Not exactly the most sentimental of ways to spend a day telling someone you love them.
So let's face it, whether you're single, married, engaged, dating, on the rocks, on the mend, or in a nunnery, Valentine's Day becomes weird and forced and expensive and weighed down with a bunch of expectations that you didn't even know you had until the day arrived and the other girls at the office got flowers but you didn't. So I wrote up a Valentine's Day survival guide, because it IS possible to enjoy this holiday, and divided it into four sections. 1) Guys, single; 2) guys, attached; 3) girls, single; 4) girls, attached.
Single: You are the luckiest man on the face of the planet. You don't have to buy flowers, take your partner out to a restaurant or make her/him some amazing dessert that took four hours of research and a ten-store hunt for something called chocolate bark, you can just sit at home and watch A-Team re-runs and laugh at all those poor fools who are marching to the beat of everyone else's high-maintenance drum and know that you were spared another year of having unrealistic ideas of romance and sentimentality forced upon you by society. In fact, this is the best night of the entire damn year to call up all your other single guy friends, go out for really messy barbecue, then come back and play Halo 3 with them until 2 in the morning. One day you will be in a relationship, and that's fine, but it's not today, and being single should be enjoyed and you should not be made to feel guilty about it. You're a rock star.
Attached: You are the luckiest man on the face of the planet. You get to spend today with the person you have chosen to be with and instead of falling for cheap commercialism or trite traditions, you have an opportunity to be totally creative with expressing your love for the girl/guy you are with. What's a more fantastic way to be romantic than to take a day to celebrate the truly unique relationship you have with a truly unique person and do something different than 98% of the rest of the world does? Just because this holiday was forced upon you doesn't mean you have to dial it in and do what everyone else does. You don't let the world tell you how to be in a relationship or be romantic any other day of the year, do you? So damn the man and plan a hike somewhere romantic, go kayaking, cook souffles together or have a Back to the Future marathon with chinese food. It's YOUR day. Don't let anyone else tell you how you should be in love.
Single: You are the luckiest woman on the face of the planet. Oh sure, for single girls, Valentine's Day is supposed to be a day or mourning, maybe even guilt. After all, you're supposed to be in a relationship, because that's how you value your worth, right? I mean, if you're not dating someone, are you even alive?? Yeah, well, screw that B.S. You and I both know that being a single girl in an attached world is freakin' awesome sometimes. Stay out as late as you want - you don't have to call anyone to check in. Watch the other girls fight over who got the best flowers, who went to the best restaurant, and who got what expensive jewelry - and watch other girls try to measure their worth against each other by using the age-old methods of competition and cattiness. Hang out with your other single friends (girls or guys) and play laser tag or pool or just hang out at home and watch Quantum Leap re-runs and eat pizza. You're not in a relationship because you have chosen not to settle and be in a relationship that makes you unhappy, and that's pretty damn awesome in a world of lonely people looking to be together for the pure, simple fact that they are terrified of being alone. You're not one of them - how cool is that?
Girls, attached: You are the luckiest woman on the planet. You're in a happy, healthy relationship, and you get to spend a day feeling completely in love and not apologizing for it. But be careful not to make Valentine's Day all about your partner working his/her ass off to make you happy - this is not your day to just be a pretty, pretty princess who expects the significant other you're dating to psychically guess exactly what feels romantic to you. Get off your in-love butt and get involved. Plan out the day with your loved ones, tell them what makes you feel loved and special and for the love of God ask them what makes them feel loved or special. This is a mutual holiday, I don't see any of those Hallmark cards referring to Valentine's Day as The Day Where the Girl Sits Upon a Pedestal and Waits For Her Partner to Make Her Happy. Take responsibility for your happiness and be engaged in making it a wonderful day for the both of you. You are 50% percent of a partnership that's being celebrated on Valentine's Day, not 100%.
So there you have it - single, dating, guy, or girl - you too can have a sane and perfectly happy Valentine's Day. Leave your expectations at the door and bring your A-game in terms of creativity, thoughtfulness, and gratitude for where you are in life on this holiday. If you're single, you might be married by this time next year; if you're married, you might be single by this time next year. Never envy other people for where they are in relationships; just be where you are, knowing that the choices you've made have lead you to this and it's the best place for you to be, and always be loving towards yourself.
PS Also, and I am 100% serious about this, if you were raised by a single mother who is still single and will probably not get any flowers this holiday, you send that incredible woman flowers (NICE flowers, and to her work, so she can brag about how awesome her kids are to her co-workers) and you thank her for being a superhero.
I'm not kidding. Do it.