Why Valentine’s Day Is Like a Utah Prom

Be Sure to Pin This Idea!

Background for analogy’s sake: 
I grew up in Utah, and we had 8 date dances a school year there- it was definitely the culture! I went to a total of 19 date dances before I graduated from high school- I was lucky! It was a no pressure thing, you just went and asked friends and had a great time! They were cheap, they were good clean fun, and it was what pretty much everyone did. That is, every dance was like except Prom.

For some reason the fact that tickets were $40 instead of $20 and there were twice as many decorations in the gym equated a lot of extra pressure in who you went with. My first prom I went with someone I thought I was just a good friend with. I felt terrible a few days later when I found out I’d hurt his feelings not reciprocating love. My junior year I went with someone who was in love with my best friend and had asked her, after she’d been asked by her crush. I was asked immediately, and the pressure to help him feel better was just awful and awkward. I also felt terrible that my hair didn’t work, I was red from a sunburn, and a myriad of other details didn’t work. My senior year was with a great friend who I thought was cute, it was actually great, but my hair also had a crisis, my dress was barely done in time, the pressure still impeded the fun that I should have had. I look back at prom and high school and always feel bad that it couldn’t have been more fun and less pressure like the other dances.

(And in case you wondered what I looked like at my 16-year-old prom while blinking, wonder no more!) 

Fast forward to this week: 

(today, heart sweater and all)

Confession, there was a breakdown in the Whiting household last night. And with Jacob as the steady, sweet, patient one you can probably guess who it was.

We had made plans for Valentine’s Day about a month ago, thought they were set in stone, and thought nothing of it. Then, Monday we found out our activity was overbooked, and we were the last ones to sign up, so we were going to be bumped. We decided we’d come up with something else, not a problem and had a great attitude!

Monday night I worked pretty late, that’s the joy of Internet marketing, sometimes sites go down and you have to dig in to help clients to get everything up and running again. My time to prep for Valentine’s Day presents and make plans was hijacked for sure.
Tuesday we were booked with helping a friend and church activities. We got home late, we went to bed shortly after.

And then last night came. Jacob is in our clergy’s leadership and I don’t see much of him on Wednesdays. I also had the meal plan shift and we didn’t have food for dinner, which is something that actually always makes me feel out of control in life as funny as that sounds. Food=life is okay, no food= chaos! On top of this I realized we were one day from Valentine’s and I really didn’t have anything together! When Jacob called me on my way home I felt overwhelmed not accomplishing all I wanted to at work and overwhelmed with the idea that the person I love most in this world wasn’t going to have a clue about it on Valentine’s Day! I felt like the world’s worst wife with no clue what to do for a date on Valentine’s, and nothing to give the love of my life!

I teared up and said, “We even blog about the things we do- we help others with ideas and the well is dry and I don’t have anything! Going out to dinner is always crowded and not fun, and everything else is too expensive! No present, no plan, not even food to cook at home to avoid the crowds!” Jacob, the sweetheart that he is just smiled and said, “I’m actually glad to hear you say that. I have nothing as well. We haven’t had time to pay attention to this, and at least we both know we’re going to be total let downs tomorrow!” And it broke the ice, and we both started laughing.

When did Valentine’s Day get so out of control? When did Valentine’s become my high school prom in Utah all over again? When did it become a day that you have to spend exorbitant amounts of money and have the most grandiose plans in the world to communicate you love someone? We talked about this last night and ended up saying, “I just want to hang out with you.”

So I asked Jacob if he’d go on the world’s lamest Valentine’s Date with me and asked how he felt about some greasy nowhere-to-sit completely unromantic cheap place and maybe watching TV after. He laughed. We both laughed. And then we decided that we were just going to enjoy being together. We came up with another plan, but not exactly something deemed “romantic” or anything you’d think to do on Valentine’s. We’ll be with a crowd, we’re eating cheap food, probably at Taco Bell, and we’re going to enjoy the fact that we have each other, we love each other, and we celebrate our relationship and marriage.

And do you know what, I couldn’t be happier! I hope I’m getting a few “AMENS” with this post. I hope others came to this realization long before I did. Valentine’s isn’t about how extreme or perfect you can go- it’s about the simple fact that there is love in the world, and that’s a pretty great thing all by itself.

May there be many romantic moments for many people at Taco Bell this day.

Get 365 Date Ideas!

We want to help you have the best date nights ever! Grab this FREE printable with 365 date ideas, a date for every day of the year so you never run out of ideas!

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Becca Lund says:

    AMEN! After stressing toooooo much about making v.day a big deal – my hubby and I decided several years ago to have it be a no-fuss day. So many times it ends up being an obligation, and you feel like a failure, or that you must not love your significant other enough, if you don't live up to these secret expectations! I make it a point to surprise my husbie with a gift on some random day throughout the year to tell him that I love him instead of the obligatory v-day 'romance'.

    The exception? KIDS! I have LOVED valentine's day this year, because it has been so fun to shower my son with love, to help him take valentine's to his friends, and to make him feel special.

  2. We are cuddling in pjs and watching a movie. Maybe we will be eating red velvet pancakes if I get around to making them. Just spending time together is all Adam and I need – always has, always will.

  3. AMEN! This sounds like a dream! My first married valentine's day we got a cheap $5 pizza for dinner and watched tv all night, it was awesome.

  4. Just this morning I thought to myself, “I wonder what Camille looked like at her 16-year-old prom while blinking?” So I'm really glad you cleared that up.

  5. I'm sure it's fun to smother kids- I can't wait for that!

    Agreed though, your amount of love is tied up in how much you spend or what you do to some people- never a good thing! You're a wise soul 🙂

  6. Love the red velvet pancake plan! It's amazing how great simplicity is when you have a good relationship!

  7. So great- a heart shaped pizza- brilliant idea!

  8. Hahaha! I'm so glad you can rest in peace with that thought now!

  9. Seriously. My friend Jana wrote this on her blog yesterday, “It seems like some people judge the quantity/quality of love in a relationship based on the tokens of a single day. Kids don't do that. Kids eat candy and give everyone a nice note and just generally walk around being happy.” I loved that so much. Especially that last part. We could all stand to be a little more like kids!

    And p.s. I could probably literally eat Taco Bell every day and be happy. Tim…maybe not so much 🙂

  10. Augusta Woods says:

    My husband and I spent $21 dollars on Valentine's Day this year. We had to change plans as well after driving 30 minutes to our date (and in a hurry since my husband has to work tonight). So after realizing Plan A wasn't going to work we went to the mall arcade and played games. We had the whole place to ourselves and it was nice to be silly together. Then we headed to Qudoba and kissed for our buy one get one free entree. We hit up the bookstore for a while before heading to a new FroYo place in our town. It was so simple but it was one of the best days I've ever had with my hubby.

  11. Jack had actually planned this fun murder mystery dinner date with some friends of ours…but he hadto go out of town lastminute! So we gave someone else the tickets and I spent the day just loving my kiddos and chatting with him on the phone in Florida. Even thOugh we couldn't be together at all this year it was still a fun day to think about those I love. And like the one reader said, it its so fun with kids. I think my favorite part of the day was when I popped popcorn with my older kids and drank some rasberry gingerale before bed and just chatted and laughed together. If Jack and I had been a date we would have missed that, so maybe this was eye opening to a more laid back V day for me a well..its kinda nice that way!

  12. This is my favourite Valentine's Day post I have read this week! We decided this year to start skipping Valentine's Day because of all the pressure surrounding it, and I'm happier for it :-)A relaxed night home was just perfect.

  13. Amberlin Gefrom says:

    Amen! Rolf and I went and got pizza and then watched Ridiculouness on t.v., it was awesome!

  14. I love that quote! We really should be more child-like shouldn't we?

  15. What a wonderful day, date, and experience! I love the cheap dates, they are always the memorable ones!

  16. Bummer you missed out on Jack, but it's so great the joy kids bring to the holiday!
    I am loving laid back more and more, it's the little things in life for sure!

  17. I'm so glad it worked out so well for you!

  18. We ordered pizza too, absolutely perfect 🙂

  19. jacquiegirl says:

    This is great! I think it's definitely important to not place so much value on how we observe that day, but rather on how much we care about each other and just focus on spending time together! I was feeling super yucky and sick the week of Vday this year and did NOT feel like putting on acceptable clothing for going out in public. Luckily, my husband (who is also Jacob!! Let's be best friends) was aware that I wasn't feeling well that week and opted to not make “fancy reservations” like he had before been [kind of] planning. I was SO relieved, actually. Haha. We got crappy, greasy tacos from the Jack in the Box drive-thru (remember the part about not wanting to dress for a public appearance?)and watched the movie “Valentine's Day” (cliche?). Haha. It was very enjoyable, actually. I loved just sitting there and cuddling and kissing each others greasy taco lips. Thanks for the reassurance that being so low-key is just a-okay! And also Jacobs make really great husbands, can we agree?