Valentine’s Day: love hearts, roses and chocolates. The one day of the year to do that extra something for your loved one. Or is it? Students at the University of Gloucestershire seem to hold the view that it’s “no big deal” and that there’s no need for a “big romantic gesture”. It’s often seen that having a separate day just to show your love is pointless. Are these people a Valentine’s Scrooge, or is this holiday, in reality, one that simply exploits those ‘in love’?
Speaking to students William and Gemma it was clear they were both passionate about their dislike for this romantic holiday. Stating that it annoys her, Gemma, 23 and in a three-year relationship, explained why February 14th frustrates her: “I don’t need that separate day, that’s why my boyfriend and I don’t really celebrate it. We just use it as an excuse to go out to eat because we otherwise wouldn’t. There are loads of different products that companies bring out; heart-shaped things where the prices are wacked up to bring in more revenue, it unbelievable.”
Going slightly red in the face when asked to talk about Valentine’s Day, William, aged 20 and single, was very hesitant to talk about the topic, admitting he holds a very cynical view on the matter: “To be honest with you I think it’s a bit of a scam. I think it’s just a time for the card companies to make a few pounds really. Some people like it but I just don’t really see the need for it.”
“There’s hearts everywhere!” says another student, 20-year-old Keira. “I think it’s a nice idea, but I would say it’s pretty commercialised. It’s bad seeing all the stuff in the shops and I don’t think you should be spending so much money on them really.”
Agreeing that businesses tend to benefit more than the couples these days, Emily, 19, also says it can be “a bit over the top at times, but it is nice to have one day to appreciate each other – even though it is a bit cringe.”
21-year-old Hannah had similar thoughts as she claimed “I’ve never been in a position where there’s been pressure to organise something. I know that some people might get upset if they found out you were working, but I don’t think that would bother me.”
Emily found the funny side to this holiday. She happens to be waitressing and has only one expectation. “Making money for myself, getting some tips!”
Perhaps it’s more beneficial, to people outside of the companies, than it seems. Both Emily and Keira will be collecting the tips while their boyfriends are at home, and although not in a relationship, Hannah will be getting quality time with her BFF as she is celebrating Galentine’s Day. Most people tend to feel indifferent about Valentine’s Day itself, but when talking about this new take on the holiday, Hannah was instantly more enthusiastic. It’s a tradition becoming increasingly popular as it sheds a positive light on being single at what can be a lonely time of year. However, businesses have caught onto this trend as pubs and restaurants such as The Cosy Club, are targeting young, female singles rather than couples.
Valentine’s Day is a dying tradition, while Galentine’s Day is gathering momentum. But no matter their relationship status, the majority of students at UOG think “it’s just a big money-making scheme.”