There’s no denying that Valentine’s Day tends to get a bad rep. Smack in the middle of February, it doesn’t quite make the cut into the conventional holiday season and it faces heat from singles and dissatisfied daters alike. You might think, “who can blame them? Isn’t Valentine’s Day basically just a holiday designed for people in love?” Well, not necessarily.
I would argue that the holiday is more about love itself than being in love. For too long, Valentine’s Day has been the most slept-on holiday of the year, and it’s far past time we remedy that. You can still have a fabulous V-day without an SO. Don’t believe me? Check out the suggestions below for embracing the season of love, and you just may have your best Valentine’s Day yet.
- Movie magic
Who doesn’t swoon for a good love story on the big screen? Given the pandemic, there haven’t been too many blockbuster films released in the past several months. That said, there are plenty of classics that you can stream online to get you in the V-day mood.
If you are looking for something spicy…While you could always go with a reliable crowd-pleaser like Fifty Shades of Grey, if you’re looking for something a little less conventional, go with Y Tu Mamá También. Supreme spiciness guaranteed.
If you are looking for something romantic… I know we’ve all seen it, but there is only one most-romantic-movie-of-all-time and that’s Titanic. Prepare to get in your feels (aka grab your tissues, snacks, and your girl gang).
If you are looking for a rom-com… try Something’s Gotta Give. No, seriously, this movie is hilarious, filled with unexpected romantic pairings and a humor that just about anyone can enjoy. If you’re spending the night with your family, this is a great option that won’t get too scandalous or steamy.
If you are looking for something Valentine’s Day-themed… obviously, you should watch Valentine’s Day! For those who haven’t seen it, this is an eternally lovable flick riddled with celebrities, including Taylor Swift, Ashton Kutcher, and Anne Hathaway, along with feel-good Valentine’s Day vibes.
- Get festive
Who says decking the halls is only for December? Put your creativity to the test and embrace the festivity of the season with some red, white, and pink accents around your apartment/dorm/house. If you’re in need of a little inspo, do a quick Pinterest search and you’ll find loads of ideas from candle-making to paper-rose DIY. By changing up your space and adding a little love, you’ll automatically feel more keyed up about the holiday (and be surrounded by fun new scenery).
If you’re looking to kick it up a notch, pick out a Valentine’s Day-themed outfit. For those who don’t typically align their wardrobes with the holiday, consider switching things up this year. Maybe you opt for a subtle transformation — wearing a shade of bright red lipstick or donning a pink blouse for the day. Or, if you want to go all out, it may be time for a shopping spree. After all, it’s V-day, which means it’s basically your civic duty to treat yourself.
- Activate your inner foodie
Everyone knows that Valentine’s Day and chocolate are a one-of-a-kind pairing. If you’re planning to indulge this holiday (which you totally should), skip the box of heart-shaped candies tradition and put your kitchen skills on display.
Just because you won’t be sitting down to a romantic meal with an SO doesn’t mean you can’t have a fancy-schmancy dinner! Whether you’re celebrating with family, friends, or vibing solo, there are countless tasty, no-nonsense recipes that you can whip up. If you’re going to be eating with a group, make an evening out of cooking up a delicious dinner. Pick out a mouthwatering comfort dish like lobster mac and cheese or homemade pizza from Delish. It’ll be a night that you (and your taste buds) will be sure to remember.
Now, for the most important part of the meal — dessert. If you want something sweet for a bigger group, consider a big pizookie skillet; you can top it with ice cream and all dig in family-style. If it’s just you and your sweet tooth (and you don’t want to conquer a whole pizookie), not to worry. Spoon University has you covered with some killer treats from mug cakes to ice cream sandwiches that are certifiably low maintenance and scrumptious.
- Feel the love
Valentine’s Day can still have meaning even if you’re single. This year, choose self-love! You definitely don’t need a boo to love yourself, so take the day to show a little love to the woman in the mirror. Do a face mask, read a book, get your hair cut, do your makeup — whatever makes you feel your best, do it without reservations.
Another way to find and/or show love this Valentine’s Day is to appreciate all the amazing non-romantic relationships in your life! February 14 is a time for us all to take pause and spread love to the people in our lives who’ve stuck by our sides through the pretty and the pretty ugly. Call your mom and dad. Go the old-fashioned route and write a postcard to your best friend overseas. Send cookies to your grandparents. In whatever way feels right, send your love to the people who show up for you time and time again.
The real reason behind all the hate toward Valentine’s Day is that, at the surface level, the holiday celebrates those who’ve found love in the romantic sense of the word, and it neglects those who haven’t. And this can be a painful pill to swallow, whether you just came out of a tough breakup or your single life is thriving. That said, what the movies and books and media gets wrong about this holiday is that beneath the surface, Valentine’s Day is about all forms of love, not just romantic relationships.
Under all the romance and breakups and makeup that we associate with this time of year, at its core, Valentine’s Day is about celebrating love in all of its forms. Just remember that you don’t have to be in love to embrace and/or enjoy this holiday. With this in mind, you just might find that a holiday branded as exclusive to cheesy couples is actually meant for everyone, lonely hearts and all.