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Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is known for being the most romantic day of the year. Overpriced fancy dinners, dressing in red or pink, and making sure that you find a special someone to spend the hours with. But have you ever considered that this day can be so much more than that?

Movie and books centered around Valentine’s Day usually portray women without a special someone eating ice cream while watching sappy love movies and men going out with their buddies to hit on women. These messages form the opinion of “needing” someone to be with, even if you don’t actually like them.

I find this horrible because it leaves so many upset and pressured to seek this toxic vision. Instead of crying and feeling horrible this year, here are some other ways to view the day of love without romance that are even better than those $100+ dates!

When thinking of love, young adults automatically put their significant other’s first. However, what about your family members? If you are unfortunate enough to say you don’t have a family to lean on, why not think of those in your same situation who have no one and are sitting in nursing homes or retirement centers all alone?

During this time of love, go take flowers to someone who is lonely in a nursing home or bring your brother a box of chocolates because, even though he is annoying, he loves you.

Another way to spread your love is through volunteer work. During holiday seasons, struggling people also want to feel embraced. Working at a soup kitchen allows you to show devotion to others rather than yourself, giving you an even better feeling than steak or ice cream would. Kindness and showing appreciation are worth so much more than stressing over having a date to see a movie with (it lasts longer, too).

Love is broad; you love family, friends, partners, but you should also love yourself. On Valentine’s Day, that shouldn’t change. Rather than worry about who you will be with tonight, focus on self-care. Get a mani-pedi (yes, even you men out there). If that doesn’t float your boat, enjoy a cheat day with an overload of carbs and binge Netflix.

Put in time and care for yourself, even if your celebration of love is not what your Instagram is full of, you can still be happy and enjoy your holiday because you were able to relax and enjoy it.

Once Valentine’s Day has passed, grab your best friend or a family member and take yourselves out for a day filled with fun. Go see that romantic comedy together or take a trip to the store and stock up on the discount chocolate or any other candy your heart desires. Not only will you preserve your bank account, but you will also get the chance to make memories that last forever with those that will most likely be around a lot longer than that date you found last week.

Valentine’s Day is about love, yes, but it does not have to be about the generalized idea that society has constructed. Hopefully, it is clearer that love can be shown to so many different people through so many different ways. Just take the time to find how you enjoy expressing that love. Happy Valentine’s Day!

PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth University