They’ve been everywhere you look, it seems like, the past month or so: advertisements and displays for candy, cards, and tangible tokens of affection. It’s Valentine’s Day, and the retailers want you to remember, reminding you at every turn.

But that’s exactly why skipping the holiday in favor of adopting a healthier outlook on love is exactly what every couple needs this February. After all, you should love one another every day, not just one specific – and very commercialized – day out of the year.

There are lots of good reasons why Valentine’s Day is a misleading occasion, but here are the big ones.

1. Wasted Money Means Wasted and Opportunities

While Valentine’s Day and its meaning is interpreted in many different ways, one thing that’s for certain is the fact that it can be expensive. Whether it’s the excessive price tags on love-themed gifts or dinner reservations at a fancy restaurant, there is a lot of emphasis on short-lived activities and items. By skipping Valentine’s Day, you can instead put this money to more fulfilling use as a couple. For example, PopSugar points out that for all the money saved by skipping Valentine’s Day gifts and grandiose gestures, a weekend away with your honey would be far more memorable, relaxing, and enhance emotional connection.

2. Who Really Wins on This Holiday?

The easy answer is corporations. Odyssey points out that ultimately it’s retailers that make out like bandits on Valentine’s Day, with a whopping $18.6 per year spent on merchandise and themed gifts for the holiday. The pressure you’re feeling to pony up money for gifts proportionate to the levels of love and commitment you feel for your partner is a manufactured stressor, and a damaging one at that. Yet, working out how to show love in a healthy and meaningful way can be a serious challenge for people who aren’t naturally inclined toward displays of affection. With the help of an Allen-based therapist, figuring out how to express love in a way that’s functional and communicative to your partner can come more easily.

3. The Revealing History of Valentine’s Day

The New York Times highlights how Valentine’s Day has an entire history that isn’t all about hearts and Cupid, possibly dating from the Roman Empire as a massive feast. In short, the day as we know it now has been expertly engineered to become an occasion rife with unhealthy expectations to perform acts of love with physical items and monetary value. The fact is that good, healthy relationships don’t require labels or stuffed teddy bears to be valid.

4. Communicating with Your Partner

Communicating with Your PartnerOn the other side of the coin, if you’re convinced by now that Valentine’s Day customs shouldn’t be followed religiously, it’s also important to check in with your partner. Making sure you’re on the same page is absolutely vital to keeping your emotional lines of communication open. It’s possible that your partner values Valentine’s Day for totally different reasons, or perhaps they hate it. What’s important is understanding where both of you are coming from, and approaching each other’s different points of view with an open heart. The real celebration that should be taking place is the day to day joy you find in the connection with your partner.

Valentine’s Day can be a time of pressure that not only stresses people out unnecessarily, but also can add extra strain if you’re already having issues with your partner. Remember, showing your love should be 24/7, 365 days a year. Absent that? Then trading in the dozen long-stemmed roses for an appointment with Allen family counseling is a much better investment, and can support authentic love and understanding between couples.