“Iwill just get him any shirt. I don’t care anymore.” I heard a lady say after walking through the store not finding the perfect Valentine’s Day present. Another said, “let’s see if he will get me anything this year”. And in that moment I thought to myself, “this is not what Valentine’s day should be about”. It should not be stressful and it definitely is not a relationship test.

What is the story behind St. Valentine and Valentine’s day?

There are a few stories describing the origin of this widely celebrated day. However, I will stick to one of the religious versions in this post. St. Valentine was a priest that served during third century Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he banned marriage for young men. Valentine was not in support of this and so he performed marriages secretly. Claudius found this out and ordered that Valentine be put to death.

The celebration which should be about love has become a marketing campaign. It is becoming as stressful as Christmas shopping. And with social media, it is more about what I can show to the world. A bouquet of flowers given in private is not valid. It has to be given in front of all your co-workers. And 10 roses do not count anymore. It has to be hundreds, so it can make it to the front of your instagram feed. An unnecessary competition causing lots of people to have high expectations while devaluing the love shown to them by loved ones.


This year, my husband and I have been quite busy with relocating and getting accustomed to our new jobs. We barely noticed that Valentine’s day was creeping closer. When we eventually did, we agreed to get nothing for each other. Care to know how that felt? Amazing!

In the last years, we have had very simple Valentine’s days. We write heartfelt letters or notes in cards and have dinner together. And if we do not get anything from eachother, it is not a determining factor for how we feel about each other. We can not undermine the last 364 or 365 days of love and care all because of this one day – February 14. More importantly, if we decide to get presents, we put a lot of thought into it. We do not buy random bits and pieces advertised in stores as “Valentine’s Day” presents; just because they are wrapped in red paper. If it will end up in the trash can, then it is way too expensive and unnecessary. An intimate dinner with a nice glass of wine and a lot of reflection on how grateful we are, will always be an awesome Valentine’s day.

Why I love being a minimalist on Valentine’s Day

There is no pressure to find the perfect present. I found in the past that the days leading to February 14th were often so stressful. In hind sight, the presents we cherished most were the simple, well thought out presents that required very little effort.

I can think of creative presents for him that he will truly enjoy; such as cooking a nice meal, a nice hand written card, or give him some extra attention.

It is so nice to know that I am not gathering stuff that I will not use. The guilt you feel when you have to get rid of a present you received from a loved one is one that we have all felt. You are certain that you will never use it but you do not want to hurt their feelings. As Marie Kondo says, ” does it spark joy?”

I save money. I can not tell you how much I have saved from being a minimalist. This allows me to spend more on intangible things and unforgettable experiences.

For me, Valentine’s Day is a nice excuse to spend more time with my partner and love him even more.

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