Valentine’s Day tends to be a day of extremes—if you don’t love it, then you probably hate it. In the weeks leading up to Feb. 14, stores become overrun with giant stuffed animals and boxes of various candies and chocolates. Many people, especially those who aren’t in favor of Valentine’s Day, begin to make snarky comments about the holiday, while those who love it begin to wonder what the day will bring.
The stereotypical Valentine’s Day for a single person looks lonely, dreary and depressing. They watch their friends and family members head out on intricately planned romantic dates, and they pretend that they despise the idea of receiving an oversized stuffed bear and a box of imported chocolates from their love interest. Meanwhile, it is generally assumed that people in romantic relationships spend their Valentine’s Day receiving lavish gifts and going on expensive dinner dates.
It’s not always like that. Many single people spend their Valentine’s Day doing nothing different from any other day—they simply live their lives. The same could be said for many couples, as well. Those in long distance relationships may Skype or spend hours on the phone. Inevitably, some relationships will meet their end on the fourteenth of February, the same way that many couples are bound to get engaged or even tie the knot. The possibilities for the day are endless.
Perhaps Valentine’s Day is less about romance than it is about caring. There’s nothing in the rule book that states that Valentine’s Day must be devoted entirely to couples. If that were the case, elementary schools wouldn’t host parties for children to exchange candy and store-bought Valentine’s cards. Instead, Valentine’s Day lends itself toward devotion to those one cares about. There’s nothing stopping anyone from taking their friends out to dinner or sending a sweet note in the mail to someone they miss from home.
Singleness doesn’t automatically qualify someone for having a terrible Valentine’s Day, just as being in a relationship doesn’t necessarily mean it will be a great day. After all, for all intents and purposes, Valentine’s Day is just another day. Any given day can be great or terrible for any given person. However, Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to express love and care for those in your life.