DC resident Martin Beauford began a petition last week to change the date of Valentine’s Day from February 14 to August 14. The reason? As Beauford put it, “everyone is depressed during the winter already. There was definitely a time where they thought Valentine’s Day would cheer people up but that is no longer the case. If we need this holiday, it should at least be less detrimental to peoples’ mental health.”
Beauford began his petition on Facebook and other forms of social media. Since then, it has gained national and global attention. Over 390,000 have signed the petition. The problem is, people don’t know who has the power to change this culturally ingrained idea that Valentine’s Day falls on February 14.
“I was going to sign it,” said one local woman, “because the holiday’s dumb…but then I asked myself, ‘who are they sending the petition to?’ I couldn’t think of anyone so I didn’t sign it.”
Many therapists and other mental health professionals are on board with this idea. Valentine’s Day coincides with the peak of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), explained one psychologist in the area. “Being single on a day where everyone is expected to be in a relationship does not help,” concluded Dr. Gina Benson.