Has Valentine’s Day Become More About “Capitalism” Than About Love?


Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a day where you get to share precious time with your significant other and perform little gestures to show much you appreciate them. Whether it’s buying flowers or chocolate for your girlfriend or just eating out at a romantic spot in town, it’s supposed to be day to show love.

Unfortunately, it looks like Valentine’s Day has been taken over by capitalism.

I’m not saying that businesses and services shouldn’t give out special promos to entice Valentine’s Day couples but nowadays it’s a bit overwhelming with the amount of promos and ads that are pressuring people to spend on their loved ones.

Fun fact: Spending on Valentine’s Day in the US is estimated to have exceeded $20 billion USD in 2019. The average American consumer spent approximately $162 on Valentine’s Day. That is about two full days of minimum wage work.

That’s crazy! And they say love don’t cost a thing 😏 (It does J.Lo! It does!)

On Twitter and Instagram, there’s a lot of ads and promotions for couples which encourage couples to spend on hotels, getaway trips, food etc. Heck, there are now even promotions targeted towards your lonely people (umm..we mean single people).

We’re not saying you shouldn’t spend time with your significant other on Val’s Day but relax with all these ads and promos in my face. Whatever happened to just spending quiet time alone and not pestered about buying chocolate, buying a hotel room in Aburi, going on trip blah blah… But that’s the effect of social media these days.

Do you even know the history of Valentine’s Day? It actually started as a pagan festival called Lupercalia. It was a Roman festival which took place in Mid-February to celebrate the coming of spring. Incidentally, the festival was all about ritual sacrifices to make women fertile 😳

Of course, the Lupercalia festival was replaced with St. Valentine’s Day to honour Saint Valentine, a priest who was martyred for marrying couples despite Emperor Claudius II’s orders (who banned all marriages and engagements in Rome)

Anyway, enough of the history lesson.

Corporations and marketing teams have taken over Valentine’s Day with all their ads and promos, pressuring you to spend money you don’t have just to profess love to your significant other about how much you love them.

Marketing teams are currently in high gear and they’re currently hard on work to persuade you to spend this Valentine’s day. (And most of you are going to fall for it)

Anyway, all I’m saying is that there’s nothing wrong with celebrating Valentine’s Day. You can go ahead and buy roses or take out your significant other to a nice dinner. Just don’t be pressured into spending so much on the love of your life on one day just because you saw an Instagram ad saying it’s 50% off to stay one night at the Marriott Hotel in Accra.

There’s a lot of people out there saying they don’t “celebrate” Valentine’s Day. It may not be that they don’t “celebrate” but more like they don’t like the pressure of spending money just because everyone is telling them that they have to.

At this point, it might be financial beneficially to just be single.

So go and celebrate love on February 14th. But don’t be pressured to spend half your account just because you think you should. There’s nothing wrong with small romantic gestures.

Joseph-Albert Kuuire
Joseph-Albert Kuuire is the founder and editor at large of Labari Media.

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