Gone are the days when we could take a box of Valentine’s cards home with us and misinterpret a 101 Dalmatians card that says, “You are as bright as the sun,” as “I LOVE YOU. BE MINE FOREVER AND ALWAYS AND MAYBE MARRY ME WHEN WE BOTH HAVE STABLE INCOMES.” I never included a tiny Tootsie Roll in my cards, so I’m pretty sure that my shot at love was ruined from the start. Regardless, everyone got a Valentine. You received one from the kid that went to the bathroom with the door open, whether or not you wanted to. Ten years later and Instagram wants to know if anyone sent you flowers.
1. Valentine’s Day is not just for lovers! If you’re single, embrace it. Unless you are invited to a pity party, DO NOT ATTEND. Focus on who’s actually in your life, rather than the one person that’s not in it. You won’t be alone forever and ever. Rest assured, you’re fabulous. Adele’s 25 isn’t coming out until later this year, so pour your heart and soul into some Valentine’s Day crafts for the people in your life that love you and know how to say your name correctly.
2. If you’re single, there is no need to broadcast how “poor you” is alone, wallowing in bed, chugging wine, alone, eating pizza, alone, expecting sympathy from the social media world. That sounds like an AWESOME night. Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love and friendships, but it’s also a day to “Treat yoself.” Don’t apologize for choosing wine over a one-sided relationship. Breathe in the song lyrics beneath every 16 year-old’s Instagram selfie that encourage you to be a strong, independent woman and focus on bettering yourself. So, begin with wine and pizza.
3. You simply cannot expect your significant other to adhere to the imaginary rules of Hallmark holidays when making advances in your relationship. You don’t have to get the American flag tattooed on your ass just because it’s the Fourth of July. Gifts are gifts. That’s all they are. Remember that the best gifts are heart-felt, creative displays of affection. You bet your ass a handmade ANYTHING is going to mean so much more. If originality and witticism is something you value in your relationship, spice it up! Teddy bears holding hearts are for children and boring people, not you. Find your own way to express that you love and accept each other simply for living and loving.
4. No one should be purchasing items for their significant other, anticipating which sexual favors the value of the purchased objects will equate to. Kudos to the girl who can appreciate a gift, but knows how to show gratitude in a way that they want to, not just in a way that would appease an expectation. A girl never wants to feel like she owes something to a man simply because he paid for her rigatoni. If you are the type of person to wake up screaming “TODAY IS THE DAY I GET MY WEIRD SEXUAL FAVOR BECAUSE, DAMMIT, I PAID FOR IT!!!” you are sadly mistaken. Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love, not lust or manipulation.
5. Acknowledge that Valentine’s Day is usually a pretty awkward holiday, no matter where you are in your relationship. Don’t be afraid to embrace and live in the awkwardness of it. You can choose to mock the holiday because humor is your defense mechanism and you refuse to carry out a charade. Or you can enjoy dressing in red and pink and making cupcakes topped with conversation hearts. Both options are entirely valid and encouraged.
Choose to celebrate your relationship, or lack thereof, however you’ve defined it. Cupid would have wanted it this way.