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February 14th, the day of chocolates, roses and heart-festooned greeting cards, is upon us once again.
If that sentence made you groan, you're not alone. Almost half of Americans describe Valentine's Day as "overrated," according to a 2017 survey. Still, another 43 percent called it "romantic," indicating some serious polarization surrounding this day celebrating love.
Valentine - Day - Lot - Love - Literature
Valentine's Day itself does not get a lot of love in the scientific literature, but a few scattered studies hint at why it inspires hate. See if any of the reasons to hate Valentine's Day ring true for you.
In marketing, there's a notion called "resistance theory." Basically, if people feel like they're being asked to comply with a prescribed, prepackaged behavior, they're unlikely to do so.
Valentine - Relationships - People - Percent - Men
Valentine's seemed to bum out those in new relationships and single people the most. Eight-one percent of men and 50 percent of women in brand-new partnerships reported feeling obligated to give gifts. Meanwhile, some singles became particularly incensed with the marketing surrounding Valentine's Day.
"I would like to extend a warm thanks to Hallmark, the official sponsor of Valentine's Day, for reminding me that without a significant other, how truly worthless my life is," one single participant wrote, as the researchers recorded in their study.
Valentine - Day - Holiday - People - Angst
Notably, Valentine's Day isn't the only holiday that fills people with angst over obligatory gift-giving. A 2013 Pew Research survey about Christmas found that the top things Americans dislike about Christmas all have to do with consumerism: A third (33 percent) hate the materialism; 22 percent hate the expense; and 10 percent loathe the crowded stores.
Regardless of relationship status, Valentine's Day may be particularly cringe-worthy for those who avoid intimacy. A 2014 study surveyed coupled-up individuals online about how Valentine's Day impacted their assessments of their own relationships. The researchers focused on a concept called "attachment," which is rooted...
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