We can all agree that Valentine’s Day—a holiday meant to celebrate love—is pretty stressful, especially for singles. There suddenly becomes all this added pressure to find a date for those who may be otherwise be happy on any other given day. Craigslist is filled with personals of people searching for the perfect V-Day date, dating app usage spikes and people find themselves ringing in February 14 with someone they consider to be mediocre.
We did some heavy research and spoke with several experts to get a better understanding of why this pressure exists and the reason it plagues the holiday of love.
“The pressure to have a date for Valentine’s Day stems from a desire to feel like we have someone who deeply cares about us on a day dedicated to expressing love. We have cultural and social expectations to show and demonstrate that we love and are loved,” explained Jess Carbino, Ph.D., Tinder sociologist.
According to what claims to be “the nation’s largest, most comprehensive annual survey of single people living in the U.S.,” one in six singles are addicted to the hunt of looking for a date. Men are more likely to feel addicted to dating (a whopping 97 percent!), while women tend to feel more burned out by the whole thing (54 percent). Probably from all the pressure!
Alexandra Williamson, Bumble‘s VP of Brand Content, can attest to why ladies specifically feel this way when it comes to V-Day. She said that “there’s certainly an underlying pressure with the holiday, and we feel that women feel the pressure the most, because of the societal pressure that still exists to get married and have kids. We hate this antiquated pressure.”
Sounds like it’s not about the pressures of finding “the one” at all, but instead about our never-ending quest to impress others or ourselves. Our advice: Don’t give in. Valentine’s Day dates don’t always have to be romantic. Celebrate Valentine’s with your girls, or go in the complete opposite direction by throwing an anti-Valentine’s Day fiesta.
Everybody has plans? Practice a little self-care and treat yourself to a nice bath, your favorite meal or a Netflix binge-a-thon. Whatever you do, just do it for yourself.