February 14, aka Valentine’s Day, can be a really hard day for a lot of people. I know everyone likes to complain that Valentine’s Day is a Hallmark Holiday, and that it’s a waste of money, and that your partner should show you love every day of the year and not just on Valentine’s Day, and I would agree with you 100%. While I’m not a total vday h8r, I do think that it is a holiday that instills a feeling of insecurity in a lot of people. The reality is that stores, schools, workplaces, and social media are all flooded with reminders of Valentine’s Day, so we all kind of get forced into it. And sometimes it can be twinge uncomfortable (annoying, exhausting, disheartening, sad) to see all the Valentine’s Day gestures and feel your mood drop because of it, so I have a few words of advice going into Valentine’s Day this year.
Before I dive in, I do have to address the obvious– Yes, I am in a relationship. However, we do not celebrate Valentine’s Day because our birthdays are February 2 and February 12, and we have rent and loans to pay. Even though I am in a relationship now, the past few years I have not been and so Valentine’s Day has been very bitter for me. I also want to say that Valentine’s Day is not just sad for “single people”– it can be sad for people in relationships as well. There are so many things that play into what I like to call “Valentine’s Day shame” (the feeling of resentment towards yourself, others, and Valentine’s Day), but I’m here to tell you that you can still enjoy Valentine’s Day!! Here’s what you need to know.
Just because you aren’t in a relationship does not mean you are not loved. There is more to being loved than having a significant other. Remind yourself that your family, friends, and (most importantly tbh) pets love you. Galentine’s Day is by FAR one of my favorite days of the year because of the huge outpouring of woman to woman love. Remind yourself of all the people you have who love you.
You must give love in order to receive love. This is just a tip, but show your friends and family (AND PETS OBVIOUSLY!!!) love on Valentine’s Day! Chances are, everyone feels a little “blah” about Valentine’s Day and would appreciate a call, or text, or corny Star Wars valentine. Plus, who doesn’t like being reminded by their loved ones that they are cared about? Instead of feeling down on yourself because you’re not in a relationship, channel your love to those who are in your life.
Not going on a date does not make you less more wonderful, smart, or beautiful. Usually Valentine’s Day involves a date. Sometimes dates can be nice, but why go for a nice dinner on a Wednesday night? Also, it can be nearly impossible to choose a place to go if you have to keep another person in mind. And finally, why would you want to get dressed up to go eat a bunch of food and feel bloated? Dates can be fun, but don’t feel like your Valentine’s Day is lacking because you aren’t on one. Instead, order some food or get yourself a resi for a more convenient day (not a Wednesday) to a restaurant you’ve been meaning to try. Eating by yourself can be so so peaceful and amazing.
Valentine’s Day is expensive. According to this article from Forbes, the average American will spend $143.56 on Valentine’s Day. I don’t know about you, but I could definitely use that to:
- Pay my Xfinity bill
- Pay my student loans
- Buy groceries for two weeks
I don’t really feel like I need to say much more on this one.
Being your own Valentine is sometimes way cooler than having a Valentine. Think about it– do you really want to dress up in a tight outfit to go eat a ton of food and feel bloated? Do you really want to deal with buying and giving a gift? Do you really want to carefully shave your legs (in the middle of winter when you could totally skip it otherwise)? Valentine’s Day can be really nice and the date aspect can be lovely, but a lot of the time there are a lot of expectations surrounding Valentine’s Day that end up making it more uncomfortable than romantic.
There are many factors in relationships that can make Valentine’s Day anywhere from awkward to painful. So instead of channeling romantic Valentine’s Day, focus your energy on giving love to yourself and the people around you. And if that is too hippy-dippy for you, you can always buy yourself a box of chocolates and a bottle of wine (been there too).