How to Avoid these V-Day Blues

Valentine’s Day is fraught with landmines and expectations, often unrealized. Whether you’re in or out of a relationship, the grass isn’t always greener. Below are often-occurring situations, and six tips to having a great holiday.

  • You’re alone. I can recall Valentine’s Days I wished I were in love with someone who loved me. Worse were Valentine’s Days when I missed an ex or spent time thinking about someone who wasn’t in love with me. Looking back, what was sad was that I made myself unhappy and ruined one, if not more, days thinking “if only.”
  • You’re in a new relationship.Another Valentine’s trap happens when you’re newly in love. It may be the first Valentine’s Day of your relationship, and you wonder whether your partner will surprise you with something special. Will he or she ignore the day or hopefully say the unmentionable, four-letter L-word?You’re stressed about whether your card should be funny or mushy. Fear of humiliation and abandonment restrain you from being vulnerable. You don’t want your feelings rejected or to scare off your partner. Guys, you could be afraid of hurting your girl’s feelings by not doing or saying enough. Or you could be afraid to do or say too much, which might be misinterpreted as a commitment for which you’re unprepared.
  • You’re in a fight.One of the worst feelings on Valentine’s Day is to be fighting with your partner. Any other day wouldn’t be as painful. On Valentine’s Day, though, your worst fears and disappointments about your partner and the relationship are highlighted. In addition to being hurt or angry about the argument, you compare how you feel to how you imagine the day should be and how you want to feel.You don’t have to be fighting to be on eggshells all day and disappointed because your partner is an addict, ignoring you, or is looking for a fight to avoid admitting he didn’t plan anything or doesn’t want to go out. You can easily spend the entire day looking and waiting for cues, wondering whether you will spend the evening together. It’s hard to generate loving feelings seeing your wife neglecting the children or drunk all day.
  • You’re in a dull or dead relationship.Many couples in long relationships have lost the spark of love. Valentine’s Day may be a cruel reminder or an opportunity to rekindle it. When romance fades, it can be replaced with love based on deep caring and shared life experience. You might decide not to do anything special. Yet you can still acknowledge your love for each other – even if it’s not romantic love, it’s deep and abiding.Some relationships have died. Intimacy’s gone, but the couple can’t let go, whether due to age, children, health, or finances. Usually, despite those reasons, there’s a deep attachment. Often one person imagines he or she is staying for the other and is in denial of his or her own attachment needs and fears about leaving.
  • You’re in a loving relationship.You’re among the fortunate few if you’re in a long, loving relationship. Valentine’s Day may still present problems, especially for husbands who don’t want to disappoint their wives. You can get caught in the dilemma of not being able to decide whether to surprise your wife or ask her what she’d like. It’s okay to ask. Some people would rather know, but beware of a common trap: When your significant other replies, “it doesn’t really matter, I’m just happy with all you do. Don’t get me anything.” In this case, you should get him or her something special. Failure to act can be dangerous.Wives, too, can get caught up in waiting and wondering, and not wanting to upset plans their husbands may have made.

6 Ways to Be Your Own Valentine All Year Round

Empowering Take Aways from Valentine’s for Singles and Couples

So it’s the week after Valentine’s Day weekend – as the server at our dinner table on Friday called it – and many of us are kind of blue. We either had a less than perfect Valentine’s Day, or none at all! No-one treated us special, and some of us are wondering what the whole point is. Why am I alone? Its spring and I should be in love, shouldn’t I!?

Falling into the trap of believing that the retail sales industry has any part at all in what you should or even could be is a dead end. There is no time-table for Love and Romance, and it’s a bad idea to think you are less of a person because you are alone, or don’t fit into some kind of popular view of what life should be.

Many psychologists have proposed that in order to be a good mate, we each have to learn to love ourselves first. Ask yourself what your perfect Valentine would have to have done to make you feel truly loved on Feb 14th.

6 Empowering Ways to Enjoy Valentine’s through the Year

1-Romance Yourself

Whether you are all into chocolates, self-indulgent spa treatments or a romantic dinner, you don’t need to wait to have someone fulfill that fantasy, if you have the budget you can buy all that “stuff” for yourself, and even invite another single friend (male or female!) to accompany you for a fantasy dinner out. And that works 365 days a year!

2- Galentine’s Day

A practice called “Galentines Day” has popped up in some cities, with single or married friends getting together on February 15th to celebrate just being here. If it hasn’t reached your area yet, how about starting it off yourself, any day?

7 Tips to a Fun and Sexy Valentine’s Adventure Even Without Someone Special

Go do something awesome for yourself. 

Many people, myself included, actually couldn’t care less about Valentine’s Day. However, I wasn’t always so carefree about it. I used to let it consume me. Back in high school I would get really depressed thinking that I’d never have anyone to share special times with. As I got older, I realized that Valentine’s Day, like most holidays, just wasn’t that important to me. So when my partner told me he was going to be out of town on the big day, I thought nothing of it. But then I realized, this day is still really important to some folks. So, I decided to compile a list of things that people can do on Valentine’s Day if they don’t have a partner(s), or won’t be able to spend it with who they want to spend it with.

  • Take yourself out to dinner.

    Maybe there’s a restaurant you’ve always wanted to try. Maybe said restaurant is on your bucket list but no one else you know has ever expressed interest. This is a perfect time to try it out! If you don’t feel like seeing a bunch of couples out on the town, avoid the opportunity for sadness or loneliness to sneak in by making it a lunch date instead. During the day, you’re less likely to feel anything but satisfied and full from a delicious meal.

  • Go for a walk in the park.

    If you have a hiking trail nearby, even better! Spending time alone, surrounded by nothing but nature and your own thoughts can be extremely therapeutic. It beats the heck out of sitting at home and watching the boobtube all day into the night. Plus, you’re burning calories, which means you can feel less guilty about the what’s next on the list..

It’s Not the Climax Date on the Calendar That Matters

This plan couldn’t be beat…until it was.

I’ve never cared much about Christmas, or Thanksgiving. I don’t go “home for the holidays.” I haven’t given Valentine’s Day a second thought since I was a teenager.

Precious Days

I’m not completely devoid of sentiment. I do have a couple of special days a year that I celebrate “religiously.” Halloween and New Year’s Eve have always had great significance to me. Halloween because it’s when everyone acts the way they wish they could the rest of the year, and New Year’s Eve because it’s symbolic of a new beginning, a wiping of the slate, a celebration of accomplishments from the year before and an acknowledgement of goals and dreams about what’s to come. Those are precious days to me and as such, I try to spend them doing special things with people who I find invaluable to my life.

This year, I spent Halloween with a friend rather than my partner, because my partner was out of town for a couple of months. When he’d announced his plans to be gone over my favorite holiday, I was slightly heartbroken, but understood. It was for the trip of a lifetime and I wasn’t going to let a one-day, city-wide costume party get in the way of that for him. It just meant to both of us that New Year’s Eve would be even more special.

Unforgettable Date with Mom

His mom was in town on over the holiday weeks, so on New Year’s Eve Day we went to a small island off the coast of Southern California and did some cave kayaking. It was amazing. I saw wild foxes, seals, dolphins and some whales; truly an unforgettable day. That night, however, was for us and his mom understood that, so she said we should take it for ourselves and do something special.

Epic Climax Date Plans

When he had asked me what I wanted to do, being the overly amorous gal that I am, I told him my only real goal for the night was for us to be climaxing during the countdown, and for a full release at “Happy New Year!” He agreed that would be an epic New Year’s plan. All that was left was location.

We’d originally intended to go camping, somewhere not too far, like Joshua Tree. However, the weather had other plans, deciding that torrential downpours followed by sub-zero temperatures would be a better way to spend New Years. So J Tree was out, however, there were closer places we could go. We explored all of our options, and as wet and cold as it was going to be, it seemed like the best plan would be to just stick to a hike somewhere close. We would get to the top of a mountain, screw each other’s brains out until the countdown was over, and then head home.

Dehydration…a Kicker

This plan couldn’t be beat…until it was. My partner, who avoided drinking water during our all-day kayaking trip because he didn’t want to pee in his wet suit, was extremely dehydrated. We took in a bunch of fluids and made some macaroni and cheese. Did I mention he’s lactose intolerant? Just a little bit, but apparently something like that is greatly exacerbated by a weakened system due to dehydration. Needless to say, he started to not feel very well.

Should I Stay or Should I Go

We took a quick nap before our hike and I woke up ready to go! He woke up…slightly less excited. I couldn’t tell at that point whether he just didn’t feel like going out or he was really ill. So I said I could go on my own. This was in no way meant out of spite or passive aggression, and he knew that. I simply wanted to be outside at midnight and I don’t like dragging people along when they don’t want to be there. He insisted on coming with me. He just kept saying, “I wanna be with you.”

What I should have said was, “okay, let’s stay here then.” But I still didn’t fully realize just how bad it was, until we got to the mountain. We got out of the car with our backpack filled with Trader Joe’s fireworks chocolate, sparkling apple cider, and a blanket. He wasn’t looking great, so I asked him if we should go back. “NO! I want it to be special.” Just minutes into the hike it became apparent to me just how ill he was. We were stopping every few minutes for him to collect himself. This was certainly going to be a special night. But not the type of special either of us had intended.

The Mountain at Midnight

We made it up to the mountain and during the midnight count down he was off in the bushes taking care of some nasty business while I toasted myself for my achievement of keeping cool and not being too grossed out. We headed back down the mountain and I drove us home. By this time more than ever I felt terrible for making him come with me and being so insistent on this being a special night.

Best Laid Plans Became a Care Package

I took care of him the rest of the night and the entire next day. While I nursed him back to health I realized something. I don’t know if it’s because I’m older now and don’t party anymore, or if it’s because I’ve finally found someone who I’m calm and comfortable with, but it didn’t matter to me that it wasn’t ideal. This night was actually the opposite of ideal. It was kind of the worst. I watched disgusting things happen to the person I was supposed to be doing altogether other kinds of disgusting things with. But despite this, I was glad to have spent the night with him. I was happy to have been able to take care of him and I was glad he was around. This leads me to ask the ever important question: what happened to me?!

Another Day for a “Special” Date

We made a deal to do a countdown later on this year, which we’ve set a date for. We’ll recreate New Year’s Eve well past its actual date, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that we’ll be together, and that we were together.

So this Valentine’s day, I urge you, dear reader, to treat it like any other day: special. Special not because it’s February 14, but because of the company you’re with and the moments you share. Even if those moments turn out gross.

How To Show Love By Making a Difference This Valentine’s Day

Trying to give back this year? Here are some great ways to show your community some love on Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day is all about love, relationships, and romance. It can be so much fun, but it can get a little cliché too. Okay, okay, it can get a lot cliché.

If you’re in a long term relationship, you might not feel like doing the traditional chocolate-and-flowers-thing every single year, and if you’re living the single life, Valentine’s might feel like one giant eye roll.

This year, why not consider celebrating Valentine’s in a different way?

While so many of us get into the giving spirit during December, most people forget to give back during the rest of the year. Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to help your the community and show love to those who need it the most.

Whether you’re celebrating being single, or you’re looking for an original date idea for you and your beau, these ways to give back on Valentine’s will surely warm your heart, and make someone’s else’s holiday much brighter too.

1. Your date isn’t the only one who likes flowers. Help brighten a room at a nursing home.


Happy Grandmother receiving Gift from Her Granddaughter

In college, I helped plan a Valentine’s Day event with lots of balloons, flowers, and so much pizza. Of course, at the end of the night we were left with a giant mess, but we were told to save the centerpieces.

Someone on the party planning committee had the idea to pack up all the flowers and send them to the local retirement community. It sounded like a good idea until I found out that it was my job to put the vases filled in boxes and wake up early the next day to drive them over.

When I got there, I expected to unload the boxes and be on my way, but one of the women at the front desk stopped me. She said they didn’t have anywhere to put them in the lobby, and I’d have to drop off the flowers to the individual rooms.

Honestly, I didn’t want to pass them out, I didn’t know anyone in the hospital and I wasn’t in the mood to socialize, but the moment I shuffled into the first bedroom, I knew how important it was to do just that.

I met a lot of seniors who weren’t doing well, who were sick and lonely, and I loved dropping off some flowers to brighten their day. Plus, most residents really appreciated getting to talk to someone new, and knowing that I had made their morning a little better really made my Valentine’s Day.

This year, consider bringing a stranger flowers. You don’t have to throw a party to find some florals, but you also don’t have to break the bank getting bouquets. You can get involved with a charity like Random Acts of Flowers, and pass out flowers as a team. Or, if you want to fly solo, any stores have Valentine’s Day arrangements on sale on the 15th, and picking some up and bringing them to your local retirement home or hospital will make any resident feel special.

2. Everyone Deserves a Valentine’s Day Card

While passing out florals might sound nice, maybe flowers just aren’t your thing. Instead, you might consider making a few cards.

I adore Valentine’s cards: they were so much fun to collect in elementary school and now I love getting sweet cards from my fiancé every year. But these Valentine’s cards don’t have to stop with people you know. The My Golden Valentine project has been making a difference by writing cards for people who may not have many people around for the holiday.

This year, they’re hoping to deliver 10,000 cards to assisted living and nursing homes in North Dakota and Nebraska. That’s a lot of love!

But even even if you’re not in the North Dakota/Nebraska area, don’t think you can’t get involved. You can write your own cards and deliver them to your local nursing home. Plus, you can make an event out of it by inviting friends to write cards and watch Valentine’s-themed movies. Or, if you have kids or young nieces and nephews, this could make for a great kid-friendly Valentine’s activity.

3. Bring Valentine’s Day to your local children’s hospital

child holding red heart in her hands

On Valentine’s Day, kids should be in school making hearts out of construction paper for their parents, but many kids are missing out.

This Valentine’s, you can make a difference by volunteering at your local children’s hospital or joining a toy drive. I used to volunteer in a children’s hospital, talking to long-term patients and keeping them company. It was so rewarding, but there are so many other ways to get involved too.

One barber shop has worked hard for more than a decade to collect stuffed monkeys to give to children in hospitals and children who have been neglected.

Something as simple as a stuffed monkey can brighten a child’s day and make them feel special on Valentine’s.

So, whether you’re donating toys or if you plan to get more involved with a hospital, like with the CHOC Children’s Hospital volunteer program, your effort could mean a lot to a child in need of some Valentine’s spirit.

4. Show your love to some furry friends.

One of my favorite places to volunteer is at animal shelters. Come on, what better way to spend your time than with cute, lovable animals?

And the animals, and the shelters, really appreciate your effort.

There are so many animals that don’t have homes and they need a lot of love, so shelters often depend on volunteers to help show love to those pups and kitty-cats.

Celebrate V-Day by taking a shelter dog for a walk or playing with some animals at your local rescue. These furry friends will appreciate your attention, and who knows, maybe you’ll fall in love and bring one home as a Valentine’s Day gift to yourself.

5. Donate Blood

donating blood

This gives a whole other meaning to “heart day.” While romance might get your blood pumping, donating blood can help you show love to the people who need it.

Of course, at first I was squeamish about giving blood, but I’ve found that it is totally worth it to know that you are making a difference. Plus, it’s the perfect way to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

It doesn’t take long to donate, it costs nothing to do, and you get a cookie out of the deal. And hey, you deserve some extra sweets on Valentine’s Day! Check out blood drives near you, The Red Cross is always out and about, and could be hosting a blood drive near you!

6. Give a gift that really means something

Young asian woman with giftbox surprising her african-american boyfriend

For me, the hardest part of Valentine’s Day isn’t finding something to do, it’s finding the right gift. I always get something for my fiancé, but I also like to get something for my mom, and who could forget my BFF (gotta celebrate Galentine’s Day!)

I would usually end up buying a few trinkets and maybe a picture frame or two, but I know that a lot of these presents were ending up just being clutter.

This year, make a pact with your sweetie or your best pals to get each other a donation to each other’s favorite charities. It will mean a lot to the charity, and you’ll feel good doing it.

Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to get involved in your community and show your love to those who will need it the most. With these six ideas, your Valentine’s Day will be as memorable, and meaningful as ever.

Read more great stories about Valentine’s Day like: My Valentine’s Day Despair and TriumphMy Complex Life and Lessons Around Valentine’s Day and A Widow on Valentine’s Day (A Video Experiment).

What Does The Future Hold for Valentine’s Day?

It’s February, and I know the drill: candy aisles filled with heart-shaped boxes, jewelry ads bombarding my web feeds with Valentine’s Day.

For what initially started as a brutal Roman holiday, Valentine’s Day has become a capitalist wet dream. According to Hallmark, over 151 million cards are sold annually. Which is funny to me, since I’ve bought Valentines (think the pack of 32 that come with stickers and candy sometimes) but never an actual card.

I’ve always been single for V-Day. I’m in good company; as of 2014, Gallup says that 60% of people ages 18-29 have never been married. Another survey says that 58% of millenials view V-Day as overrated.

With student loan debt through the roof, and plenty of millenials living paycheck to paycheck, lots of us don’t have the means to splurge on gifts. So, how will a holiday that thrives on compulsory gift giving and flower buying bode for a decidedly anti-capitalist generation? Well, I have some ideas. Picture this: it’s 2118 and Valentine’s Day means…

Including lovers of all varieties (not just romantic ones)

valentine's day future millennials

The Spice Girls said it best: “If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends.” Except in this case, lovers can take a backseat.

Over the past few years, self-care has become a buzzword, a movement, and a market all at once. So yes, self-love, but this also means not placing as much importance in romantic relationships, and whether or not you’re a part of one.

With phenomena like “Galentine’s Day” taking off, millenials are over this couples-only world. More adult are single folks. More women are growing comfortable in living perfectly stable, fulfilled lives without a romantic partner. I’ve always liked the idea of a Valentine’s Day that uplifts all the people we love, not just the ones we’re romantically intimate with.

In 2118, Marketers realize that unabashed singles are an untapped market. If you try to sell me something on a couple’s pretense, I’m not interested. But in the name of self-care? Take my money, why don’t you!

Advertisers Switch Up Their Tactics

Not too many people genuinely enjoy ads, but I prefer to avoid them altogether. I hit the “skip ad” button on YouTube so quickly. If that’s not an option, I mute them. The case is even more extreme for younger millennials; Generation Z is the most difficult audience to market to yet.

Not only are younger generations less tolerant of commercials, but also the most sexually varied generation. This is a problem when V-Day largely caters to straight couples.

We are the most queer generation ever. We also have an awareness of different intersections of identity (racial, ethnic, sexual) that’s unprecedented. It’s simply not realistic for all marketing toward us to be a white man and a white woman kissing. Evolve or die, as they say, and I imagine V-Day evolving.

Since Millennials value authenticity above else, I  picture more folks getting their Valentine’s paraphernalia from places like Depop and Etsy, rather than big box stores. Or, V-Day cards in the Hallmark aisle with a bunch of different categories (women loving men, women loving women, men loving men, nonbinary, asexual). Instead of e-cards, think meme cards.

Overall,  I imagine a more underground V-Day celebration. Which brings me to…

Renegade Holidays Will Pop Up

future of Valentine's Day for millennials

We’ve seen this happening with the reclaiming of Columbus Day as Indigenous People’s day. For we non-Christmas celebrating folk, there’s Festivus. As a generation that’s already combating gender and sexuality norms, and all other norms,  it would make sense for many millennials to flat out reject V-Day with our own alternative holiday.

We already have that in Galentine’s Day. Some places are ahead of the curve: in Finland, February 14 is National Friendship Day.

In 2118, I forecast celebrations like “Asexual Awareness Day”, “International Vibrator Day” or “International Singles Day,” many of which, incidentally, already exist, taking over. Because commercialism is boring and the internet is a wildly imaginative place.

I’m no psychic, so I may be off target. What I do know is that the existing Valentine’s Day model (dates, heart-shaped chocolates, nice jewelry) isn’t very old at all. Millennials aren’t your mother’s generation. And getting a stale box of Russell Stover’s chocolates is something I can do for myself, thank you.

V-Day 2118 may still have the big box store vestiges of white, pink and red. But before long,  the holiday will largely be in the hands of the independent retailers. No matter what V-day looks like in future, some things won’t change. There will always be folks who, like me, celebrate the holiday on their own accord by eating heart-shaped pizza and watching raunchy comedies.

Read more of our Valentine’s Day coverage like: Valentine’s Day Is Great, But Here Are My Favorite Ways to Show Love All Year Round or The Best Unconventional Date Movies For Your Valentine’s Day.

The Differing Valentine’s Day Plans from Seven Couples Around the U.S.

Valentine’s Day is on a Wednesday this year. What are you doing for the big day?

Ah, Valentine’s Day. That simultaneously loved and hated holiday that marks the fact that winter will be finally be ending in just a few short weeks.

If you’re wondering how others will be spending the holiday commemorating all things romance, here are just a few ways your fellow women will be celebrating the big V-Day. I always loved Valentine’s Day because it was a day I got to tell my friends and family how much I loved them without them looking at me like I was crazy. Whether I was single or taken, I always managed to have a fun and loving day.

While my plans were never anything all that special, I wanted to know what fellow females were up to on this special day.

Here are some of the plans ladies are doing this Valentine’s Day. I bet you can relate to many of them!

“Our first valentines Rob and I decided we were going to embrace the holiday for all its cheesiness! We were long distance at that point so we wanted to go all out. I flew to Michigan and we made a decision to find the most ridiculous but cheap candy or toy we could find in the store and find the most over-the-top card.

“On top of that we decided to pick a restaurant we would never normally go to so went to hibachi. Every year since then we have kept the tradition and the cards keep getting better and cheesier. We also almost know the hibachi routines by heart. I have bought him everything from a furry heart with beef jerky, funny game controller and this year a candy fishing tackle box!” – Dillon, VA

“I don’t have any official Valentine’s Day plans on the books, but if I were a betting woman my money would be on getting wine drunk on my couch with some girlfriends while having a movie (and food) binge.” – Jessica, VA

“It’s a Wednesday so it is going to be spent stabbing each other at fencing club. Real romantic. Haha.” – Katelyn, MD

“Haha I’m working 2 p.m. ‘til midnight on Valentine’s Day this year so I’m afraid my answer isn’t very exciting.” – Liz, D.C.

“Every year he’s ‘surprised’ me with a gift exchange and then we do dinner and the comedy club. We love laughing for Valentine’s Day.” – Christie, PA

“I have grad school that night, so I’ll be in class until 8ish. Then, I’ll go home and review my lesson plan for the next day and probably go to bed. Maybe I’ll treat myself to a pink sweet and I may make Valentines for my students.” – Erin, D.C.

“I doubt we’ll do much. My grandpa used to send me flowers every year whether I was in a relationship or not. It was something that always made my day, made me smile, and made me feel so loved and appreciated. As I slowly watch him decline, I know he won’t remember to send me anything. It’ll be a hard day thinking about the one person in my life who always loved me no matter what and who never once failed me. I will, however, forget about the fact that he’s not supposed to have sugar and send him chocolate.” — Sarah, D.C.

No matter how you choose to spend Valentine’s Day, it’s important to remember to do what’s best for you.

Valentine's Day Puppy

It’s okay to be single, it’s okay to do something sappy and romantic too, and it’s okay to remember those you love. Have fun and celebrate love. After all, that’s what the day is all about!

Let us know in the comments section below what you’ll be doing on Valentine’s Day and what it means to you.

Want to show us what #LoveIs and win big? Check out the contest we’re holding here.