Few holidays are as emotionally polarizing as Valentine’s Day. Some people look forward to the day of love, while so many others detest it. Whether you’re single and aware or hoping to impress your special someone, navigating “love day” can be tricky—and you might be subject to a whole host of unexpected emotions. Here are some do’s and don’ts put the fun back in Valentine’s Day.
The most important thing is to not take it too seriously. You can probably treat it like any other day and nothing too bad will happen. Just remember this one simple rule. If you’re in a relationship, doing anything is better than doing nothing.
First, a word to the wise for singles.
Don’t self-loathe. If you’re alone this year, resist the urge to celebrate “singles awareness” day. Just don’t. Self-pity won’t help you feel better and it won’t make you more attractive to anyone. Your time is far better spent enjoying yourself.
Do love yourself. Here’s a shortlist of approved activities to boost your self-worth.
- Working out
- Taking a shower
- Setting goals
- Trying out a new playlist
- Going to work
- Calling someone you love
- Taking a nap
Warning: Avoid social media today. Your feed is guaranteed remind you how single you are. If you have time to kill, browse the latest funny videos and TED Talks instead. Oh, and you might want to avoid places where couples will be showing affection (Fancy restaurants, movie theaters, etc.).
We know how you feel.
Now for couples—How do you survive the maelstrom of expectations?
Do keep it simple. That is the best way to manage stress. If you set your expectations too high you risk your other half getting their hopes up. Valentine’s is a good opportunity to show them some extra attention, but you might be surprised how easy it is to make their day.
Do something sincere. Advertisers want you to think you have to buy something expensive to make your loved one happy—you don’t. A heartfelt note or letter might be all it takes to melt their little heart.
Tip: A handmade card can mean a lot more than Hallmark. Yes… chocolate and flowers might improve the presentation, but whatever you do should be thoughtful, sincere, and hopefully done in advance.
Don’t forget. The key here is to plan ahead. If you both forget, you’re in the clear. And that alone can be an affirmation that you two are made for each other. But I wouldn’t recommend banking on this strategy. You don’t want to be the one who forgot. This can make it seem like you don’t care as much as they do about the relationship. Anything will do—just prepare something. Remember, it’s not a competition. No matter how extravagant their gift is, your loved one will even love your one-liner, so long as it’s from the heart.
Do avoid the crowds. Make reservations if you plan to visit a specific restaurant (e.g. where you had your first date). Buy movie tickets a month in advance. Why not be prepared? It’s too common for these simple tasks to get put off until it’s too late. If it’s already too late, and you haven’t planned ahead, try getting takeout and having a romantic night in. Going out can be fun… but nothing is more tragic than waiting and hour and half for food at a restaurant when clearly you could be doing something that’s a lot more fun.
The final word.
And if you choose to hate Valentine’s Day just because you love to hate it… we feel you too.