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Why My Wife and I Don’t Really Celebrate Valentine’s Day

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Valentine

Valentine’s Day is coming up quickly everyone. I hope you got your plans ready to go, so you are not sleeping in the doghouse. I don’t know about you, but I feel this holiday is way too commercialized. I still haven’t found out why this holiday is so popular.  Do we really need one day dedicated to telling someone that we love them?  Shouldn’t we be doing this everyday?

For my wife and myself, we don’t worry much about Valentine’s Day. No, we are not on the cusp of divorce. We just understand that we value our time together each and every day.  We don’t need one day to get each other gifts. That’s the main reason why my wife and I don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day.

The History of Valentine’s Day

 

I can’t talk about this day without sharing some history about it. I was actually surprised to find out that most people don’t know that this day is named for Saint Valentine or Valentines. While I do find that a little sad, it is understandable. Here in the US, we don’t talk about Saint Valentine much. This holiday is all about love (well, love, candy, flowers, and food!).

As I indicated, the day began as a celebration of one or more Christian saints. They were called Valentinus. The day we celebrate came about from stories regarding Saint Valentine of Rome. The current state of Valentine’s Day didn’t come about until the 18th century in England. It wasn’t focused on romantic love until this point. People used to write handwritten notes, but those have been replaced by cards.

Why We Don’t Celebrate

 

Ok, that is enough of a brief history. You are not here to learn about the holiday, but I hope it was enlightening :-). You are here to learn why my wife and I don’t really celebrate this holiday. The short answer is that I don’t need an official holiday to tell me when I should show affection to my wife.

Over the past few years, I have been a little more irritated with many of the holidays we celebrate in America. I feel they have been taken over by the retailers. Christmas has been completely overwhelmed with an intense focus on shopping and spending money. Valentine’s Day is no different. It has become the holiday all about flowers, chocolates, cards, and food.

I did a little experiment last year just regarding flowers. I think they have one of the biggest profit margins in history, but only for one day. I checked a local florist a few months before Valentine’s Day and noticed that I could get 12 roses for $39.99.

I then checked closer to Valentine’s Day, about a week out, and that same 12 roses now cost $85.99. Yes, I was not getting anything extra, but I was being charged a whole lot more. There was nothing special about the roses, but the florist could charge it, just because of demand. That experiment alone irritated me about this holiday.

So, you might be asking me why I wouldn’t just jump on board and celebrate Valentine’s Day with my wife. Well, one, I don’t like to conform for the sake of conformity. Two, I like to be spontaneous when it comes to showing my wife that I love her. There isn’t much fun going on when she expects to get some card or dinner on a specified day.

I know that some of you are probably thinking that I am crazy. I know some of you love this day and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. I am not using this article as a way to say you shouldn’t celebrate the day. The only point I want to get across is that we shouldn’t rely on a certain day to show others that we love them.

If you like Valentine’s Day, what do you have planned? I don’t need to hear the intimate details and remember that this is a family-friendly site! 🙂

 

Photo courtesy of: Illusive Photography

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Grayson is the owner of Debt Roundup and Empowered Shopper. He also co-owns Sprout Wealth and Eyes on the Dollar. After going to battle and winning against consumer debt, he decided it was time to learn how to use credit wisely and grow his wealth. He discusses all things personal finance and is not afraid of being controversial. He also is a freelance writer and blog manager.

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77 Comments

  • Kylie Ofiu says:

    Love it and completely agree. “I don’t need an official holiday to tell me when I should show affection to my wife.” This is what my dad always said growing up. Valentine’s Day wasn’t really big here in Australia, so not such an issue.

    I’ve never been into it, or anniversaries or anything. We don’t do a lot of the holidays you do in the States but the past few years it seems to be changing and it is getting very commercial and we are doing holidays we never used to. It’s ridiculous.

    Lucky for my guy I want hugs etc, true expressions of his love for me and just his support. I don’t want flowers, jewellery, chocolates or gifts. I don’t like ‘stuff’. Words, time and affection mean way more. Thankfully he is the same. He doesn’t like gifts or stuff either.

    • Grayson Bell says:

      Thanks Kylie. I wish the holidays here wouldn’t be so commercialized, but when retailers notice that people are spending money, then they are going to jump on the bandwagon.

  • Grayson – Spot on. Several years ago my wife and I decided that we did not need to spend a lot of money and exchange gifts that we didn’t need on all of these commercialized holidays. Instead, like you said, we show our love and affection to each other every day. If we do celebrate (for example, a birthday) we will do something together so that we can spend time and create an experience, not just throw money at more stuff that we don’t need.

    Thanks for the post.

  • I feel exactly the same way. We haven’t really ever done Valentine’s Day except for maybe when Jim and I were first dating and neither of us wanted to seem “unromantic.” Now we get Valentine cards for the first grade class and that ‘s about the extent of our celebration. I’d rather go out to eat the day after and save a bundle. Dinners that are usually $10 are $40 tomorrow. Crazy!

  • I can understand your perspective, and participating in any holiday activity like this is obviously optional. While we were in our debt management program we didn’t do a whole lot that cost money for Vday – we may do a little something now that we have a little extra cash on hand. We want to be careful to not overspend on things that get the price jacked up just for the day (like Roses…holy CRAP!). I view Vday as something like Halloween – where doing something a little “out of the ordinary” to add a little variety and spice to our lives.

  • We do celebrate Valentine’s Day, but we are just going out to dinner, nothing too crazy. I won’t be buying flowers on Valentine’s Day because they are literally 1/6 the price any other time of the year.

  • Grayson, I think it’s terrific that you guys work every day to show love to each other – that is so important. We do a nice dinner at home for Valentine’s Day, and have Rick’s mom over, and I buy small gifts (as in, under $5) for the kids. Each of the kids will be in charge of some aspect of planning our fancy dinner. We use it as a teaching opportunity to help them learn how to shower love on others, which hopefully will be something they do often, and not just for Valentine’s Day. 🙂 But no chocolate candies and flowers here, no way – this is a huge waste to us.

  • kathryn says:

    We also don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day.We also don’t exchange presents on our birthday, Xmas,or anniversary. We aren’t into material possessions. We acknowledge it, and get on with our day.
    We still give presents to our 4 adult children….it has nothing to do with trying to save money.

  • I’m a guy so I’ve always felt that V-day is way overrated. We celebrate by writing a nice card to each other and maybe some candy

  • Speaking of the history — if you watch 30 Rock (and are Catholic like myself) it’s a hilarious spin on making it a Holy Day of Obligation where you should be attending church.
    I like to send little notes to people I love – not just a paramour. I’ve sent homemade Valentines to my parents, sister and closest friends. Peach and I won’t be doing presents though, we’d would much rather do an “experience” and got discount tickets to a B’way play.

  • We will probably be having a nice brunch/lunch to celebrate because I’m working later in the day but that’s about it. I even told the bf I don’t want any flowers or cards. We do nice things for one another every other day of the year, so why does it have to be an expensive one thing on a specific day?

  • I’m with you on this one. We don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day either. I’ve always seen it as a “greeting card” holiday.

  • Matt Becker says:

    I never cared much for Valentine’s Day, but my first date with my wife was on Valentine’s Day so it’s become an actually meaningful day. Though I do agree that we should be showing our love way more often than once per year.

  • I am with you!!! Hubby and I have made a conscious effort to not celebrate Valentine’s day for the last 8 years, and we are very happy with our decision. We work at celebrating our love throughout the year at different times and not because Hallmark said so.

  • I think like every holiday it’s over commercialized! People want to make a profit and way they can. I was at the grocery store the other day and I looked around and could not believe how much STUFF was out for Valentine’s Day. I think of how much money and resources when into making all that crap that no one really needs and think of how that money could be channeled into something else. What happened to a nice card and just spending time with your loved ones…more often! Not just one day!

  • Pauline says:

    I’d rather celebrate an anniversary on a random, not overpriced day, that means something to us. But it’s like Christmas, there is so much pressure! My BF celebrates so I oblige, although I’d be happy without it.

  • Haha your last paragraph made me laugh! I am so with you on this. I told the hubs I would be buying myself some pretty awesome fuzzy socks for V day. Excited about them lol. He’s about 2.5 weeks away from taking the most important test in med school so I’m letting him off away this year. 😉

  • I wholeheartedly agree that we should show love and appreciation every day, not just on one day. With that said, I will confess that I love the overpriced bouquet of flowers Chris sends to my office. 🙂 It’s a complete indulgence and unnecessary, but I still love them. Hopefully that doesn’t get me kicked out of the PF world! 🙂 I will also agree that Valentine’s Day has become overly commercialized and turned into another Keeping Up with the Joneses holiday where people try to outdo others, rather than actually focusing on, you know, love.

    • Grayson Bell says:

      Haha, I am sure you do enjoy the flowers. I know my wife likes flowers, but since I am the one buying them, I don’t like the price tag. You won’t be kicked out of the PF world Shannon. You are an important part of it.

  • Josh says:

    Yes, I do celebrate valentines day. Unfortunately, I’m running a little behind on coming up with plans though. Maybe we’ll do a hotel on a beach…gotta love trips on a whim!

  • I’ve got a full day of snowboarding planned, and then staying at the lodge for the night, and then who knows … 😛

  • Wow, so many people saying the same thing – and I thought I was the only one. My wife and I basically just pretend it doesn’t exist. She probably would like to more than me, but this particular “holiday” makes me so sick with the fake commercialism, I just can’t take it. The manipulation is super annoying!

  • The flower mark up blows my mind. I enjoy the holiday but not for a big celebration, just to have an excuse to set aside an evening to spend together which can be hard in our hectic lives sometimes.

  • Momager says:

    Completely agree! We feel the same way about showing our love for each other each and every day. Romantic gestures and splurges are fantastic, but they should be unexpected and planned because of feelings, not a specific day.

  • This is our first Valentine’s Day as husband and wife and we are going out to dinner – nothing fancy, just a place we both love – and getting each other a card. Like you, we celebrate our love every day of the year and don’t need a “special day” to show it.

  • Marvin says:

    I agree, my wife and I don’t have anything crazy planned. I put in all the trouble before we were married, now she’s trapped! =) j/k we are going to go for a nice lunch and call it that, like you said we enjoy each other’s company everyday.

  • Jonny Pean says:

    valentine day is a very special day for all couples.Now a days we all are very busy in our daily life for which we cant spent quality times with our partners.Besides bday and anniversary, V day is the only day which reminds us to do something special for our lover. I think celebrating Vday is not a bad idea but spending unnecessary money for this is worthless. U can celebrate the day by making ur partner’s favourite foods at home,by decorating ur room with candles,by giving your loved one a live performance with his/her favourite song or by gifting him/her a basket full of goodies from the dollar store.These activites increase the warmth of ur relationship and these are also very pocket friendly..

    • Grayson Bell says:

      I hear you Jonny, but politely disagree with you premise. That is the problem with our culture. We need a day in order to remember our loves ones. We work too much and focus on other things and that is where we are going wrong. No need for a specified day.

      • J. Pean says:

        Gryson I understand whatever u want to say but this is fact that we eagerly want to spend quality time with our family
        and also want to do something special for our loved ones but our busy schedule dont allow us to do such things everyday.
        Here valentine day allows us to express our feelings towards our loved one.
        I think one special day which is fully dedicated to love is a great idea.Is it not?

        • Grayson Bell says:

          I don’t think you are understanding my point here Jonny. That is the problem, we shouldn’t need one day in order to show love. We need to slow down and focus on priorities. Take the hustle and bustle down a notch. No one needs this day and if you do, then your priorities are off. I am not sure what you say is fact and if it is, I would love some more information about it.

          If you want to do something special for your loved ones, then make time to do it. Don’t wait for one day in order to show it. I completely disagree with your comment.

          • J. Pean says:

            May be u r right or may be not.Anyways I think thoughts and feelings vary from person to person and that is why we are individuals.
            U like to spend valentines day like any other ordinary day bt I like to spend it in a very special way and this really does not mean that I dont love my partner in other days.

  • Catherine says:

    We’re with you, we don’t do anything either. I enjoyed it when I was a kid and bringing Valentines to school for my friends etc so we did something really small for our kiddo just because it’s fun with her.

  • I’m really glad my fiance and I have never really made a big deal out of Valentines day. It started because we were just poor college students and couldn’t afford to do much, but we’ve stuck with it 🙂

  • new gal says:

    I demand tribute. Clean the commode and throw out all shirts with holes that make you look like a hobo. He knows darn good and wellthat these things will make me smile more than cut flowers.

  • Valentine’s Day is not all that big for us, either, but I know my wife would be sad if I did not give her a card and flowers. I do often try to show my love to her at other times of the year by buying her flowers at the supermarket, putting them in a vase and telling her, “Happy Thursday,” or some such.

  • Indeed, there is no need for a special holiday to tell your loved one that you love them, but I personally like the idea of Valentine’s Day or, better said, the core idea of Valentine’s Day. I don’t like the fact that they’re trying to turn it into Christmas, with special meals prepared for friends and family – that is simply absurd. But as a celebration that has me buying my wife some flowers and some candy, telling her I love her and having me last through all the 90 minutes of a romantic comedy… it’s nice.

    • Grayson Bell says:

      I understand what you are saying, but why do we need the specific day? Is it because we forget to do it otherwise? I just don’t like being told when I need to tell my wife that I love her.

  • Because we were saving for our wedding the last two Valentine’s days, we haven’t really celebrated. Now that we both have income and are not entirely focused on saving $2k a month, we decided to go out for a somewhat nice dinner. We probably wont spend more than $60. No roses, chocolates, or stuffed gorillas for us!

  • Our approach has been to celebrate it by spending time together. You can still celebrate Valentine’s day without spending a ton of money. I don’t like being in crowded restaurants or rushing out to get some overpriced chocolate.

  • You don’t sound crazy and I’m right there with you:) And great tip about the flower prices changing so much over just a few days!

  • My husband and I don’t celebrate Valentines Day either. It’s just another day for us. No sense wasting money on gifts and flowers my cats would probably eat.

  • Well done Grayson!! we are both on the same page and I can only imagine how much your wife appreciates your continual expression of love, caring and respect, rather than only when the holidays dictate such actions. Congrats to you both 🙂

    Take care and all the best.

    Lyle

  • I’m pretty much in the same zone. I spent $4 on a half dozen beautiful roses. This was 3 days before V Day, so the price was still relatively low and the selection was awesome. I also bought a bottle of fancy vodka that was 75% off after the rebate. I didn’t even intend to give it as a gift until my daughter suggested it. And we’re having a home cooked honey ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, beans, and maybe some other stuff for dinner tonight.

    Total outlay: $7 plus the groceries I would have bought anyway. And really $3 of that was on alcohol that wasn’t intended to be a gift anyway. I think it’ll get us through one more year of marriage! 😉

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