The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Edited By Lasya Adiraj
If you’re someone like me, nothing would imbue you more with an unfathomable and creeping feeling of existential dread quite like this time of the year, when everything around you transforms into a bottomless pit of red and pink hues and comes in strange heart-shaped boxes. I’m referring to Valentine’s Day, the most yet least romantic day of the year, when singles feel like failures and couples feel like they’re stuck in prison walls disguised as relationships. However, there’s a way to be free of these feelings: you don’t have to celebrate Valentine’s Day, instead, you celebrate Anti-Valentine’s! And it still holds true even if you’re in the most loving relationship.
Before we get into the list of things you can do, let’s address why so many people, including me, don’t particularly appreciate the idea of Valentine’s Day. First of all, it trivializes the notion of love by reducing and attaching its importance to just one day. Why is there a need to have one designated day to gloriously celebrate love when it can be done every day? Also, the commercialization of and the consumerism associated with Valentine’s Day can make people expect elaborate gifts for the holiday, and it turns into an overhyped day that big corporations use to empty the wallets of naive souls who feel compelled to buy over-the-top expensive gifts for their loved ones. The pressure of finding the perfect gifts, planning the perfect surprises, and having the highest expectations in return sounds like a lot of work in itself. I mean, if you really want to and have the money to, you can. But there’s enough going on in the world to stress you out, why should you add the pressure of performative romance?
Moreover, it’s not exactly a happy day for single people. There’s always pressure on them to act like they’re super happy being single and as if all the cheesiness and corniness doesn’t affect them at all. The feelings of loneliness tend to creep in but at the same time, hatred towards the idea of being all loved up, thanks to the cliches, also grows. It’s definitely not the best day to cheer single people up.
So to say, don’t let all the beaming couples, the smothering scent of roses, and cream-filled heart chocolates intimidate you into hiding until the dreaded day is over. With all the money that you’ve saved by not purchasing tacky gifts, why not indulge yourself and make Valentine’s Day all about you? Read on to find a list of things you can do to celebrate Anti-Valentine’s!
- Have an Anti-Valentine’s Day Party
You can host an official Anti-Valentine’s day with a theme that is the complete opposite of Valentine’s – either neutral or dark, with decorations, a dress code, food, and drinks that cater to that theme. Turn it into a day that you celebrate with your friends and go completely crazy with fun games, dancing, and karaoke. It can totally be a singles party as well (wink wink).
- Have a Galentine’s Day Party
The idea of Galentine’s is to gather all your female besties and just make it a day about celebrating women and your friendship. After all, your girlies will be around much longer than many of your romantic partners, so why not commemorate them? You can go for a brunch or dinner date, have a spa day, go for a movie or even spend time doing an activity that all of you enjoy together. If you don’t want to put in that much effort, you can just assemble at one house and do whatever all of you want, all day.
- Have a party with yourself.
Take yourself someplace you’ve been wanting to go for a long time. Take a solo trip, visit new places and basically experience all the things you would do with a partner, but with yourself. After all, you’re your best company and you deserve to treat yourself. You can even do a self-care day by indulging in skincare routines, exercising, trying out recipes that you like, engaging in activities that you love, or even sleeping in, because that’s the best thing ever.
- Have a sleepover with your friends and watch tons of movies.
The important thing to remember here is that you need to make sure you don’t watch any sappy rom-coms because that can trigger some feelings. Or, to turn it around, you can watch rom-coms just to criticize the cheesiness of them all. Regardless, this should be a night of fun, not wallowing around. Order take-out food, get in your jammies and get comfortable.
- Treat yourself to a Valentine’s Day gift
Instead of spoiling others, why not get yourself something nice? All that cash that you’ve saved up for so long (not all of it, save some for later please!), spend it on an indulgent treat that you’d usually never get- a really tasty dish that you’ve been wanting to try for some time, a gadget you’ve been waiting to buy, or just go shopping- and buy yourself some pretty clothes. Anything to feel like your best self!
- Spend some time with furry babies.
The best way to spread some love and receive some back is to spend time with animals. Go volunteer at a pet shelter and trust me, you’ll have the greatest day ever. Wagging tales, drooly mouths, the furriest coats, and an abundance of love and warmth.
Having said all of that, I need to clarify that just because I don’t enjoy the idea of Valentine’s Day, it doesn’t mean I don’t love ‘love’. I just believe in showing and celebrating love on my own terms and in my own ways, without doing it all in just one day. Of course, there is nothing wrong with choosing a day to honour love, you just need to make sure that it’s one that actually means something to you. After all, love is love.
Note: even though I shat on heart-shaped chocolates, I actually don’t hate them, they’re lovely! Keep them coming!