Of course, Valentine's Day doesn't feel like a celebration to a lot of people. For some it's Singles Awareness Day - a day that can seem like it was designed to making you feel inferior for not being in a relationship. Of course, even if you do have a significant other, Valentine's Day can feel like treacherous waters as you try to navigate each other's expectations and place the appropriate amount of significance on the day. You don't want to be a joyless old miseryguts and not celebrate the one you love on The Day of Love, but you also don't want to be the one jumping out of a cake when all they got you was a stick of gum either (hint: don't give someone a stick of gum for Valentine's Day). Similarly, having pink and fluffy daydreams of celebrating the day with hand-holding and chocolate dipped strawberries in front of a blazing fire when their idea of romance is a heart-shaped pizza and some quality time with the Xbox.
So, how do you have a happy Valentine's Day, regardless of your situation? The answer is simple, and two-fold:
- Celebrate. I don't care who you are, who you're with or where you are. This is one of those "be-your-own-rainbow" type situations where you're not going to have any fun unless you are the fun.
- Throw the rules out the window. Give up on any preconceived notions of what Valentine's Day should be, and start making it what you want to be.
Case in point: Valentine's Day is supposed to involve going out to a romantic dinner for two. The reality of that is packed restaurants, no parking and long lines. Solution: don't go out to dinner. Cook something at home, or order take-out and have a picnic at home. Throw a party, have dinner with friends, do your thing. In fact, on Valentine's Day when we had only been engaged for two days, instead of going out to eat just the two of us, Nick and I made dinner with my roommates and had a little party. And it was really fun!
Now that we're married and going on our sixth Valentine's Day together, I feel like Nick and I have figured how to make it work for us. For the last couple of years, we've pooled our resources and bought a gift together for both of us to enjoy, rather than getting individual gifts. We discovered several years ago that take-out from the Bombay House eaten at home was much more enjoyable than spending half the night waiting for a table. Nick always gets me flowers because I love them, but he usually buys them for the anniversary of our engagement on the 12th, rather than spend three times the price on the 14th, which is just irksome, in my opinion. Most of all, we try to make the holiday about us and spending our time together.
Which is really where I'm going with all of this: If you want to have a happy Valentine's Day, then have a happy Valentine's Day. Whether you'll be celebrating yourself by yourself, with friends, family or your loved one, make it happy. Your own kind of happy.
Image borrowed here.