Well, Valentine’s Day is this weekend, which always leads to a slew of questions no one wants to answer. Single people just want to know how to survive the day and married people just want to know how to please him/her without being cliché, reading minds, hiring a babysitter or blowing the budget.
It’s the first group of people I’m mainly speaking to – those who are single.
What do you do on Valentine’s Day? That’s the million dollar question that arrives every Feb. 14.
For those who are single on Valentine’s Day, it seems like there are two inevitable options:
- Have a girls night where you have a romantic moviefest, chocolate and wine.
- Have an anti-Valentine’s Day party where you treat the day like it didn’t exist.
I would like to propose…neither.
The first is great the first time you do it, but…it gets old. The second is just…depressing. Valentine’s Day is a major marketing holiday – the stores will be filled with red merchandise, as well as billboards, TVs, web ads and radio commercials for a month. It’s kind of awkward to ignore.
One could argue – has Valentine’s Day run amuck?
I’m all about appreciating/celebrating your significant other – let’s not take the fun away from those guys. It’s we as Americans, however, who have held romantic love up as the be-all-end-all Holy Grail of existence (“Nothing means anything until someone loves you.”). I’m not a feminist, but honestly, I don’t believe that.
I suppose those without – for either temporary or permanent reasons – could sit out the holiday trying to ignore it. But the older I get, the more I’ve learned one thing:
Life is short.
Don’t spend it sitting on the sidelines.
I, especially, never want to miss a holiday celebrating love and thankfulness.
So what do I propose?
- Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love. Use it to celebrate God’s love for you. Wait a minute before you check out on me here – give yourself permission to splurge on something small, depending on your budget. If the budget is tight, a $20 bouquet of flowers. If it’s more generous, buy that piece of jewelry you’ve been wanting. Let it remind you you’re loved whenever you look at it.Some may say isn’t that a little pathetic? In a word: no. Buying something for yourself and pretending it came from someone else is pathetic. (For those of you unfamiliar with the practice, it’s called “posing.”) In my opinion, waiting 24-7 for someone else to buy you things is pathetic, especially when you’re not in a relationship and this person is imaginary.
- Spread the love to others. Buy a valentine for your mom, your sister, your grandma – whomever. This is a great excuse to let them know you love them (especially if you have single people in your family). Speaking of singles – if you want to pick five of your single friends and write them a note of encouragement…go for it. Leave Valentine’s Day and “I know God has a man for you” out of it. Just tell them how awesome they are and how much you appreciate them.
- Have party. Valentine’s themed food?…Sure. Or leave Valentine’s Day out of it entirely – your call. Pick a theme – murder mystery, 1990s, famous people, Divergent – whatever. Assign people “couples” at the door, and have a game night. Buy a box of valentines and have everyone write something cool about everyone else and drop them in a Valentine’s bag. Have a costume movie-night.Guys, I know what you’re thinking – I don’t see a room of men sitting around writing Valentines. Agreed. Pick 4-5 friends and have a man-day. Pretend you’re planning the perfect day – Waffle House, hiking a nearby trail, video games, live music – whatever. (Girls do this all the time. Guys not so much.) It doesn’t have to be cheesy – go mud riding if you want. The bottom line is fun, and spread the love.
Some may think that’s being “Pollyanna” or looking at the glass half-full. Honestly, I’m just glad I have a glass. With something in it. That it’s 2016.
So repeat after me:
- I will not “hate” Valentine’s Day.
- I will not spend Valentine’s Day holed up watching Lifetime movies.
- I will spread the love with other people.
It’s only Singles Awareness Day if you let it be…and I haven’t celebrated that day in years.
Think I’m joking? Try it. Let someone else benefit from awesome because you’re single on Valentine’s Day.
There may be a day you’re on the other side of the fence saying, “Remember when I didn’t have to celebrate Valentine’s Day?”
<3 <3 <3