Two things before we start todays how to.
One: I am a self-admitted girl who despises Valentine’s Day, and I have a boyfriend.
Two: I do not hate it because I think it is a social construction or a way for the card market to get some more cash before the next actual holiday.
Now… Some of you may be wondering “If she has a boyfriend and is happy with him then why doesn’t she like this holiday?!” Well, the answer is simple. I don’t have a taste for the chocolate you get in those heart shaped boxes, I have no room for stuffed animals with hearts sewn into their arms, and fresh cut flowers make me sad by the next week when they die. Add in the fact that I share the burden of this holiday (my boyfriend and I trade off each year), and the fact that the lines for any decent eatery on Valentine’s Day are absurdly long… Well, you get the point. I just don’t see much merit in it and as much as I’d love to love the holiday of love… It is very unlikely that my mind will be changing anytime soon.
Since we’ve gotten that whole kit-caboodle out of the way let’s get down to the real how to portion of this article!
Firstly – If you have a significant other and you don’t like Valentine’s Day. TELL THEM. If you don’t tell them they probably won’t know. Men, women, lobsters. They aren’t mind readers and if you don’t tell them before the big day of L-O-V-E you’re likely to either be assaulted by the holiday or be a little confused they didn’t act with the normal overly stressed and lovely behavior that seems to come with the holiday.
When you do explain it to them, be honest. Hell, before my now significant other and I got together I ranted for probably a good hour about how much I hated the holiday. Poor guy didn’t know what was coming and he still deals with my weird antics about the holiday, honestly honesty is the best policy when it comes to not liking lovey-dovey things with the person you’re supposed to do those things with.
Secondly – If you don’t like the holiday but still want to do something special with your significant other, do it. I tend to reserve Valentine’s Day itself as a friends holiday, a habit from before I had my significant other and tradition I seem to be sticking to three years later. If you want to change the day you two do your version of the holiday, do it. Usually I move our version of Valentine’s Day to the Friday or Saturday closest to the day so that we can still do something nice around the day.
Thirdly – If you have a traditional partner who wants to do the whole nine yards you do not, I repeat do not, have to go the whole nine yard with the cards, flowers, chocolates, fancy dinners, etc if you do not feel comfortable with that. Instead figure out what works best for your relationship. An example would be in my relationship. If my significant other wanted to get me flowers and couldn’t do Valentine’s Day without that I would note that I didn’t feel comfortable with fresh cut ones, but I would appreciate dried ones, paper origami ones, or something flower like (cacti, succulent, air plant) in a proper container. Meeting in the middle will keep you from pulling your hair in anger at the holiday and will also allow your partner to feel like they can meet their needs for the holiday.
Added bonus: Having your personal unique twist on the holiday will make it feel extra special. Rather than getting the classic Valentine’s Day starter pack you’ll have a personalized gift from your significant other. (Or vice versa if you’re the one giving the gifts.)
Fourthly – Enjoy it if you want to, or ignore it if you don’t. There is nothing worse than being forced to enjoy a holiday you cannot abide, or forcing yourself to ignore it if you adore it. Keep true to yourself without forcing the issue. If you just want to have an excuse to order in pizza and watch movies, or go out and get heart shaped balloons… Do it. Really, holidays are just another day to do things we enjoy and don’t let ourselves do every day because of that silly thing called common sense or budgets.
Even if it is a silly holiday, enjoy a day to tell your significant other you care in your own special branded way.