PORTLAND, Ore. (TheStreet) -- There's a good chance someone you know is going to propose marriage on Valentines Day this year.
It may not be to you, but some friend, colleague or family member is going to decide that this day of chalky candy hearts, out-of-season flowers and dubious historic merit is the perfect occasion to tell someone else that they want to spend the rest of their life -- or at least a number of unspecified years -- with them. Last year, a full 6 million Americans told American Express' Spending & Saving Tracker that they were either expecting a Valentine's Day proposal or planning to propose that day. That was up from 4 million in 2012.
Please don't let this happen.
A Valentines Day proposal doesn't put more love into the loveliest day of the year, it just helps tilt the scales away from a holiday that's falling out of favor to begin with. While IBISWorld notes that the $21.6 billion consumers plan to spend on Valentines Day this year ranks second only to Christmas among consumer holidays -- and is a 3.7% uptick in spending from last year -- that's only part of the story. The National Retail Federation is predicting a bump in spending, too, but notes that just 54% of Americans plan on celebrating the occasion this year, down from 60% in 2013.That's 46% of U.S. shoppers who could care less about Valentines Day, never mind using it to pledge eternity to someone they adore. Why do they feel this way? Maybe it's the paper cupids and heart-shaped boxes of chocolate that appear on supermarket shelves before the New Year arrives. Maybe it's the Amateur Night approach to shopping that turns every long-stemmed rose and "special" prix-fixe dinner menu into a Randian market-based nightmare. Maybe it's because all but the most devout Christians draw a complete blank on not only who St. Valentine is but why he has a holiday -- which was celebrated by some churches only on a whim. Either way, the folks at wedding website TheKnot consider Valentines Day the official end of a proposal season that starts around Thanksgiving and stretches through the winter holidays. It still trails Christmas and the waning summer days of August as prime time for proposals, but is one of the more unoriginal proposal dates on the calendar nonetheless. It's like making the Fourth Of July the day you decide to light your first firework or St. Patrick's Day the occasion for your first sip of Guinness. It's a cliche, but one with myriad drawbacks festering beneath it. Here are just five worth warning folks about before an impending proposal: