Surviving Valentine's Day

This is not the post you think it is. If you expect me to rant about being single on V-Day OR rave about the wonders of romantic love, you are cordially invited not to read this post. This is my version of surviving Valentine’s Day: the right one.

The first thing everyone needs to remember is that it’s really just another day. You may see more flowers and bears then you’re used to (and good luck getting a table at a restaurant if you didn’t make a reservation), but people love each other all the time. There will always be people with boyfriends or girlfriends or dates or what have you. Just because they choose to exclaim their love on this day does not make them any more romantically involved than they were on like November 18th.

The second thing is that love can be whatever you’d like it to be. I, for example, love my Betta fish, Sharpay. I am also convinced that Sharpay loves me in return. That’s a fantastic thing, if you ask me. Love is an awesome human emotion that everyone (save socio- and psychopaths) can feel, and celebrating that can be just as fun as splitting the crab cakes with your sweetheart at the corner bistro. You can love your family or a close friend or a celebrity you’ve never met because YOU HAVE THE ULTIMATE POWER OF LOVE, FELLOW HUMAN. And that’s rad.

The third thing is that, maybe despite my first two points, don’t discredit your feelings or let anyone tell you you’re not allowed to be a little sad. I’m not encouraging you to feel sad, I’d actually love it if everyone was super happy on the big V-Day, but hiding behind sarcastic Facebook statuses or passive-aggressive Insta pics of other couples in public and how much they “annoy the crap out of you,” isn’t altogether healthy. Chances are, you probably know another single person SOMEWHERE, and if the two of you are feeling a little down, do it together. You can make a pact to avoid going on social media sites or stay in and watch funny movies (or sad movies, if crying is your thing).

On that note, please do not rag on other people for being in relationships. I think the second most common kind of FB post on February 14th (behind the pic-stitches of couples) is some variation of “wow everyone shut up valentines day sucks and you suck if you celebrate it” or something a tad wittier. Take some advice from the Beatles and let it be. Don’t give over exaggerated eye rolls at couples holding hands on campus or stealing a kiss between classes. They have every right to be happy on this day, just like you do.

Long-distance couples: I have walked a mile in your shoes. Two miles, actually. I know this day can be somewhat of a pain for you as well. You may get a card or flowers in the mail and Skype with your sweetie at some point, but nothing beats having that person right there with you, especially on Valentine’s Day. I used to fill up my calendar with “GAL-entines Day” activities with my female friends to remind myself how lucky I was to have such amazing people around me. Added perk: I never had to dress up or make an extra effort for my boyfriend, which meant it was entirely acceptable for me to attempt headstands in my dorm room and eat three boxes of goldfish just because I could.

Bottom line: love is love is love is love. No matter how you want to express it (as long as you’re not forcing it onto someone who doesn’t want it) you can do it on Valentine’s Day. If you believe in your heart of hearts that you and your favorite bar should get back together, by all means, go to her. If you want to snuggle with your best friend and play Apples to Apples, go for it. If you want to go get down in the club, go forth to shake that thing.

Maybe call your mom or your aunt or your brother or Skype with the family dog. Love is literally all around us, and I think taking the time to appreciate the people we have and the experiences we’ve shared is something no “Hallmark holiday” can ever take away.