I'm truly a hopeless romantic so please don't get that wrong. I love everything about celebrating, showcasing, and demonstrating love. What's also true, however, is that I understand when couples choose not to engage in the Valentines Day holiday or when they simply choose to keep their relationships private. I'm certainly an advocate for that!
For those who may find it odd that couples choose not to celebrate Valentine's Day for any reason other than being unhappy, I'd like to offer the following as some of the reasons couples may choose not to engage in the holiday.
1. When couples are intentional about demonstrating their love for one another on a regular basis, Valentine's day is just another day for them. Therefore, they may not feel the need to be pulled into the hype of taking this one day to express their sentiments. Intentional acts of love and intimacy can abate the pressure to participate in such a tradition.
2. Some couples pride themselves on being "different" or "unique" from the crowd. Participating in Valentine's Day might make them feel too similar to others, diminishing their unique couple identity. For that reason, they may choose to ignore the holiday altogether or to deem the day something totally different that is meaningful and specific only to them and their relationship.
3. There is the possibility that one or both parties in the relationship has trauma surrounding Valentine's Day and so they might choose to devote the day to healing, rest, advocacy, or something else. Their dedication may be to the care of one another rather than the holiday itself.
4. Speaking of devoting the day to something else, there may be a couple whose relationship is grounded in service to others. They may decide to take the attention from themselves for the day and devote it to those who may be without support or connection on that day. They may take time out to visit a hospital, nursing home, NICU, or even the homeless.
5. The uncertainty of the origin of the holiday may be another reason some couples choose not to celebrate it. It could be that the holiday is said to be rooted in a specific religious ideology and, simultaneously, not so. It could be what "St. Valentine" was said to have been doing or who he is said to have been and whether there were one, two, or three men by that name, etc. There's so much uncertainty around the origin of it, some couples may feel it's best not to engage altogether.
6. It could be that Valentine's Day feels "showy" or inauthentic to some couples and they would rather focus on acts that feel more authentic to them.
7. A less attractive reason a couple may not celebrate Valentine's Day might be due to financial issues. Maybe they are not in a place to spend the extra money and trying to engage in a more creative, inexpensive form of celebration may foster more feelings of regret, sadness, and resentment than love and belonging so they may choose not to celebrate the holiday at all. Maybe it isn't that they do not have the financial ability to engage but that they are choosing to save money for something more important to them such as buying a home or planning their dream wedding. Whatever the reason, their devotion to one another and their needs is stronger than their desire to engage in the holiday festivities.
8. Couples who are established may feel that their days of Velentine’s celebrations is up and in lieu of celebrating, they may devote their time/energy that day to helping singles find love. Maybe they choose to host a Valentine's Day dinner, party, mixer, or other type of event to help others find what they’ve been fortunate to establish for themselves.
9. Some couples may choose to establish their own traditions. Maybe they have their own "Valentine’s Day" set on a different day of the year so that when they make an extra special effort to celebrate their love, it feels just that way, special and individualized. Let’s face it, it’s easy for even your own celebratory efforts to feel lost amongst that of others on Valentine’s Day.
10. Valentine’s Day may be seen as predictable which may cause the couple to lose some of the joy in celebrating their love on that day. Each year, we see the same balloons, bouquets, candies, etc. This predictability may lead to a sense of monotony causing a decrease in interest in celebrating the holiday altogethr.
Whatever their reason, I'd just like to be sure to validate their choice. Valentine's Day, essentially, is just another day until someone adds meaning to it. Every holiday we celebrate is just another day on the calendar until we add personal value and meaning to it.
With that being said, if you know a couple who chooses not to engage in celebrating the day, remember that besides it being their choice, they could have many reasons why they choose not to engage. No matter how bizzare you might think it is that a couple would choose not to celebrate Valentine's Day, its only your job to respect their choice.