go from giggling and telling reporters about their favorite date together, to avoiding eye contact and demanding their quotes be pulled from the story. This would have left big blank spots in the paper, just as it seems to have done in their lives.

Yes, we covered relationships in Issue 2; however, breakups are not nearly as prevalent in September as they are this month. A recent analysis of Facebook relationship statuses found the largest number of breakups occurs between January and late March.

For couples, Valentine’s Day can be daunting, with a pressing cultural expectation of Pinterest-level thoughtfulness, foresight and romance, coupled with a carefully calculated flower-chocolate-intimacy combination. In high school, this holiday is working its way up there next to Prom and Formal in terms of money and time required to convey the correct level of appreciation and admiration for the other half of the relationship.

Grandiose displays of affection can be truly wonderful, but why need they be limited to one calendar day of the year? I like to think if you love someone, Valentine’s Day is one affectionate day of many, and is by no means the defining “make or break” 24-hours of the relationship.

To avoid joining the ranks of heartbroken statistics, set expectations as a couple beforehand. Don’t make it as much about the money paid as you do the time spent together. Do make it about the chocolate, though (unless, of course, you are allergic, then you can make it about some equally delicious alternative). Just avoid setting your expectations so high in the sky that even Cupid can’t reach them.

Of course, at the same time, singletons grapple with Single Awareness Day (SAD). Speaking from personal experience, buying yourself your own roses and having your only Valentine’s Day card arrive signed “With love, Grandma” isn’t super awesome. However, approaching the day with a SAD attitude only intensifies the SADness.

And, regardless of your relationship status on Facebook, don’t buy in to the commercialized, Hallmark movie-esque version of V-Day, socially engineered to sell Hallmark cards. Each of you is worth chocolate (or an allergy-friendly alternative) every day of the year.