|It isn't about treating your sweetheart to a measly box of chocolates anymore, but rather a consumer driven holiday that encourage grandiose declarations of love.
With all the jewellery, lingerie, sweets, and other feminine-inspired gifts that flood the stores leading up to Valentine's Day, it's quite easy to make the assumption that this most romantic of holidays was created for women by women.
According to statistics, 73% of all flowers bought on Valentine's Day are purchased by men compared to the 27% purchased by women. Certainly there are men out there who love to be in love and enjoy nothing more than making their amorous feelings know to their significant other, but the question of whether other men feel that overjoyed when Valentine's Day rolls around remains unanswered.
For most guys, Valentine's Day is a stress-filled holiday that measures love by the kind of gift they buy. It isn't about treating your sweetheart to a measly box of chocolates anymore, but rather a consumer driven holiday that encourage grandiose declarations of love. Consider the fact that 10% of all proposals take place on Valentine's Day, it's a lot of pressure if you're a guy.
Here are a few male perspectives on Valentine's Day that may actually surprise you.
THE SINGLE GUY
Tyler Bernard, a single 22-year-old student from Calgary, thinks the entire holiday is overrated. For him it's simply a ploy by card companies and floral shops to get guys to spend all their money.
"I hate Valentine's Day," Bernard says. "If you happen to be dating someone then you're expected to go out and buy all this stuff for them, and then a few months later you end up breaking up. It's all really pointless. I don't get why girls go crazy over this holiday, but I do know most guys would be happier if it didn't even exist."
THE DATING GUY
Ben Palomo, a Vancouver-based financial planner, has been dating his girlfriend Mindy for the last three years. Not quite in a new relationship and not quite ready for the commitment of marriage, Ben admits that he feels an enormous amount of pressure every Valentine's Day.
"When we were first dating it was all fun and romantic," Palomo says. "We would buy each other cute little stuffed animals and things like that. Now that we've been together for three years I'm beginning to feel like people expect us to get married. And what better time to pop the question than on the most romantic holiday of the year?"
Though he admits he doesn't feel pressure from his girlfriend to propose, Palomo says that every Valentine's Day he feels like he has to outdo what he did on the previous one.
"My girlfriend is great and isn't ready to get married either, but I feel like there is nothing left for me to do on Valentine's Day except propose," he says. "I've bought her pretty much everything you can, a ring is like the ultimate Valentine's Day gift. It's tough trying to find a gift that can outshine a diamond ring."
THE MARRIED GUY
James Maki, a 36-year-old radio technician from Calgary, has been married for twelve years and is the father of three. James admits that Valentine's Day is a special day in his household, but is also one that he has mixed feelings about.
"Valentine's Day is a big deal for us, because it also happens to be my wife's birthday," Maki says. "So in addition to the pressure of buying her a romantic gift, I also have to buy a birthday gift too. It's a lot to manage for one day."
Though he isn't crazy about how commercialized the holiday has become, Maki admits that he is still a fan of Valentine's Day.
"When you've been married for a while the pressure to "wow" your wife goes away," Maki says. "Now she just tells me what she wants and I go out and buy it. It's a win-win for everyone involved. I'm a guy and I'm not that great at buying gifts. She knows that I love her and doesn't need a special day on the calendar to remind her of that. For us, Valentine's Day is about spending time together as a family and counting our blessings."