Love is in the air, as is trepidation, fear and disdain.
The supposedly most romantic holiday of the year lately seems to inspire more negative emotions than positive, with the constant mentions of it also being Single’s Awareness Day and basically a punch in the gut to those who are not in the relationship.
The real question is, why?
A huge social taboo surrounds Valentine’s Day. It may not be obvious to those deep in the land of the single or those who are happily, or unhappily, in relationships. But it is there, and it is terrifying.
People hesitate asking others out during December due to not knowing how to handle Christmas with a newly discovered significant other, but that is nothing in comparison to the mad dash many make away from relationships as Cupid’s favorite holiday comes flying around the corner.
There a few rules about new relationships that everyone seems to know of even though they are never talked about.
Never ask someone out near Valentine’s Day. You won’t know how to handle the day and you would hate to mess up so early in the game. Wait till after or, better yet, how badly do you really need a boyfriend or girlfriend right now?
Never take someone out on a first date on Valentine’s Day. The amount of love and romance may suffocate the new couple, or, even worse, set the bar so high that no future dates will ever compare to the first.
Don’t even start wondering how to handle gifts for someone. That’s a minefield most are too terrified to cross until they have at least hit the four or five month mark at minimum.
The problem is that nothing is going against these stigmas. If you aren’t in a relationship, media, marketing and everything else has no room for you.
There are attempts at Galentine’s Day, friend dates, and when people don’t attempt to go out, it can work.
Don’t even try to go to a restaurant like Maggiano’s, because the only thing on the menu is the Couple Special: two entrees, an appetizer, a dessert and two glasses of wine, all for the low, low price of the down payment on a house.
Any restaurant above a Chili’s or Applebee’s level will have these same “deals” and will be advertising them for weeks leading up to this holiday.
In the movie “Valentine’s Day,” a couple that has been only dating for a short time is asked whether or not they would like the “four-course sweethearts menu or the eight-course eternal love menu”. The guy in turn requests a “one course, only-been-dating-for-two-weeks-but-it-looks-promising option.”
Needless to say, it didn’t go over well.
So maybe the problem with Valentine’s Day isn’t that your single friend won’t stop complaining that he or she doesn’t have a date for the big day or that you can’t get a reservation anywhere without planning back in December.
Maybe the problem with Valentine’s Day is just that it is piped into everyone’s heads what a successful day is, when in reality, spending it with anyone you love, be it friends, family or your pet, is the way it’s supposed to go.
Unfortunately, I don’t think Maggiano’s doesn’t offer a menu option for that one.