Is Celebrating Valentine's Day Overrated?

Life & Love | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 02/04/2014 | 02:30 PM EST

The holiday designated for romance is popular at best, but is it being celebrated for the right reasons?

Though Valentine's Day isn't an important holiday to single Americans, to the millions of others (and around the world) in a relationship or marriage, the romantic day is just as meaningful as Christmas, or even one's birthday.

But while many are spending hundreds and even thousands of dollars on gifts ranging from modest to extravagant, there are some critics who say Valentine's Day has no true value other than just another way for people to spend money unnecessarily and trivially find validation in their relationship through the receiving of a gift, a card and box of chocolate.

All considered, is the holiday a little overrated?

While the concept of Valentine's Day, which was originally a religious holiday before becoming more of a pagan celebration around worldwide, is a harmless and romantic gesture of showing one's love to their partner, very few people seem to celebrate it out of genuine excitement but rather out of pure obligation.

Women expect a new diamond necklace, while men scramble to book reservations at a restaurant that will likely be more crowded than a soup kitchen. In many ways Valentine's Day is nothing more than a way to say, "look everyone I'm loved by someone," or more philosophically, a way to prove something. Though it's only one day, many will over-exert their efforts - and their bank accounts - just to say they were able to celebrate Valentine's Day with someone special.

But who is truly benefiting from this whole charades of flowers and candy hearts? Mostly businesses.

Like most holidays, Valentine's Day is just another holiday capitalized to boost the economy. So while restaurants and commercial businesses see sales growth for the month, what are people in relationships truly gaining from the holiday?

Some would argue that if you're really doing your job in your relationship, there's no need to celebrate Valentine's Day. For some relationships, the romance leaves just as quickly as Feb. 14 comes along - suggesting that if you need a holiday to be romantic, only to go right back to a romantic-less relationship the next day, then maybe you need to reevaluate where you stand.

This is not to say that there's something inherently wrong with celebrating Valentine's Day; just that those who don't, don't need to feel guilty if they so happen to skip the festivities. But much like Thanksgiving Day, Valentine's Day is more of a symbolic holiday geared toward showing your gratitude and appreciation. Show your lover how much they mean to you, but don't get all worked up if it happens to not look like it does in the movies.

Sometimes a simple day of quality time and a "I love you" is all you need. All the extra stuff is just overdoing it.

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