Mixed emotions arise when the “holiday of love” roams around. (Illustration by AJ Michelotti)
Mixed emotions arise when the “holiday of love” roams around.

Illustration by AJ Michelotti

Valentine’s Day: A bittersweet holiday

March 3, 2022

It’s the season of love – and loneliness.  Whether you view it as a sweet opportunity to express how much you care about the people in your life, or a painful reminder of your single status, Valentine’s Day always seems to bring about a series of mixed emotions. A day filled with chocolates, flowers, joy and nostalgia, February 14th is either anticipated or dreaded.


Love is in the air! Even if you’re not spending Valentine’s Day with a significant other, it can still be used as an opportunity to spread your love to the people around you. Your friends, your family and the important people in your life are all worthy of celebration. Receiving and giving gifts, decorating with heart-shaped balloons, and handing out candy hearts are all sweet ways to make someone’s day in honor of February 14th. Sending flowers to family members who live across the country can make this holiday even more special for them. 

Expressing your love for others can not only make their day, but it can also make yours better as well.

Expressing your love for others can not only make their day, but it can also make yours better as well. By spreading love to others, you’re also gaining the satisfaction of making someone else happy.  There’s something refreshing about walking into your local store and seeing it decked out in all red and pink decor. Getting into the holiday spirit is extremely easy when you’re surrounded by heart-shaped everything.

Beyond gifts, there is a deeper meaning behind Valentine’s Day. Not only is it a celebration of your loved ones, but it can also be a day full of self-love. Taking the time to appreciate yourself out of the one day dedicated solely to the idea of love can be beneficial. Grabbing some chocolate, running out to purchase some roses, and watching a rom-com can be the ideal way to spend the holiday for some. Spending the day with your single best friends can also be a great way to feel love. Valentine’s Day does not always have to be spent with a significant other, it can also be spent with friends who you love dearly. The people you love the most in your life don’t have to always be a boyfriend or girlfriend. 

Valentine’s Day is especially special for those with significant others. Boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands and wives spend this one holiday giving and receiving love in all shapes and forms. They flood into flower boutiques and candy stores days before the 14th comes around to secure their presents for their loved ones. Everyone loves waking up in the morning having a bouquet of flowers being delivered to them at their doorstep, with a cute stuffed animal on the side. Valentine’s Day isn’t just spent by getting gifts from others. Showing your love can be shown in more ways than just delivering someone roses and a box of chocolates. 

Make sure you give some love to the people that support you and shower you with love every day, not just Valentine’s Day. Your parents, grandparents, siblings, and cousins are all people to spend time with on February 14th. They deserve your love just as much as a significant other does.


If candy hearts and cupid make you want to puke, you’re not alone. Valentine’s day is the 24 hour period where individuals are pressured to fit all of the love they have for the people they care about into a whirlwind of teddy bears, chocolates, and high expectations. A day dedicated to celebrating love and pure joy seems nothing short of perfect, right? WRONG. For the majority of people who are not spending the day drooling over their significant other, Valentine’s Day doubles as a day that’s filled with the feeling of loneliness and sorrow. Overall, the holiday is distressing for those who do not have someone to share it with. 

For the majority of people who are not spending the day drooling over their significant other, Valentine’s Day doubles as a day that’s filled with the feeling of loneliness and sorrow.

As if local grocery stores don’t shove it in enough with their excessive decorations and marketing, social media sites take the idea of ‘showing your love’ to a whole new level through copious amounts of pictures declaring their love. The motivation behind these posts, however, is not always pure, for many are fueled by the immense pressure to fit the mold of ‘a perfect relationship’ set by society. Many feel that they have to prove to their followers that their relationship is just as adorable, if not more, than the person next to them. Those in a relationship often find themselves investing their time in planning a post with their significant other that will publicize their status as a couple, rather than taking the time to tell them how much they care with the absence of a phone screen. These ridiculous expectations completely dilute the true meaning of Valentine’s day: genuine love. 

The even bigger issue presents itself in couples who are adamant to demonstrate their love for each other offline, making sure you can see their sweaty hands interlocked as you pass them in the cafe. As someone who feels a wave of nausea every time I see couples display cheesy affection drop dead in the middle of the hallway (and don’t get me started on the disgusting pet names), the last thing any single person wants to see on the day based entirely on being in a relationship is PDA. No thanks! Not to sound bitter, but a national holiday does not grant you permission to make everyone else uncomfortable. 

As far as Valentine’s Day goes, people tend to miss the mark on celebrating its true meaning. Rather than focusing on appreciating those around them, people tend to compare each other’s happiness to the point where they lose sight of their own. 

If you truly love those around you, try and make every day Valentine’s Day so you don’t have to pack all of your love into 24 hours. 


Behind the Byline
Photo of Ally Uhlendorf
Ally Uhlendorf, Editor in Chief
Ally is an Editor in Chief for the 2021-2022 Wessex Wire staff. In her free time, she is either with her friends, listening to Harry Styles, or singing. Fun fact: If you get her a caramel iced coffee from Dunkin, she will love you forever.
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Rachel Levine, Editor in Chief
Rachel Levine is a 2022-2023 Editor in chief for the Wessex Wire! She enjoys running, going to the beach, and listening to music. She also loves spending time with her family and friends. 

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Molly Simon, Senior Chief Arts and Culture Editor
Molly is the Senior Chief Arts and Culture Section Editor for the 2021-2022 Wessex Wire. Molly’s favorite things to do are play lacrosse and soccer. She is the Varsity Lacrosse captain. She also loves to spend time at the beach and with her friends. Her favorite Netflix show is "Gossip Girl" and favorite movie is "The Devil Wears Prada." 
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Isabella DeRose, Editor in Chief
Isabella DeRose is an Editor in Chief for the 2021-2022 Wessex Wire, but you can call her Bella. She loves hanging out with her friends, going to the beach and spending time with her family. Fun Fact: She’s watched “The Office” seven times, and considers it her favorite show. 

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