Four years ago I was in a relationship on Valentine's Day.

Like every robotic couple on Feb. 14, my then-boyfriend of two years and I planned a wonderful night out. I bought balloons and made him a stuffed wrestler monkey. He got me the usual chocolate covered strawberries, dinner and a movie.

It was going to be so much better than every other couple doing the exact same thing that night.

Except it wasn't.

The evening started with an argument. I can't remember what it was about now. Probably something insignificant. Once that was over we waited much longer than anyone should at Outback Steakhouse, my favorite restaurant at the time. When we got our food I thought the night would turn around for the better. I was wrong.

It was right around the moment I had the thought St. Valentine may have been on to something all those years ago that my stomach started to turn. My over-priced bloomin' onion and steak had given me food poisoning. The rest of my evening was spent sitting in front of my boyfriend's toilet.

All of this because we simply cannot ignore Valentine's Day. Any other night we would have been on a date somewhere less expensive or maybe hanging out playing board games in the living room floor. But no, just like the rest of the world, I had fallen victim to the ridiculous holiday of commercialism.

According to a CNN article, $18.6 billion will be spent by Feb. 14 and the average person will spend $130.97 on that day. Sixty-four percent of men will buy flowers and 6 million people are planning a marriage proposal.

That is the problem with Valentine's Day. There is no personal feel to it. Being part of 64 percent of women who receive roses is not romantic. Being proposed to on a day that 6 million other women are proposed to does not sound pleasant.

There are couples that truly deserve a day to celebrate their love. But these are also the couples that understand a relationship isn't just celebrated one day of the year. These are the couples that get just as excited for a simple lunch when they can find time. These are the couples that get more excited on their anniversary, a day made specifically by them and for them.

For those of you like my roommate who didn't hesitate to say, "You only feel this way because you're single," you are sadly mistaken. Knowing that most of the world will be on a date while I paint, or maybe third-wheel it, does not make me envious. Seeing a couple spend time together for no reason at all, yes, that makes me envious.

But that's how it should be. Love shouldn't appear out of nowhere to prove a point. It shouldn't require a $130.97 date. It should be a constant celebration with Valentine's Day as a small reminder.

Cortney Roark is a junior in journalism and electronic media. She can be reached at