Every Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day is celebrated around most of the world and flowers, candy, cards and kisses are exchanged between loved ones.
This day can be all about self-love, celebrating loving friendships or that special someone. Since beginning college, I’ve noticed in my group of friends and across campus that there are three archetypes of people on Valentine’s Day; there is the “committed-couple,” the “single and ready to mingle” and the “it’s complicated.”
While people may inhabit these archetypes outside of Valentine’s Day, it is on the holiday that these archetypes appear heightened. Whether through social media, gifs or even people experiencing these various situations themselves, most can say that they know someone who is either in one, two or even in all three of these categories.
The “committed couple” is the couple that is always together, seem to have everything together and are sickeningly in love. We can find gifs of this happy couple cuddling by a flickering fire, laughing together or holding hands.
The “single ready to mingle,” is the person who is always looking for the next person they can meet and to have a good time with. This person tends to want to find someone, but after strings and strings of people, still hasn’t found who they truly wanted.
The “it’s complicated” relationship, is typically used to describe when someone is talking to someone, but it is not clear whether this will develop into a romantic relationship or not, and so, it is termed “complicated.”
When I looked over these various archetypes, trying to place real world examples, I decided to look at my own friend group and use these ideas to see if these are true statements as to what it means to be the “committed couple,” the “single ready to mingle” or the “it’s complicated.”
When asked whether he fit into one of these archetypes, 20-year-old UNCG student, Cristian said, “Yes, I do. I’m spending my very first valentine with my significant other and I’m nervous for the most part, but I’m also very excited and we do fit into the committed couple category.”
“I often hear,” Cristian said, “from others that we seem like the old couple of the group,” he chuckled as he walked off to his next class.
Of the “it’s complicated” archetype, I asked 20-year-old UNCG sophomore, Amil, who spoke of his own experiences. “I do like him a lot at this point,” Amil said, discussing his current “it’s complicated” situation, “so I guess, in a way, that I’m excited to get to know what happens in the future.”
“We like each other a lot,” said Amil, “and we are exclusive to each other, but, just without the title, for us, it’s not complicated because we know what’s going on.” To Amil, the “it’s complicated” relationship doesn’t necessarily have to be complicated, if both people have a respect for the boundaries of their relationship and know what to expect when they are together.
Of the “single and ready to mingle” archetype, UNCG freshman, Casey, said that it is something that she fits. “I love being single,” she said. “It allows for me to meet all kinds of people and to enjoy being in college. I think that being single on Valentine’s Day allows me to see how I can value myself without needing someone.”
When examining the “committed couple,” “single and ready to mingle” and “it’s complicated” archetypes, I observe that while they are categories that most people somewhat fit into, this is certainly not cohesive or at all needed to have a fulfilling or enjoyable Valentine’s Day.