Valentine’s week has officially begun, and by now, everything around you is probably echoing the love fest–from celebration ideas to V-Day offers to and whatnot. And while most of us embrace the mushy madness that comes with Valentine’s Day, there exists a faction of people who feel no obligation to celebrate it. And before you jump to point at us singles, let us break it to you that these are couples—happy, romantic couples who choose to stray away from the traditions of celebrating the day dedicated to love.
Does this mean they aren’t in love? Or are they just not as committed to each other? These are questions they’ve probably heard at least once in their lives when sharing their decision to not celebrate Valentine's Day. But is this really true? Does choosing to not celebrate a commercialised holiday of love mean a couple is not committed to each other? If not, why not? And how do they celebrate their love if not on Valentine’s Day? These are pressing questions, and we have answers!
We spoke a few happy couples about their anti-Valentine sentiments, and here's what they had to say.
The very first question people have about couples choosing not to celebrate Valentine’s Day is why not? Most couples, both millennials and Gen Z, find the holiday cringey or too cheesy for their liking. "We never felt the need to celebrate Valentine’s Day because we always do these little things for each other - like plan a spontaneous surprise or something meaningful," says Divya*, a lifestyle publicist from Mumbai. "It’s not like we had this talk and decided to not celebrate Valentine’s Day, but we just never felt the need to."
It makes no difference...
Kinjal*, a PR associate from Mumbai, shares that a lack of Valentine's Day celebrations has zero effect on her relationship with her partner. "I don’t think it (Valentine's Day) impacts me and my partner, at all. We believe in doing things when they are genuine and honest. And our criteria for happiness and satisfaction does not revolve around a Valentine’s Day celebration."
We are still committed to each other...
For most couples, celebrating Valentine's Day is a way of honouring their love and commitment to each other, which helps strengthen their bond. So would not celebrating mean you're not committed to the relationship? Sasha*, a millennial woman from Mumbai, disagrees. "In my opinion, maintaining a strong connection depends on the amount of time you spend together, and the quality of your time together. We usually spend time doing corny stuff, and just like to make each other laugh, making sure the butterflies never go away!", she adds.
We don't feel the need to conform to society's expectations...
Now anything you do or don't do, in today's day and age, is always met with judgment *eye roll*. And the decision to celebrate, or in this case, not celebrate an "auspicious" day of love is definitely getting some judgy remarks. But that still isn't enough to force some couples to celebrate Valentine's Day.
Geeta* who is in an inter-religious, long-distance relationship, is no stranger to judgements and critical opinions. And for her, something as trivial as not celebrating Valentine's Day is hardly ever a concern, given how private she and her partner are about their relationship. "Maintaining the so-called societal boundaries is something we have left far behind," she says. "Being old-school, we choose to keep our relationship private. We stay indoors and spend time bellyaching and avoid publicising our relationship on social media, because of how vulnerable it is with all the judgements and unnecessary qualms."
Skipping out on V-Day celebrations does not mean couples miss out on love. In fact, these couples more than make up for it with more important milestone celebrations like birthdays and anniversaries (don't come at us with the "then celebrate your birthday/anniversary on any other day too!").
"Birthdays are an important celebration for us, as are other milestones," says Chitra*. "It could be a personal one like mastering a skill or a professional one like accomplishments at work, promotions, etc. We celebrate by gifting each other our favourite food item or we go out and celebrate with dinner or a mini-vacation."
For Ryan*, a senior associate from Mumbai, other occasions like anniversaries trump Valentine's Day celebrations. And both, he and his partner shower each other with love and heartfelt gestures. "Our anniversary is one day, which for me, is far more important than any day, including my birthday," he shares. "I remember gifting her a promise ring on our 4th anniversary, which took me almost two years to save up for. Who needs Valentine's Day when you've got moments like these to cherish?"
We don't need Valentine's Day to keep the romance alive...
At the end of the day, not all couples feel the need to go all out on Valentine's Day; some thrive in the everyday moments they share together. For these couples, opting out of Valentine's Day celebrations isn't a rejection of romance, nor do they look down on those who choose to celebrate Valentine's Day. They'd simply enjoy a celebration of their authentic connection that isn't conformed to one single day.