The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

Opinion: Lovesick

As Valentine’s Day is here, it is important to reassess our perspective of love and the factors which influence it.


Kat Klinefelter

It is February 14, the day of love. We will see romance everywhere from shelves to screen. But what does love really mean to you?

Ava DiGiacomo, Staff Writer

Valentine’s Day, named after the Catholic patron saint of love, is a commercialized holiday that paints love, romance, and intimacy in a beautiful, shining light. Whether in gift shops, grocery stores, or small drug stores, love is in not only in the air–it is also on the shelves.

However, love is not everything we are taught to believe. There is much more difficulty and pain that comes with the heart-shaped boxes of chocolates and roses.

Major corporations, the entertainment industry, and society in general have pushed an ideology of obligatory romantic relationships and what those relationships should look like. Not only that, but these players have capitalized on this harmful rhetoric, bringing in billions of dollars through upholding the image of “love.”

Capitalizing on love is a dangerous game to play. While it might seem like a harmless business, the over-romanticization of love and human relationships is something companies and media have been indulging in for years, and the effects it has on people, especially impressionable kids and teens, are painfully represented in real-life relationships.

The romanticization of love and high school relationships is something kids are exposed to from the beginning of their lives. Whether it be in Disney movies with a beautiful princess and a dashing prince, or the classic “boy meets girl” trope that is portrayed in countless high school-centered movies, we are shown what we are meant to believe an ideal relationship looks like.

“There is a significant relationship between perceived realism of the media and beliefs about romantic relationships.””

study done by Nandini Jagadeesan and Jemmy Suthandiradas concluded that viewers are drawn to on-screen romance due to the hope that it brings that, despite any obstacles, a relationship will work out.

The study also found that there is a significant relationship between the perceived realism of the media and beliefs about romantic relationships.

Not only do these films include unrealistic happy endings, but the normalization of toxic behavior is practically a business in itself, leading to traits such as a need for controlling, possessiveness, and manipulation are often viewed as desirable or acceptable in a relationship.

The media’s distortion of these things puts pressure on students to enter the dating world armed with unrealistic standards and an unclear understanding of red flags and the potential dangers behind them.

Psychologist Wind Goodfriend took a closer look at an undeniably popular example.  In the vampire movie series Twilight, Edward Cullen displays the classic traits of an abuser.

“Unfortunately, the course and characteristics of Bella’s relationship with Edward are actually templates for violence and abuse, and Twilight fans may unwittingly model a relationship that is far from healthy,” Goodfriend argues.

Edward’s abuse of power is thus reframed as protectiveness and shows those negative traits we should look for in a relationship.  Twilight has also gained widespread exposure, being marveled at by kids and teenagers for years while bringing in an astounding $3.3 billion.

While it is just a movie series, the victims of this relationship propaganda are real kids that will one day be entering relationships of their own. Who is to say that these harmful tropes are not going to lead some of the film’s viewers into a trap of domestic violence?

In the same study by Nandini Jagadeesan and Jemmy Suthandiradas, it was found that people tend to idealize and exaggerate the trivial positives of a partner, blindly ignoring major flaws. With these traits being described as normal and desirable, it would only be easier to turn a cheek toward them.

This is not to say that happy and healthy relationships do not exist; however, as individuals, our goal should be to enrich our lives and surround ourselves with healthy, fulfilling people whether that be in a romantic sense or simply friends and family.

Valentine’s Day is a lonely holiday for many people. As love appears to be all around, it is easy to yearn to have that intimate connection. However, to avoid falling into patterns of accepting toxic love and viewing intimate relationships through rose-tinted glasses, it is necessary to focus on other close relationships in our lives, along with developing a strong self-identity in order to discover our own wants and needs in a relationship.


Editors’ note: All opinions expressed on The Uproar are a reflection solely of the beliefs of the bylined author and not the journalism program at NASH.  We continue to welcome school-appropriate comments and guest articles.

Leave a Comment
About the Writer
Photo of Ava DiGiacomo
Ava DiGiacomo, Staff Writer

A junior at NASH, Ava DiGiacomo is looking forward to being a staff writer for the The Uproar. Along with writing, she enjoys learning about politics, listening to music, and exploring the arts.

Navigate Left
  • 2023 Senior Prom Early Bird Tickets


    2023 Senior Prom Early Bird Tickets

  • Vinyl is super in right now, and many people have a collection that can cost up to hundreds of dollars.


    Vinyl Records Are Where It’s At

  • Overheard in the Halls / Q3


    Overheard in the Halls / Q3

  • Hows Your Pittsburghese?


    How’s Your Pittsburghese?

  • (Deutsch)Land of Opportunity


    (Deutsch)Land of Opportunity

  • Senior Spencer Barnett pitches in a showdown against Shaler last year.


    The Pressure Is On

  • This moving graphic novel tells a tragic story of American history.


    Finding the Angel in the Enemy

  • On Aux


    On Aux

  • Whos Most Likely To?


    Who’s Most Likely To?

  • The Sweet Spot


    The Sweet Spot

Navigate Right

Comments (0)

All The Uproar Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

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