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B Side, Lifestyle

Corny but Harmless Corny: Valentine’s Edition

Corny, simping and other actions that have essentially been labeled negative by society are actually quite necessary for the growth and sustenance of romantic (or otherwise) relationships.

  • Chiamaka Ejindu
  • 14th February 2023

Corny but Harmless Corny: Valentine’s Day Edition

One of the gripes people seemingly have with Valentine’s Day is that majority of the culture surrounding it and activities that go on within the day are deemed ‘corny’. To define the word, corny is described as trite, banal, or mawkishly sentimental. The very core of something that is deemed corny is unbecoming, an activity a lot of people will reject simply because it is unoriginal. The word comes up majorly in spaces where people who are wanting to express their love or devotion to one another are told that their desires are boring or repetitive.


While it may seem that people are endlessly copy-cats, this is not necessarily a bad thing when it comes to the topic of love. Yes, people tend to over-do displays of affection, whether this is ranging from gift giving to public displays of romance. These activities may seem over-the-top or burdensome to witnesses, but they are what make people feel special. ‘Corny’ activities are what people most appreciate about having another person who loves them, often romantically. Unfortunately, men are more than likely discouraged against enjoying or participating in such displays because they go against what masculinity is propped up to be. Compulsory masculinity makes it difficult for them to access a ‘softer’ side because they have already been led to believe that such displays reduce or take away from their male prowess.


Another discourse about being corny that routinely comes up is that the displays of affection are routinely superficial and done simply as a show off rather than having actual care or intimacy with your person. People who try to separate themselves may feel that they are more mature because they have made a point about not conforming or going along with everybody else’s standards. However, I do not believe corny displays are inherently made up entirely to make others feel insecure or lacking. I do believe that often, with the human experience, innocent displays are made out to be what they are not. Yes, a person who gets a huge bouquet of flowers and a teddy bear from their partner for Valentine’s Day may wield this over others who do not receive the same. They may use it to make another person or a group of people feel that their own relationships are not fulfilling simply because their own partner has more of a flare for the romantic. However, this is not an inherent issue within corny displays but rather a human factor that makes the need to compete a requirement and places pressure on people to behave a certain way or lord things over one another.


It is one thing for your partner to not feel that they want to participate in corny, over-the-top displays of affection. However, it is another thing for them to use that excuse as a means to deny you affection in the form of gift giving, especially when they know you personally desire that. It is important to date partners who affirm you in the ways you need, so if you find yourself constantly being drawn to partners that are hell-bent on upholding their rules against corny displays, you might want to interrogate that and find yourself a partner who is secure in doing the things that make you happy, especially when those things harm no one.

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