Don’t Be a Valentine’s Day Cliche

Before it’s too late, please consider the remainder of the day very carefully. Single or attached, the worst thing you can do is be a cliché on the Hallmark of all holidays. It is easy to fall into this trap and Valentine’s Day can be associated more with pressure than love. With that said, this doesn’t mean an open invitation to give this expectation-filled day any more credit than it deserves. 

The Valentine’s Day Hater
Gaining popularity in recent years is an increase in anti-Valentine’s Day parties. While it gives single people an excuse to mingle with other singles, these must be approached with caution. Relationship columnist and relationship expert/co-host on CosmoTV’s Love Trap Jen Kirsch tells us she finds these parties cliché. “I am not a fan of all these anti-Valentine’s Day parties and I think they do more harm than good,” says Kirsch. “To me, they reveal that you are trying too hard to prove a point to the world that you don’t care, as opposed to actually not caring.” 

The Typical
Don’t be so typical with your Valentine’s Day plans. We are all for exploring some of our city’s restaurants, but not on Valentine’s Day. The servers are usually frazzled, the meal is rushed and you’re crammed in a table within earshot of other couples. “Especially if one person is more into Valentine’s Day than the other, you don’t want to make the occasion cheesier than it needs to be with dinner at the CN Tower and red roses, or even going out for dinner in the first place,” says Kirsch. “Valentine’s Day marks a day that you share with your partner, not that you and your partner share with everyone else.” This makes it not as special. “The second you leave your house, you are taking part in everyone else’s Valentine’s Day. It is impossible to feel like it is just the two of you when you are surrounded by everyone else at typical venues of choice,” she adds. 

The Social Media Showoff
We get it; you’re in a relationship. Social media showoffs gush about their “perfect” relationship in status updates and ever so eagerly snap photos of the assortment of gifts that either arrived at their office or greeted them when they woke up. It is cute that you want to share your love with the world, but, upon seeing some of the pictures online already (it is 10am as we write), we can’t help but to question the motives behind certain friends’ overly enthusiastic Valentine’s Day gift photos. With Valentine’s gift photos rampant, it is no surprise that the day puts incredible pressure on couples.  

Last-Minute Quick Fix
Whether you are a perpetual last-minute person, ran out of time, or somehow forgot, it is almost best to bow out of the occasion altogether at this point. Don’t be that guy or girl frantically rushing through the remainder of the workday early to get their hands on a box of chocolates and a picked-over selection of B-grade flowers after waiting half an hour in the grocery store line, all while you’re laughed at on the other end of the phone by hostess after hostess as you attempt to make a dinner reservation. If this is even an option for you, we suggest you get planning an eventful weekend instead.

Self-Indulgent Single
The self-indulgent single is a sad sight: home alone with a box of chocolates or pizza, watching depressing, romantic movies as they down a bottle of wine and sign up for eHarmony. Don’t let this be you. There are worse things in life that can happen than being alone on one typically dreary day in the dead of winter. Get over it. Do anything else instead. Remember that morning will come and the day will be over.

The Solution
“If you are in a relationship, I suggest picking up a bottle of wine, maybe something that is symbolic to your relationship. This could be from the winery you visited together or even the box wine you shamelessly indulge in as an inside joke,” says Kirsch. “It’s different to be cheesy when it is just the two of you and for the two of you.” To make it personally cheesy, she suggests picking up heart-shaped pasta from a gourmet grocery store or heart-shaped cookies. She also suggests making the occasion more intimate by simply turning off cell phones.   

For the singles, instead of joining the bitter masses in an anti-Valentine’s Day party, embrace your friends. “This year, a lot of groups of girlfriends – single or not – are marking the occasion with girls nights in with pizza, wine and fun banter as opposed to the anti-Valentine’s Day parties,” says Kirsch. “Instead of the single ladies wallowing to their girlfriends in the typical ‘where have all the good ones gone’ fashion, take the time to make it a conversation about empowerment, more along the lines of ‘thank God I’m out of that situation’ or discussing what you learned by love lost,” she suggests. 

For the single guys, get together with your friends and head out – just don’t have an agenda to capitalize on the occasion and the lonely hearts. “Guys have historically had this idea of a bar on Valentine’s Day as a place to pick up lonely singles, just like at a wedding,” says Kirsch. With that said, the beauty of the day is that you are bound to meet people who are actually single as opposed to “single” and to in fact celebrate your singlehood. “Valentines Day is a good day for picking up and the stigma of being single is gone,” says Kirsch. “While people used to hide being single, now it is celebrated.”

Whatever route you take, have a happy Valentine’s Day!