Well, Valentine’s Day is upon us -- again.
Along with it’s bouquets of roses, sappy cards and romantic dinner-for-2 packages comes memories of painful breakups, overpriced overtures and, in most cases, questioning or confirming ones true state of love. If you find yourself bewildered or depressed this day, here are some thoughts that may make you feel a bit better.
It’s a racket and retailers love it.
Individuals are expected to spend an average of $136.57 this year. That’s over 18 billion dollars nationally according to Forbes Magazine. Now, factor in the amount of imminent marriage proposals and the mind is boggled by the total dollars that will be spent in the name of a chubby cherub with a crossbow.
Many say that like New Year’s Eve, V-Day is an amateur night for those not truly involved in a passionate relationship. One day in February is not the pinnacle for a well-adjusted couple who rekindle their love daily. On the other hand, I wouldn’t say to avoid something romantic on the 14th, assuming you want to keep the fires of love burning.
Get out of your comfort zone
Perhaps, though, the gesture should avoid the cliches of a commercial card or flowers. Make plans to do something your partner really likes that you usually stay away from. If you don’t usually cook, make dinner. Maybe have something prepared that commemorates a milestone in the relationship. While humor is important in a good relationship, if you do have a joke gift in mind keep it intimate and have something else also prepared that shows your heart’s true feelings. Putting thoughts on paper isn’t a bad idea either. You don’t have to be a poet laureate, just express your honest feelings.
Be smart, not desperate
If you are single, Valentine's Day dates can be tricky. On the one hand, if the date leads to a longer term relationship you’ll have a romantic story to tell -- and no problem remembering your anniversary. You can also celebrate that once a year expensive romantic dinner more affordably by killing two birds with one stone. On the other hand, it may be off putting to some folks who may see it as an excessive overture given at too early a point in the courtship. If that is the route you decide to go, I suggest asking the person well in advance, and not assuming they don’t already have plans. Last minute requests also seem more desperate... and in any dating situation you want to seem more chill than anxious.
Misery likes company
Another option is to find a group of single friends and make plans to commiserate communal loneliness by celebrating as a crew and maybe even hit up a few bars in a kind of Valentine's Pub Crawl. Or, just hang at an apartment or house and play Valentine's inspired games, or swap worst date stories, maybe even have a bad romantic film festival. The idea here is that misery loves company and loneliness dissipates with common cause.
Sometimes though, the best solution might be to spend an evening by yourself. Loving oneself is usually considered selfish and/or depressing. But when is the last time you got to enjoy your own company? Loving yourself isn’t vanity - it is sanity.
Demonstrate love by giving it unconditionally to yourself. Because you gotta love yourself first; after all it’s you you’ll be spending the rest of your life with.
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