3 Ways to Put Meaning Back in Your Valentine’s Day

It’s that time of the year when you’re assaulted by hearts, flowers, chocolates and anything pink or red. There’s such a flurry of consumerist madness that one has to wonder if the accusations against the popular non-holiday holiday are true. Was Valentine ’s Day manufactured by big companies as an excuse to hawk chocolates, diamonds, teddy bears and other wares?

There’ some kernel of truth in most anti-Valentine’s rants you come across. Yes, it’s over-commercialized. Yes, the flowers and chocolates are clichés. And yes, it’s hell for single people. But the same can be said for any holiday, including Christmas. We celebrate this day of romance because what you and your partner have is worth celebrating. Unfortunately, it’s easy to get lost in the how and what of things that we lose sight of the why.

Here are 3 straightforward ways to help you have a more meaningful Valentine’s Day:

  1. Be creative. Thinking out of the box is fun and exciting but if you find yourself stressing and losing sleep planning the perfect date, stop. Being creative is not doing the outrageous or out doing what’s been done. It’s going out of your comfort zone knowing your partner will appreciate your efforts. Remember how many times your significant other wanted you to participate in morning runs? Get matching cotton compression socks, put on your running shoes and join the morning run. Or how you can’t cook anything beyond scrambled eggs even if your life depended on it? Sign-up for a cooking class a few weeks before and cook a feast on the big day.
  2. Make your partner your only audience. Likes and shares are compelling motivators in social media posts. You’re having dinner by candlelight on a rooftop with a string quartet but you’ve spent the last 20 minutes simulating the perfect lighting so you can post something for everyone to gush over. Documenting important days in social media is common sense these days but if you’re too caught up in the process, how can you enjoy the moment? For the big V-day, make your significant other the only audience that matters. Forget the perfect shot, post or hashtag. What matters is you enjoyed the food together while it was still warm, you enjoyed the music playing in the background because you’re not busy choosing the right filter, and you remember how much fun it was to spend an evening together and not how many likes and #relationshipgoals you received.
  3. Celebrate what you have. Your love story doesn’t have to be epic to be meaningful. Emulating movies or romance stories can be good occasionally but molding your relationship after fictitious ones can be exhausting and exasperating for you and your partner. Make your day a celebration of what is unique to you and your partner’s relationship instead of what you think it should be. As written in Popsugar.com’s “Real Romance Is Finding a Way to Eat Dinner With Your Wife in Quarantine”, “Sometimes real life can be just as romantic as the fictionalized stories we fall in love with, though for completely different reasons.” Write your own story and create your own traditions. Cosmo recently listed “The 14 Sweetest Valentine’s Day Dates of All Time” and one thing the dates have in common is the couples may have used cliché things like flowers and chocolates but they made their celebration more personal and special.

Carrie Bradshaw is probably not the best person to ask for advice on low-key and meaningful romances but she has her moments. In an episode of Sex and the City she remarks, “Eventually all the pieces fall into place . . . until then, laugh at the confusion, live for the moment.” So breathe easy and don’t get too caught up in the season’s pace. You already have a special someone to celebrate with, the battle is half won.

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