Valentine’s Day Hype: Name Your Emotional Reaction

Does Valentine’s Day push your emotional buttons?

Posted Jan 28, 2011

With Valentine's Day rapidly approaching, I've been getting my customary inquiries from reporters. This is a good thing. Unlike the people pitching products that are wildly inappropriate for this readership, journalists who contact me have actually read this blog or Singled Out or Single with Attitude. The stories they want to write about Valentine's Day are not the usual syrupy matrimaniacal ones.

One such reporter asked me a question about Living Single readers. She wanted to know what their emotional reaction is to all of the hype that happens so predictably around Valentine's Day. Well, why should I guess when I can ask you directly? So, if you are willing, post your reactions in the comments section. If you don't want to be influenced by anything I say, then post your comments now and then come back to read the rest of this post.

The reporter first asked me if the primary reaction is anger. It's not for me. When I hesitated, I think she suggested frustration, and there is a bit of that. When the same worn-out themes get recycled year after year, with no historical insight and no sense of the bigger broader meaning of relationships, yes, that's a bit frustrating and annoying.

Most often, I think my main reaction is indifference. I'm single at heart. Coupling is not something to which I aspire, just as parenting is not. I don't care if other people are celebrating Valentine's Day and I'm not, just as other people's celebration of Mother's Day has no emotional implications for me. (I'll admit, though, that I think the chocolate part of the Valentine's Day holiday is in very good taste!)

In a few more days, though, the Valentine's Day hype will be everywhere. If you turn on a television or visit a website or read a newspaper or magazine or listen to a radio station, the treacly blather will be everywhere. Won't I have some emotional reaction to that? If you enjoy the usual Valentine's Day rituals and don't presume that everyone wants what you want, then I'm happy for you. But if you are among those who feel sorry for anyone who isn't coupled on Valentine's Day, then I guess my attitude toward you is smug bemusement.

This year, though, I think my primary Valentine's Day emotions are going to be joy and excitement. That's because a radio station has proposed some really fun programming for the day - very much in the spirit of Singled Out. I'll tell you more as the planning progresses.