The Insinuating Effect of Valentine’s Day: Impact on Relationships

 Feb. 14 is a day that couples anticipate with excitement and joy… Or is it?

Valentine’s Day – a time to celebrate love in all of its forms. The holiday mainly serves as a time of the year to exhibit appreciation for that special someone or as a chance to take a relationship to the next level. Yet, might Valentine’s Day, despite its primary marketing as a day to enhance romantic relationships, ironically initiate their collapse and end up in a disastrous departure?

As much as holidays can be stressful, people’s relationships might have endured through the bitter winter holidays of Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Years, you name it. Given this fact, they assume that Valentine’s Day will be a cinch. Surprisingly, in a 2004 study conducted at Arizona State University, week before and after February 14th was the ultimate period when higher-than-normal rates of dating breakups occurred in the week compared to other times of the year. To add on to the awe factor, during this two-week term, relationships were over 2.5 times more likely to end. Indeed, the Valentine’s Day itself certainly doesn’t directly lead to breakups. But it is definitely a fact that there is certainly something going on around this much-anticipated amorous anniversary.


So what exactly is it about this day that makes couples that are tearing apart more inclined to call it quits after Feb. 14?

Let’s face it: women tend to have the big bloated dream of a perfect Valentine’s Day that will unfold like a corny jewelry commercial, decked out with an emotional gift opening, a big, affectionate embrace and a tender lip lock to complete. So when that doesn’t occur in their hoped schedule of the day, they ponder upon the reality if they’re is a problem within their relationships. Moreover, a “wrecked” Valentine’s Day can bring up other relationship anxieties or unpleasant memories to the surface, causing further trouble.


The researchers of the study explored and came up with two possible causes that may justify the annual Valentine’s Day breakup boost. One reason is that Valentine’s Day causes variety of comparisons that could be damaging to one’s relationship, or so they call it as “instigator hypothesis”. For example, the significant other may not live up to the sky-high social expectations associated with Valentine’s Day because there was nothing special planned for the holiday, no dramatic gift exchange, no reservation at a fancy Italian restaurant, and many more. Such failures to satisfy the partner could definitely be seen as a dangerous impetus, potentially leading to a rocky relationship. The other cause is called “catalyst hypothesis”, when prevailed problems are worsened after Valentine’s Day, serving as a minor push that eventually result in a breakup. Therefore, the extra pressure of Valentine’s Day seems to attribute to already moderately strong and weak relationships on a downward trajectory, leading to increase in breakups as a result. Meaning, these relationships were particularly likely to falter during the Valentine’s Day period by the exacerbation of existing issues.

Despite the research, the outcomes of the 2004 study did not justify the “instigator hypothesis.” Rather, the results showed that couples that were already on a relational rug resurface were the ones more likely to break up around Valentine’s Day, demonstrating the direct example of the “catalyst hypothesis”. Due to this conclusion, it just all comes down to the fact that everyone desires to feel loved and be treated as somebody special, so on days like Valentine’s Day, they want to feel showered with affection like how the society appoints. For those couples experiencing a rough point of their relationship, Valentine’s Day may serve solely as a little side reminder that something is off within their bond. Then follows up the inner restlessness, the barrage of angry conversations and then the parting of ways, so called a breakup. After all, a box of chocolates can’t erase that pain.


– Ashley Kim (’18)

How to #YOLO Valentine’s Day 2k15

After all, isn’t that what Valentine’s Day is all about?

Illustration by Irene Jung (’16)

February 14, Valentine’s Day! The one day when boys and girls finally release their built up courage to express their love towards one another. The one day when chocolates are boldly given away to loved ones. The one day when new couples form and old couples rekindle their waning passions.

Or at least, it should be.

Valentine’s Day in KIS is sadly treated almost as any other day. The majority ignores the existence of such a day. Why is this? Students are so burdened with stress that the romance and excitement of the day are usually hidden under the daily struggles of homework, tests, and projects. KIS could use a change in the way we perceive Valentine’s Day. Conveying love and gratitude from one person to another should be a simple and natural course of action. With the help of KISRAK’s loving spirit, this year’s Valentine’s Day will hopefully consist of more spirit and enthusiasm. Let us not see the day as daunting or useless, but rather as an opportunity to brighten up someone’s day. 

Be brave, and be loving!

Here are some steps to a great Valentine’s Day!

1. Prepare homemade chocolates!

Nothing says “I love you” more than personally created works of delicious art! Rather than store-bought chocolates, homemade chocolates are preferred as a gift. It shows that you put in effort and love into each chocolate.

2. Dress for the occasion!

The way a person dresses can predispose the attitude for the day. Wear sweatpants, and you’ll feel comfortable and at home. Wear jeans, and you’ll be ready for a casual day. Wear a skirt or a nice collared shirt, and you’ll be ready to flirt and have a good day.

3. Smile!

Feeling nervous before the big moment? Smile, and you’ll feel more relaxed! You will also seem more approachable and sincere.

4. Have courage!

Finally, pluck up your courage and ask away! You have nothing to lose, right? Expressing your feelings is what high school is all about! #YOLO

Good luck everyone!

– Sarah Chin (’16)

Header: Irene Jung (’16)

Where is the Love?: An Article About Affection

Where is the love? Where is the affection? How do we find it? Is it even in KIS? Help us find out.

Is it truly Valentine’s week at KIS? Is it truly KISRAK week? It’s hard to believe so when – too often – the sight of sleep-deprived, brain-dead students milling around the campus is omnipresent during such a (supposedly) delightful holiday week. Too often the thought of affection is obscured by our other worries. How do we show our affection? How do we show our friends that we truly do care about them more than our APs and GPA? And more importantly, do we show it enough?

According to the wise words of Joonyon Park (’15),

“I simply believe the amount of time committed towards a person equates to the level of affection given. The more time you spend thinking, giving, and sharing with them, the more love there is between you and them. You start caring, together.”

Evernote Camera Roll 20150211 171703

‘Affection’ depends on the person. We all have our different ways of showing affection, ranging from sentimental to tear-jerking to quirky. Here are what some of the most affectionate people of KIS had to say about their charming and warm-hearted ways of showing affection:

Evernote Camera Roll 20150211 171657

“When I’m expressing care and love for my friends I hug them very often and literally tell them I love them on a daily basis. They tell me that I’m really annoying when I do that but I know they return the affection deep inside… at least I hope so.” – Sara Kim (’18)

Evernote Camera Roll 20150211 171707 Evernote Camera Roll 20150211 171710

“I do things before they ask because I’d already have known exactly what they need/want. I’d carefully choose my words when talking to them to not hurt them in anyway. I’d look them in the eyes just to assure them that I am fully drawn into what they have to say.


– Olivia Kim (’16)

Evernote Camera Roll 20150211 171652

“To me it all starts with language. How do you show affection though language? How do you express your true feelings to someone, show your appreciation, show your love?

Small notes left behind, quick text messages sent, welcoming words at the door when the person you love arrives home.

Truly looking into a person’s eyes and telling them how much they mean to you, how much your life would be incomplete without them. How much happiness they bring to each day. How you can’t wait to have dinner together during breakfast, how you’re excited about the next trip together, how you love listening to their stories.

Then you hug, or kiss, or smell their hair. That’s affection.”

– Mr. van Moppes


Even the little things count…

Evernote Camera Roll 20150211 171718 Evernote Camera Roll 20150211 171715

“I try to talk more with them… and if I really care about someone I will listen more carefully to their worries and problems.”

– Austin Kim (’16)

Evernote Camera Roll 20150211 171712

“I’m not good with mushy stuff so it’s generally trying to do little things that aren’t super sentimental but are thoughtful, like a good luck note before a dreaded test etc.”

– Stephanie Yang (’15)

In the end, it truly are the simple things that matter. The little pick-me-ups that help you get going- whether its a brief smile or a “good luck.” Affection reminds us that someone will always be by your side to help you carry on. Take some time this week (or really, any week) to really savor such moments, to truly show how much you care.

Header: Apple