Making the Case For Valentine's Day

Some people love Valentine’s Day. Most people hate it. “It’s the most commercialized holiday of all,” “it’s tacky,” “it’s an annual reminder of my single-dom.” These are all valid points. Personally, however, I have always loved Valentine’s Day. In fact, I would consider it to be my favorite holiday.

Now before you write me off as criminally insane, let me tell you why. I love Valentine’s Day for a myriad of reasons, some shallow, some not. The first of which is, I love pink. I love pink and I love hearts, and I love that around this time of year, the dollar section at target is filled with pink, heart-shaped things.

Second of all, since middle school, I have only experienced being single on Valentine’s Day twice. So most years, I look forward to the candy, the roses, the date night, the mushy card and the Valentine’s Day themed attire.

Third, I’m an utterly hopeless romantic. I am embarrassingly sappy and love making grand gestures of love. And that’s a little of what Valentine’s Day is about. It’s an annual reminder for people to stop and smell the roses. It’s a day to pause your busy life, and let the people you love know that you appreciate them. It’s a day to step up, be bold and do things you might ordinarily be too scared to attempt.

Following this logic, last year, I began a relationship on Valentine’s Day. It’s been over for a long time, but for the first time, I wasn’t looking forward February 14th. As the pink heart stuff came out on the shelves, I thought, “Wow, Ellie, nice going. Never do anything big, like start a relationship or get engaged or (heaven forbid) get married, on Valentine’s Day ever again.”

But it didn’t seem fair to have this taint my favorite holiday. So to all of those who may not be looking forward to Valentine’s Day, I offer this change of perspective:

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to just be about romantic love. Love comes in all different shapes and colors—love for yourself, love for your friends, love for your family—and is the most beautiful part of being human. So love yourself. Get a pedicure; buy a new pair of whatever you’ve been wanting. Take a bath with a bath bomb and a glass of wine. Love your friends, let them know how truly awesome they are for supporting you and sticking with you despite all your crap. Exchange small Valentine’s Day gifts with your best friend. Finally, love your family—moms love to hear just how much you love them, too.

Valentine’s Day is commercialized as hell and may make you want to vomit, but I challenge you to not let being single stop you from having an amazing February 14th, the national “day of love.”