Valentine’s Day is a “holiday” where love and affection are expressed towards loved ones through gifts or details. However, it is inevitable to get stressed or have expectations before this date. 

What causes it? 

Social media, marketing, and ourselves. We are overwhelmed by the expectations society presents us, making us believe that the “ideal” thing is that you receive at least two dozen flowers, a fancy dinner, or even receive an expensive gift. 

Do not get me wrong, I am a person who never thinks twice about a gesture/gift/action I give to my partner, however, it causes me a conflict that the meaning of this date has turned in favor of marketing companies. Why do we give so much importance to this date? Why do we accept the consumerism this date causes? No, I’m not anti-valentines Day, but I don’t feel anyone should expect to receive or give as a gift to show affection for someone. 

This not only falls on and resonates with people in relationships, but also with those who are in the process of being, with that uncertainty of whether to give or not. We could even mention it to friends, although in this situation, it is more flexible for friends to have a casual meeting to have a good time together.

Going back to the topic, why did we decide to accept the consumerism of this date? This conflict was not born in me until I had a reasoning and experience of the date, contrasting with what they made us think as children. We used to not question buying cards for our classmates along with a heart-shaped lollipop. At that time, it was not consumerism, because kids do not look at dinners or expensive things, just if they received a paper card and a piece of candy. Yes, we could qualify this experience that we all live as kids as consumerism, but none of us had the expectations we have today. 

Back to Niñez

Where is the simplicity of giving cards with heart-shaped lollipops? Where was the gesture that is born from the heart without having been influenced by the marketing this date causes? We can ask and ask a thousand things about this date and we could never end, however, questioning whether it is necessary to carry that expectation that consumerism leaves us with. As I said, I am not anti-Valentine, but I am against minimizing plans other than typical or “ideal” by society for this date. 

My first Valentine’s Day with my partner (before he became my partner) was in a parking lot eating boneless at 7 at night while we listened to music and talked. I didn’t worry if he was going to give me flowers, or if we were going to dinner, I just enjoyed his company. 

Valentine’s Day should be about enjoying and celebrating the love towards our loved ones, without Walmart or Target pointing out the need to buy heart-shaped things and things that will not be used the next day. Let’s celebrate with simple or big gestures, but without being influenced by someone else.


Let’s go back to giving heart-shaped lollipops and our only concern was to read the secret message that is in each lollipop. 


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Natalia Arreola
Natalia Arreola is a New Mexico State University graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing with a minor in Psychology. She works at El Paso Inc. as Audience Development & Engagement Manger. Natalia has been working on different projects as an editor, including Chrysalis, The Papagayo Project, Memorias del Silencio, and more. Natalia’s goal is to get her master’s degree in either Publishing or Editing to apply to larger publishing companies. And maybe one day, she can publish her own book. Her passion has always been between books and writing to find a way to understand this world and life.