Showing love doesn’t mean overspending

Cindy Rivas Alfaro/The Cougar

The general message and intent behind Valentine’s Day has always been a positive one: to celebrate the love that couples share for one another. 

While this may have been the original objective, current interpretations have taken the concept of Valentine’s Day and commercialized it to a point where there now exists a societal expectation to spend a great deal of money on gifts, restaurant outings and even trips. 

Although there are some couples that spend their Valentine’s Day without purchasing such material items, there are many more that feel the need to adhere to expectation and show love to their partner by splurging on Valentine’s Day as it is commercialized on TV. 

This showcasing of love, however, is just one of the many ways that couples can express love. 

It actually may be more likely that by appealing to a more personable and intimate celebration, couples will enjoy Valentine’s Day more. 

Valentine’s Day spending hit an all-time high during the pandemic and dropped significantly in 2021, according to data.

But in 2022 spending began to increase yet again, though such effects could be attributed to the rapid surge in marriages, lockdowns and other financial strains during and after the pandemic. 

Regardless, it seems that the trend of spending on Valentine’s Day varies across generations. Boomers and Generation Xers tend to celebrate Valentine’s Day less than Millennials and Generation Z.  

Even when research respondents claimed they had no plans to celebrate the holiday, they still spent a good amount of money on their significant other to adhere to the expectation of gifting something to their loved ones on the day of love.

This is not to say that couples or people should completely avoid spending money on Valentine’s Day for the special people in their lives. 

It simply depends on who people celebrate this special holiday with. For this reason, however, more creative, personable gifts should be given more.

Personalized gifts are often more affordable and are a more genuine gesture for couples and other significant others to show love. 

According to a survey of 2000 Americans, 62 percent of respondents preferred to be gifted personalized gifts over store-bought, generic gifts for the holidays. Breaking out of the expectation for a Valentine’s gift may just be something a romantic partner or significant other needs on Valentine’s Day. 

Oftentimes, many couples feel that there is an expectation to spend money on gifts and other exuberant gestures as a way to celebrate Valentine’s Day. 

While that may be the case at times, the best way to celebrate this cherished holiday is to simply show love to significant others in a way that is familiar, expected and personable.

JJ Caceres is a political science sophomore who can be reached at [email protected]

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