'I'm happily married and think celebrating Valentine's Day is cringe. Here's my 7 reasons why'

A recent article by relationship expert Dee Tozer suggested that couples who don't celebrate Valentines Day are more likely to be in an unhappy marriage.

As someone who has been married for 20 years, I'm sorry, but say what now?

According to Dee's data, of the 5000+ unhappy couples she has worked with, she says that 'almost 100 percent' did not celebrate, or even acknowledge Valentine's day. 

I think the key takeaway from the data is the term 'unhappy couples'. They were ALREADY unhappy and I doubt a lack of gifting on Valentine's day was the primary issue.

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Sarcasm aside; I understand what Dee is saying. 

Long-term relationships can be wonderful but they are also hard work and I totally relate after being with my husband Jules for 20 years. Sometimes relationships run their course and end - and that's okay too. 

But whether your current relationship is good or just okay, I disagree with expert Dee and believe that celebrating Valentine's Day is essentially irrelevant. 


And these are my seven reasons why:

1. I don't care for traditions.

The tradition of celebrating romantic love on Valentine's Day might date back to 5th century Roman times, but so does gladiatorial tiger fights. And child slavery. 

Just because something is traditional or old, sure doesn't make it right.

2. It's cringe.

I remember sending a homemade card to a primary school boy and signing off from a 'secret admirer' and that was cute. But I was nine. NINE. 

I may have even made Jules a card when we started dating. I think that turned into a shop-bought card for a few years, then somewhere along the way we both just kind of stopped. 

I'm certain you can get lovely jewellery and gifts for Valentine's Day in 2023, but the plethora of teddies holding hearts currently on sale at the local servo and supermarkets, kind of turn me off.

And what long-term couple really wants to dine out in a restaurant of teenage lovers pashing over some overpriced bruschetta? I mean, maybe for the laughs, but I think I'll take another night thanks.

3. It's expensive.

And what about the cost? 

I love a bunch of flowers as a gift, but buying roses on Valentine's Day is not a smart financial decision.

I like Miley Cyrus, prefer to buy myself flowers at the weekend markets when I see a bunch I like, not because of a random date in the diary.


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4. It's impersonal.

I might not write Valentine's Day cards anymore, but that doesn't mean I am saying 'no' to romance. Romance, kindness and remembering each other's special days is important. 

After 20 years of navigating married life, I prefer to give and receive a personal card on our birthdays or go out for a fancy meal to celebrate our anniversary. The dates are personal to us and we can chat about our own journey to that point in life while reminiscing about how damn young we were two decades ago without having to feel super old next to all those teenage lovebirds. 

It's also heaps cheaper.

5. It's once a year.

Why limit yourself to one night of the year when you can celebrate love or just enjoy chatting about work over schnitzel night at the local pub, much more frequently?! We love a regular date night to catch up without the kids, and it's not always about the dinners. 

We are currently opting for regular Thursday night bush walks, gym visits and okay, cocktails. Not every date is perfect and sometimes we give it a miss in favour of seeing friends, but this is one area of married life I believe in quantity over quality. 

6. It's too earnest.

Okay this is a stretch but for anyone in a long-term relationship, you will understand the importance of humour and having a good old belly laugh with your partner. 


Celebrating Valentine's day in 2023 as an over 40 couple just feels... weird. Too earnest maybe? 

It's all fine in your loved-up youth when you haven't been through the many absurdities of real life, but once you have lived a bit, Valentine's day seems redundant.


 7. It doesn't replace everyday acts of kindness.

Valentine's day with all the hearts and roses and flowers is all about the grand gestures. But what about the everyday acts of kindness and care that are less grand and more just, helpful? Roses are nice but when Jules brings me home a fresh barista coffee after his morning surf - that's a true gift.

Or taking it in turns to do bedtime? Or telling your partner to go out and have fun with mates? Or putting a load of washing away? Or rubbing your partners back after a s**t day? Running a bath for them? Listening to their work stories? 

These thoughtful everyday behaviours don't replace romantic or intimate time together, but small acts of kindness are surely more important for long-term happiness than that annual random teddy from the servo.

If you still love to love Valentine's Day then absolutely go for it, buy that teddy and snog your loved one over bruschetta. For everyone else who plans to spend the evening at home streaming something on Netflix with your family in your pjs; I see you. In fact, I am you.

Happy Valentine's Day! 

Laura Jackel is Mamamia's Family Writer. For links to her articles and to see photos of her outfits and kids, follow her on Instagram and TikTok.

Feature Image: Supplied.

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