Valentine’s Day is more than just romance and chocolate

Express your love for others this holiday


Valentine’s Day is coming up, which means we will soon be subjected to endless posts from single people complaining about how they hate this holiday. I understand the pain and cynicism that arises from breakups and loneliness. I do not understand, however, the immense widespread hatred towards Valentine’s Day.

I have always loved Valentine’s Day. When I was a kid, I remember the excitement of going to Walmart to pick out what valentines I would give my classmates each year. I inevitably would pick ones of kittens and puppies. The whole car ride home I would stare at the card design variations, anticipating sitting on my floor putting the heart-shaped lollipops in each one. 

At our Valentine’s Day party at school, I remember eating those delicious pink frosted sugar cookies as my classmates put their valentines that they wrote out specially for me in my shoebox covered in pink and red construction paper. I would dig into the box and examine each one, thinking about how honored I felt to receive a card with a princess on it that said, “U R My BFF.” 

That is what Valentine’s Day is about, I think. It is nice to feel special and reminded that you are loved and appreciated, even if it is just by means of receiving a simple card from a classmate. It is also rewarding and fun to reciprocate that love to others.

That person you love could be a romantic partner. Having an excuse to do something extra special—like making a fancy dinner or buying a dozen roses—for your lover is worthwhile. Although you may express your love to this person frequently, it can strengthen a relationship to show this love in a refreshing and elevated way.

That person you love could be a parent or family member. Take your mother out for lunch or go golfing with your dad. Call up your grandparents. Buy some snacks or a gift for your brother or sister. Oftentimes, we take our families for granted and fail to show our appreciation for what they do for us. A small gesture could go a long way.

That person you love could be a friend. Put together gift baskets for a friend who means a lot to you. Get dressed up in pink and red outfits and spend the night out, or spend the night inside watching movies in your heart-patterned pajamas. Why spend the holiday alone when you can make memories with the person or people you care about most?

 The person you love can be someone in your life who you simply want to show a greater appreciation for. Write your favorite professor an email. Buy a box of chocolates for your coworker. Give a tip to the Starbucks barista who makes your drink every day. Valentine’s Day gives us an opportunity to show our gratitude for these people who improve our lives. 

Many of us hate Valentine’s Day because we feel a lack of love somewhere in our lives, yet the power to love and feel loved is something we are all capable of. Moreso, expressing love adequately and frequently is something we commonly claim we fail to do, but we often do nothing to change our behaviors. Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to start. If you feel as though there is a lack of love around you, be the one to initiate it.

Valentine’s Day allows for us to slow down and appreciate all the great people we have in our lives. When we remain caught up in the negatives, we fail to realize that love is all around us. Even if you are single, you can love and be loved this Valentine’s Day.

Love will always find a way.