Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Celebrate your partner all year round

Kellyn Taylor

Opinion editors are not responsible for agreeing or disagreeing with their writers but rather elevate each individual’s specific voice.

It’s Valentine’s Day again and everyone is showering their partner with presents—whether that be a heartfelt picnic in a sunflower field, purchasing thousands of flower bouquets with an assortment of chocolates, or maybe even an engagement ring. 

Consequently, Americans continue to spend more and more money for Valentine’s Day in hopes of impressing their partner. Americans spent a projected $23.9 billion on Valentine’s Day, up 32 percent from last year’s Valentine’s spending. 

As of 2023, consumers were expected to spend $25.9 billion on Valentine’s Day, and judging by that inline, it is fair to assume that people will have spent even more money this past holiday. 

People want to make an effort to show their appreciation and gratitude for their significant other because it is an essential aspect of a relationship. Feeling appreciated is a reminder of why we cherish each other and remain committed to one another. People should be investing time in doing something special for their partner. 

However, Valentine’s Day should not be the only day in the year when people invest extra effort into their romantic relationships. On Feb. 14, some individuals are simply going through the motions of being a “good partner,” so it doesn’t feel like a natural expression of love. According to Melissa Kirsch, deputy editor of Culture and Lifestyle at The New York Times, it is almost methodical. 

“We engage in a more or less choreographed, calendar-delimited expression of romance and emotion,” she said. “Then it’s back to worldly cares and business as usual on February 15.”

I’m not saying that individuals need to do outlandish things to sustain a healthy relationship regularly. Simple acts of love such as handwritten letters or small anniversary celebrations still demonstrate that you love your partner all year round. 

“Whether it’s acknowledging small things or celebrating major milestones, showing your gratitude and appreciation makes you happy and helps others feel valued,” said John Hall, senior contributor to Forbes, in an article. 

While this issue could be slightly applicable to freshly new couples, they have likely just entered or exited the “honeymoon phase,” when couples are ridiculously enamored with one another and spend every breathing moment together. The issue of spending time with another isn’t the problem because they’re either already suffocating each other with love or realizing personal space and momentary time apart is healthy. 

However, with couples who have been committed to each other for multiple months or years, it is easy to fall back into routine habits of work and external responsibilities, losing the opportunity or priority to have that quality time with one another. 

Having a holiday dedicated to love is a great excuse to switch up your daily routine and do something ultra-romantic for a night. However, you could do that any night, not just on Valentine’s, as Kirsch explained. 

“A holiday reminds us to tell those we care about that we care explicitly, but a calendar alert that you set for a random Thursday in April would do just as well,” they said. 

Doing meaningful and thoughtful acts for your partner doesn’t necessarily mean it has to involve an abundance of money—or any at all. There are plenty of ways to show love without breaking the bank this Valentine’s Day. 

1. Recreate your first date 

After being with someone for a long time, couples often fall back into their routine of work and responsibilities and don’t spend quality time with their partner. Doing something as simple as recreating your first date can be meaningful because it’s the celebration of the beginning of your relationship. Respark the flame of your relationship!

2. Have a movie/TV marathon

Many people have subscriptions to streaming platforms, so an easy date idea can be to watch your favorite movies or catch up on the past episode of your current TV show. You could even buy your favorite ice cream or make some popcorn as a snack while watching. 

3. Go on a scenic walk

It can be difficult to find time to be outside. As humans, we are drawn to nature and have an intrinsic gravitational pull to the outdoors, so bring your partner on a walk, whether that be a nice hiking trail (find one via the app AllTrails) or just a walk in your local park. 

Love is powerful and while words hold weight, our behavior towards those we care about reflects the effort we are willing to invest in the relationship. As we navigate through relationships, there will be hardships, difficulties, and external responsibilities, but that should not restrict you from celebrating your partner year-round.

If you only show appreciation to your partner on Valentine’s Day and leave them high and dry 364 days of the year, do you really appreciate your partner at all?

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