Even though Valentine’s Day has come and gone once again, the idea surrounding the day is still worth discussing. Did you see people holding hands and bouquets? Did you see abnormally high public displays of affection? Did you try (and fail) to go and grab a coffee from your favourite coffee shop, only for it to be invaded by couples? Did all of this bring a smile to your face or make you want to jump in front of a double-decker bus? Valentine’s Day festivities do as much for bringing people together as for driving them apart, creating a gap between those who enjoy witnessing love in the air and those who don’t. 

Valentine’s Day is for yourself boo…

Newly single or perpetually alone, Valentine’s Day is for you. Whoever said you need a partner to be able to celebrate this day needs to go pick up the phone, Graham Bell is calling. To be honest, I would go as far as to say you don’t even need a galentine. Why not seize the day by celebrating yourself? Go shopping, treat yourself to something nice, enjoy a movie or a relaxing walk, and buy yourself flowers! They say flowers bought with love last longer, so why not ensure that you get your bang for the buck by buying flowers that could last longer than those from any flimsy Tinder date?

Reclaiming Valentine’s Day as a day for self-love should be in everyone’s plans. Even if you have a partner, take the time to treat yourself to a present or simply to a nice walk. This reframing of Valentine’s Day as a day for self-love could be the beginning of a beautiful journey of growth. Nurturing yourself and allowing for room to grow and internal discovery will help you become a better partner and friend, as our conception of ourselves is what lays the foundation for all of our other relationships. So next Valentine’s Day (or honestly any day), take the time to celebrate yourself and provide the personal love you deserve. 

Valentine’s Day is for the fam 

If you decide you want some company during Valentine’s Day, you do not need a romantic partner. Just call your mom! Or dad. Or grandma. Or aunt, or cousin… And if the family tree gets too complicated, just call those people in your life who you choose to call family. Friends from school/church/clubs/etc, your chosen family in life. Those people who have been with you through highs and lows are as deserving of our time and love during Valentine’s Day as any partner could be. Go on a Galentine’s date, go to the pub with your mates, do a video call with the family, whatever fits your taste. Valentine’s Day should be about spending time with people you love and those who love you back.

If you so happen to have a partner, Valentine’s Day is also for you

Obviously, some of you will be seeing someone. You don’t need me telling you how to live your life. There are at least a million articles with tips and tricks for a marvellous Valentine’s Day celebration with your significant other. Buy them flowers or a tasty treat. Write them a letter professing your undying love. Go out (even if it’s just for a walk). If you are in a long-distance relationship, organise a fun Zoom date. Whatever you do, whomever you are, however you choose to celebrate it, the important thing is spending time with the person you love. It’s not about gifts (unless your love language is gift-giving) or being part of a capitalist machine. It’s about celebrating love, or at least it should be about it.

It should be just about love, my dear

The bottom line is that Valentine’s Day is not about how many roses you get from the person you like, how expensive the dinner was, or even if you were able to spend it with someone or not. Valentine’s Day is about love, for yourself and others. It’s an opportunity to reflect on why we are so deserving of love and to celebrate these reasons. It’s a possibility to reach out to those around us who make our lives better, both from a distance or close by. It’s your chance to spread love far and wide. So I hope you did something nice for yourself and/or others! At the same time, this good energy should not be condensed to a single day of the year. Be bold, be brave, and celebrate love as much as you can throughout the year.