The cost of love this Valentine’s Day

There are two types of unbearable people on Valentine’s Day: those who are single and those who aren’t.

For the former, the holiday serves as a reminder of what you don’t have. Each year, the singles of the world are mocked.

Valentine's Day treats. (Wikimedia Commons)

Valentine’s Day treats. (Wikimedia Commons)

But it may be even worse for the latter. Those flowery displays are a less-than-gentle reminder that you need to drop some cash if you want the other half to know how much they’re loved. It’s no surprise that, right after Christmas, Valentine’s Day is the most lucrative holiday for chocolatiers, jewellers, florists and greeting card companies.

But what about us poor students? According to BMO’s annual Valentine’s Day study, Canadians spend an average of $126 on Valentine’s gifts.

While this holiday has a long history, the day is named after St. Valentine, a Christian saint from around 500 AD whose only connection to romance was an obscure line in a poem written by Chaucer nearly 1,000 years later.

Now, it’s considered normal to spend money to prove one’s love every February. It’s a requirement of society that can be difficult for students who, on average, graduate with over $20,000 in debt, according to a BMO student debt survey.

The Ryerson Students’ Union offers students a cheaper alternative: candygrams. For $2, they will send candy to your friends and faculty in support of Do It For Daron, a Canadian organization that aims to improve youth mental health.

It’s up to you how much you spend — but remember, as the Beatles said: “Money can’t buy me love.”

This story also appeared in The Ryersonian, a weekly newspaper produced by the Ryerson School of Journalism, on Feb. 11, 2015.

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