From a man’s perspective, as far back as can be remembered, Valentine’s Day has been about women and a woman’s holiday. Essentially, this is still the case. However, women also seem to purchase a number of gifts for themselves, pets, friends, family and kids.
Research findings from Assistant Professor Angeline Close at the University of Texas – Austin render that men’s expectations of Valentine’s Day change while women’s stay the same. Close states,
“Women typically establish these behaviors during childhood, when traditions of card, candy and exchange of affection are often gender-neutral and egalitarian… Boys and girls both celebrate the holiday and expect to receive recognition from their peers. Perceived roles from the boyhood egalitarian Valentine exchange typically change for men, while they usually remain for women.”
It makes sense why Valentine’s Day would continue to remain so important to many women. Likewise, it can tend to remain puzzling to some men, wondering what’s so important about this one day out of the year. However, on the contrary, there are also women who are totally against the holiday.
In the same research by Close, she states:
“Respondents who resisted some aspects of Valentine’s Day reported feeling excluded, resisting the commercialization of romance, not wanting gifts to overshadow the holiday’s meaning and feeling obligated to celebrate.”
“Women who did not celebrate were usually overt about their decisions, sharing resistance attitudes and hosting anti-Valentine’s Day events. In addition, their primary motivations for resisting Valentine’s Day were not financial.”
Valentine’s Day is just another one of those awkward “I’ve gotta avoid my unofficial boo the entire week” holidays.
— TGEEZIE♥. (@TheTyraG) January 4, 2015
Separate research from Georgetown University suggests that those who are single dislike Valentine’s Day, simply because they’re single.
“Men in any type of relationship like the romance of Valentine’s Day, the study shows. But those not in relationships, men or women, dislike the romance of the day.”
“We think this is because those who are not in relationships either don’t see the point or they are jealous of those in relationships… It is basically sour grapes applied to Valentine’s Day. If you can’t partake in the romance of the day then you don’t want the romance of the day.”
This research was conducted by the Georgetown Institute for Consumer Research by the institute’s director and lead study author, Kurt Carlson.
However, as aforementioned, Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be the only time companions celebrate romance in their relationships. What about the importance of the other 364 days of the year? What if you only received sex but once a year? Carlson, in the same study, suggests,
“Men see Valentine’s Day as the main day they engage in romance… Women believe in romance year round, and maybe don’t feel the need for an extra day of it when times are tough. They might just simply prefer a new juicer to replace the old one.”
By both research methods, it can be seen that Valentine’s Day is important to both genders. Yet, more essentially, its meaning should be the resonating topic of the day. It’s not about the gift’s cost but is about the quality and thoughtfulness of the gift, which should be given and done year-round.
What do you think? If you celebrate the day, do you want this Valentine’s Day to be materialistic? Don’t be shy. Feel free to voice your opinion.
[Feature Image via Getty Images]