By Nellie Umutesi-Vigneron

Have you ever had a fight with your significant other on Valentine’s Day because of Valentine’s Day? Well, it’s happened to me, and it was not pretty.

Here is the story: Love day is a mere, highly-anticipated and marketing-fueled, few weeks away, and I am highly anticipating how my gentleman will wow me. Everyone knows that what he does on Valentine’s Day is a direct representation of his undying love, right? … W-R-O-N-G.

Or could it be a direct representation of my self-worth then, right? {crickets}. Oh the pressures of first world dilemmas where we take a day of love and turn it into a competition with the Jones. Remove the expectation and then you can’t be disappointed – just appreciative.

But I digress. Let me get back to the story. So it’s days before V-day and I have already picked out what I am going to wear, complete with accessories and pinky-luscious nails. I even made a quick stop to my favorite waxing lady (Hey – no judgment: a lady always has to stay prepared!).


The day of, my beau indulges me in a play (even though they are not his thing) and I am thinking, “He is off to a great start”; I can’t wait to see what else is in store for me. This could be the best Valentine’s Day yet!

However, to my crumbling disappointment, once the play is over, so is my beautiful Valentine’s Day. My beau has nothing else planned. The tragedy! He has made the oh-so-common mistake in thinking that Valentine’s Day is over after its first course of entertainment, and now it must be time to go home to receive his “I-am-ever-so-grateful-for-this-magical-evening” love present. Was this a case of heightened expectations or a case of someone who did not care about me and has exhibited this through his careless lack of planning for a second course of love events?

Oh what nerve!

This is when I decided to ponder the true meaning of Valentine’s Day. Who has time for this effort and these monumental questions on the fly? What does Love Day really mean to me, aside from what society says it represents? I needed to determine my own meaning of the day to make sense of my utter disappointment. After all, my significant other planned a beautiful evening; and yet, I was let down by the end of it, all because of precedent. Where was Cupid? Where was the candy? Where were my 212 roses for each day we’ve been together? Where was my cute kitten in a box? Why did I even think I was getting a cute kitten? Nothing can measure up now…

Cupid Arrow

I know my beau is a caring and loving person. He brings me flowers just because he cares. He surprises me with gifts simply to see a smile on my face. He washes dishes AND takes out the trash after dinner so that I can catch up on my favorite reality show. His demonstrations in daily life left me wanting for nothing, yet I still found myself judging our whole relationship based on this Valentine’s Day benchmark of a meager play he didn’t even enjoy. Was this the extent of his creativity? Is this the amount of thought he’s going to put into the rest of our lives? Am I going to have to analyze every single action to this extent in order to create the future that I want? Agh! The pressures of relationships and stupid Valentine’s Day. I had to BREAK UP Valentine’s Day!

I had always known in the back of my head that Valentine’s Day is a visual spectacle orchestrated by florists and the Hallmarks and DeBeers of this world, people and organizations that have learned that competition coupled with expectation will tremendously increase their bottom line at least one day out of the year; and yet, I had allowed myself to become another fallen victim to this Valentine’s Day marketing ploy.

So I broke up with Valentine’s Day. I needed love to be organic, authentic and unplanned, not rehearsed like a bad Viagra commercial. I chose to value and love myself, whether or not someone gave me flowers on February 14. I shot Cupid with his own arrow and broke up with Valentine’s Day.

But let me not ruin your fun. Happy Love Day!