How to Celebrate Valentine’s Day Whether Single or Partnered
Yes, you’ll ‘survive’ it; you don’t have to stress about it either
Please forgive me. I am writing a post about Valentine’s Day even though I am not a fan of Valentine’s Day. Yet I feel I’d be amiss if I didn’t at least acknowledge it like everyone else, which is, of course, part of the problem. It’s the kind of holiday (and I say that while grimacing) that’s hard to ignore, whether you buy into it or not, whether you’re coupled or not. Because too many of us use it as a measure of our worth as , a way to gauge how lovable we are. And if you don’t do something romantic on Feb. 14, it’s hard not to wonder if there’s something’s wrong with you.
No, nothing’s wrong with you. It’s totally OK to ignore what’s basically a fabricated holiday. But if you can’t ignore the chatter and are looking for guidance (or have a bit of a masochistic bent), here’s what the internet offers as ways to show your love on Valentine’s Day.
The hardest thing about Valentine’s Day is figuring what to get your significant other for the big day, Business Insider says. Really? I find this a bit worrisome. If you are connected to your partner, no matter how long you’ve been a couple, wouldn’t you know what he or she likes? If you don’t, why even bother?
Sure, go ahead and book a night in a high-end hotel or dinner at a chi-chi restaurant (although at this late date, good luck). But if you’re looking for “fun and frugal” — under $15 — date ideas, the U.S. News and World Report suggest you just “hit the bar.” Creativity at its best? And for under $15? Hmm …
Sexy date ideas:
It’s not enough to celebrate love; we need to have hanging-from-the-chandelier sex or at least some sort of an erotic experience that we’re probably not going to have for another 364 days, so why not go for it? AskMen suggests dressing up, blindfolds, whips and chains (are we channeling 50 Shades?), and showering together, while The Nest offers no less than 50 “hot” ideas, including buying your sweetie three new articles of lingerie, driving to your nearby Lover’s Lane to make-out in the back seat, watching the sunrise together, and reading poetry to each other. (Interestingly, all of the above would be a lot less than even the fun and frugal ideas.)
All of which sound incredibly stressful for a day that’s supposed to celebrate love — so much forced planing! So many expectations! Which is why we also have a plethora of articles on — you guessed it — how not to get stressed out on V-Day, from setting the bar low to not proposing (unless you’re certain the answer will be yes) to letting go of what Valentine’s Day “should” look like.
While couples, married or not, may have their unique V-Day stresses, if you’re single, well, you need to know how to “survive” Valentine’s Day alone. Or just block it from your existence (meaning Facebook and Instagram). Maybe you should just forget romantic love and celebrate any sort of love on Feb. 14. Love is love, right? Which is fine if you’re feeling bad about your romantic love life or lack of one, but I struggle to believe that splurging on yourself is going to somehow make the situation better. And let’s be honest — have you ever seen any advice anywhere on how single men can “survive” V-Day alone? I haven’t. What do guys know that we gals don’t? Still, the pressure is on guys to make things happen.
It’s also led to articles by those who want to remind us of the day’s dark origins — as well as focus on the commercialized holiday’s horrible carbon footprint — thus making Valentine’s Day the Worst Day Ever.
I don’t know about you, but I’m already exhausted thinking about it!
Wherever you fall in the V-Day spectrum — it’s the best day, it’s the worst day; it means something, it means nothing — you’ll just have to figure out what it means to you and why. If you have a partner, I hope you’re able to express that to him or her; if you don’t, I hope you can filter out all the advice and decide what feels good — or maybe just normal — for you.
Or just change your story.
When I was newly divorced (the second time), I remember feeling pretty alone one holiday weekend when all my friends were either away or spending time with their family, my kids were with their dad, and I was unpartnered. My time was my own, which is a true gift — until the moment it feels like a burden. And that’s how it was beginning to feel until I decided to change the story. I took a long bike ride, soaking in the scenery, and then stopped at a popular cafe where I was surrounded by people, laughter, life. I chatted with the wait staff and people at nearby tables, and people watched. When I got home, tired and sweaty, nothing about the day felt lonely. I felt connected.
“Love is a word. What matters is the connection the word implies,” The Matrix Revolution told us.
May you feel connected every day.
Originally published at omgchronicles.vickilarson.com