Valentine’s Day can be fraught with emotion. On the one hand, it is a day to celebrate love both romantic and platonic. On the other (and much more real) hand, Valentines Day seems exclusive to heterosexual couples in romantic relationships. In recent years, single people have gone to the great pleasure, and trouble, of reclaiming Valentines Day for everyone to enjoy. But even those who are in a romantic relationship experience the pressure Valentine’s Day imposes on their relationship. Either way, it seems like there is no way to “win” on February 14th.
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(Listen to You Do You: A Dating Podcast Episode 66 below)
Overall, we urge listeners and readers to take the pressure off of Valentines Day. Whether you are coupled, single, polyamorous or just started dating someone – reclaim this day and make February 14th just like any other boring day of the year!
Here are some ways you can take the pressure off V-Day:
You Don’t Have to Perform Your Love Publicly
If you are in a romantic relationship, remember that you don’t have to succumb to the enormous social and digital pressure of performing your love publicly. This especially applies to social media. If sharing your relationship publicly is important and fun for both you and your partner, then go for it! But more often than not, couples don’t discuss the extent to which they actually want to share their relationship online and with others. Check in with your partner and see if logging off this Valentine’s Day is the right choice for you both.
Don’t Let Valentine’s Day Ruin Being Single For You
And especially, don’t let Valentine’s Day make you feel like you don’t have any love in your life. We often wax poetic on the podcast about the many great benefits to being single. But Valentine’s Day has a special way of just ruining that magic. Single people have lots of love in their lives-friends, family members, mentors, teachers and even coworkers. Society places a premium on romantic love which isn’t fair. If you’re single, use Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to remind yourself how much love you have in your life. Send some friends Valentine’s Day cards in the mail or over email, text your family members to remind them how special they are to you, buy yourself your favrite flowers or remind a mentor how much you appreciate their support with their favorite coffee. Use Valentine’s Day as a placeholder day for all the kinds of love in your life!
Discuss Expectations in Advance
This is especially important if you are coupled and especially if you have just started dating someone, it is crucial to check in and make sure you’re on the same page well before Valentine’s Day. Maybe you set a spending limit on gifts, or maybe you both decide to bypass Valentine’s Day altogether. You can also celebrate it in an untraditional way by going to see a horror movie! Remember, you are not a robot to society. You have control over how you spend your time.
Don’t Stop Celebrating Valentine’s Day with Your Friends If You Get into A Relationship
We get it, it’s fun to start traditions with your new partner. But stopping established traditions with friends is a sure fire way to ruin relationships you already have in your life. Keeping your annual Valentine’s Day plans performs double duty magic in your life: it demonstrates to your new partner how important your friendships are to you, and it takes pressure off of your romantic relationship to perform your couplehood. You can take advantage of so many other holidays throughout the year to celebrate your romantic and intimate relationship. You’ve already established Valentine’s Day for your friends-keep the date!
Take Advantage of Valentine’s Day Deals
Well, this seems like an obvious one but it bears highlighting. One of the many benefits of living in a world where even love is subject to being monetized is the many deals. Bless Sephora for their annual fragrance sale, and there is no better day for a chocolate lover (except for perhaps maybe the day after Halloween) than February 15th. Restaurants often have fixed price menus at delightfully low prices for Valentine’s Day. Why not treat yourself to a meal at a restaurant you’ve been dying to go to? Send yourself some flowers from a floral shop you wouldn’t normally be able to afford. Take advantage of Valentine’s Day deals to shower the most important person in your life with love – you.
Want to hear more on how to reclaim Valentine’s Day? Listen to Episode 66 of You Do You: A Dating Podcast with writer Kaley Ames and her co-host Sarah Sahagian below!