Group of BYU students boycott Valentines, avoid ‘unnatural behavior’

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While much of BYU’s populace will be on romantic dates with their loved ones on Feb. 14, Josh Satterfield will be with a group of friends watching “Mean Girls” and eating Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

Satterfield, a history major from Santa Rosa, Calif., began protesting Valentine’s Day in 2010 with friends. Their “mope fest” has attracted up to 30 attendees in a single year. The party is somewhat of a joke, but Satterfield does have reasons to dislike Valentine’s day.

Photo Illustration by Chris Bunker

“The first reason is because it’s a vicious reminder that I’ve wasted tons of time, tons of money and invested a lot into dating and then have nothing to show for it,” Satterfield said. “The second reason is I think it fosters a false understanding of real love and romance.”

Valentine’s Day is generally seen as a celebration of love and relationships, but many students hate the day altogether. These individuals say the pressure, commercialization and relationship problems that result outweigh the positive effects of Valentine’s Day.

Ryceejo Nordstrom, a psychology major from Riverside, Calif., has endured a couple of heartbreaks around Valentine’s Day, but those experiences aren’t why she dislikes the holiday. She believes the day of love results in unnatural behavior.

“It was stressful because we felt obligated to do something special,” Nordstrom said of her relationship. “It actually created more stress on us.”

While Nordstrom admitted she would feel slighted if her boyfriend didn’t do something for Valentine’s Day, she said the day was fabricated for business purposes and doubts its validity.

“I don’t think Valentine’s Day is a real holiday,” she said.

Nordstrom is of the opinion this sort of special treatment should come more than one day a year. Brandon Hansen, a junior from Buena Park, Calif., in the psychology program,  agrees with this idea. He believes treating someone well on Valentine’s Day is actually less valuable to a relationship than on a normal day.

“You go do happy, big, spectacular things just because it’s Valentine’s Day, and it doesn’t really mean anything because it’s Valentine’s Day,” Hansen said. “If you did the same thing on another day for no reason other than to show your appreciation or love for the person, it would mean so much more.”

[pullquote]I think it fosters a false understanding of real love and romance[/pullquote]

BYU students aren’t the only group of people who dislike Valentine’s Day. Hillary DiBiasio, from Sebastian, Fla., dislikes the holiday as well. Many who oppose the holiday point to the commercialized atmosphere that surrounds it. This is of no concern to DiBiasio; she said every holiday in America is commercialized.

While some are just bitter about not having a date for the day, DiBiasio could have more concrete reasons to hate the holiday, as her husband broke up with her on their first Valentine’s Day together before their marriage. They still ended up married, and now she looks back and laughs at the experience, but worries about the unbalanced expectations the holiday brings.

“If you’re going to spend a whole day devoting it to your loved one, then it should go both ways,” she said. “It shouldn’t be a day about how men love women … it’s sharing love.”

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