A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Valentine’s Day: Reality vs. Expectations

Every year, Valentine’s Day is made up to be this incredibly romantic occasion. Whether they’re single, or in a relationship, people tend to wrap themselves up in this big fantasy. We imagine our own romantic moments that could come straight out of Hollywood.  But, every year, their is an inevitable sense of disappointment at the end of the day on February 14th. Let’s be real here, who could live up to those extreme expectations? But the reality doesn’t stop the dreamers, because every year, despite the annual disappointment, you tell yourself that this is the year. 

Girls especially tend to get all hyped up for Valentine’s Day. Most of us are hopeless romantics, and expect our love lives to fit those that we see in our favorite chick-flicks. We all want a love story akin to the likes of When Harry met Sally, and expect nothing short of a gesture as grand as Lloyd Dobler showing up at our doors hoisting a blaster over his head to play “In Your Eyes” just like he did for Diane Court in the 1989 classic Say Anything.

Typical Valentine’s Day Expectation: Dinner at a fancy restaurant, a super sweet Val-o-gram, some fine jewelry, chocolates, flowers, and maybe even the world’s most romantic first kiss.

Well, I hate to tell ya girls, but that isn’t how it goes in the real world.  Here’s the reality…

Pizza, maybe a movie, maybe some flowers. And hopefully more Val-o-grams than just the one that your best friend sent you, signed as “your secret admirer”.

For most guys, I imagine Valentine’s Day is a stressful occasion. I’m sure they strive only to please the ladies, but with the bar set so high, that is not easy to do.

I am not saying that Valentine’s Day sucks, or that the guys need to step up their game. My point is that maybe the expectations of Valentine’s Day need to be knocked down quite a few notches.

Sure all those romantic notions people have filled their heads with would be fantastic, but maybe hold off for a few years. We are in high school, and you probably aren’t going to get jewelry from Tiffany’s, or a trip to the Broadmoor.

Enjoy what you get, and if you lower the expectations, you won’t be setting yourself up for disappointment on this proclaimed day of love.