Whether you enjoy the holiday or not, Valentine’s Day comes with a wide array of connotations, expectations, and stigmas.
There is an emphasis on relationship status. And frankly, it doesn’t matter if you’re single or taken. The various expectations are deeply ingrained in their own unique way. But why? Shouldn’t Valentine’s Day solely be focused on showing love to your people?
At Greetabl, we believe February 14th should be a day that allows for connection within your circles. Valentine’s Day is intended to be meaningful and personal, but somewhere along the way, cupid went a little wrong. Before we get to what Valentine’s Day should be, let’s take an honest survey of what it currently is.
The Ridiculous Expectations of Valentine’s Day
For singles, there’s an ultra-negative perception of ‘being alone on Valentine’s Day’. Even if you have a healthy mindset and are happy flying solo, you’re somehow still viewed as ‘lonely’. People almost feel bad for you. We know you don’t want their pity, especially on a holiday that should be happy, light-hearted, and cheerful.
If you’re casually dating… well then, welcome to the land of confusion. Should you make plans with this person for Valentine’s Day or should you do your own thing? If you see them, does that mean you need to DTR (define the relationship)? Too early on, the pressure of the holiday can force you and your partner into something you’re not ready for.
For those in a new relationship, there’s an expectation to give a gift that is well thought-out and personal. BUT – hold up – don’t make it too personal because that’ll make it weird. Especially if this is your first holiday together, you’re setting the bar for all other gifts. You’re establishing precedence for the years to come. And giving a bad gift? That could be a point against you. Thankfully, Team Greetabl has real-life testimonies of couples who’ve recovered from very bad Valentine’s gifts. Yes, you can weather the storm.
So you are in a long-term relationship? Don’t think ‘settled’ partnerships are immune to the pressures of Valentine’s Day. Unless you have a no-gifting rule, you’re going to pay for overpriced markups. And for what? A gift that’ll likely get tossed aside or wind up in the trash. You only buy a gift because you ‘have to’… or so society says.
If any of the above awkward, unwelcome, or uncomfy emotions associated with V-Day resonate, listen up. Set aside all the preconceived notions you have of the holiday because we’re getting back to loving your people well on Valentine’s Day. No weird associations attached.
Here are Team Greetabl’s 5 practical ways to love your people on Valentine’s Day (and beyond!):
1. Express gratitude for the many forms of love in your life
We know this isn’t a profound thought, but it doesn’t hurt to be reminded that love comes in other forms besides romance. For singles and couples alike, remember to celebrate all the people who make up your world as you know it. Friends, family, and co-workers all shape you in wonderful and formative ways, so be sure to acknowledge them on the Day of Love. Take a step back and write down a list of all the people you appreciate:
- The teammate you recently crushed a project with
- Your niece or nephew
- An old friend
- Your mentor
- The person in your life who recently suffered a loss
- Your friendly neighbor who always pulls in your trashcan
- The essential workers in your circle – healthcare workers, teachers, and the grocery store clerk who makes you smile every. single. time. you see them
Still think it’s a little awkward and weird? Shift your focus from the associations of Valentine’s Day to the people you celebrate on the holiday. That mindset change will relieve the pressure of V-Day and help you take action to show people you care. Appreciate that Valentine’s Day is a reminder or excuse to thank the people who make your life better.
One easy way to connect with your people? You guessed it. Greetabl is here to help celebrate everyone from your partner to your grandma to your best friend. Our Valentine’s Day Shop is full of ideas for everyone on your list. If you get a little stuck, take our Interactive Quiz to find the perfect V-Day gift.
2. Throw an at-home event
Whether you’re throwing a virtual event for your friends, family, or partner, there are many ways you can make the day light-hearted and fun. For this, we’ve called in our favorite event expert, Amanda Wilens. You can head to her website for an incredible small-batch vanilla cupcake recipe (perfect for your quarantine crew!). We’re pre-heating our ovens faster than you can say strawberry buttercream.
If you’re looking to celebrate with your Quarantine (yes, we said it), Amanda will also walk you through how to have a date night at home. Her tips will help shake up your routine, even if you’re only traveling from the fridge to the couch.
Galentine’s Day more your thing? Fire up your computer, open up Zoom, and cook waffles together with your favorite friends. You know Leslie Knope wants you to (safely!) celebrate your lady friends regardless of what the world looks like.
3. Speak your people’s love language
Do you know what words or actions make the people in your life feel most loved? If you’re new to the concept of the 5 Five Love Languages, let us introduce you to a revolutionary idea by Dr. Gary Chapman. He has pinpointed five key areas in which people give and receive love, which is both basic and profound. People rank the five expressions of love with varying importance. Meaning, the way you receive love is likely different than your partner, co-worker, or friend.
The five categories of receiving love are as follows:
- Words of Affirmation
- Physical Touch
- Acts of Service
- Quality Time
- Receiving Gifts
If this all feels like a foreign language, we recommend starting at the foundation. Ask your loved one to get started here with the Love Language quiz. There are versions for couples, kids, teens, and singles. All are welcome, so head there and come back to us.
Learning how your loved ones feel appreciated and cared for will be a major unlock in your relationships. Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to start.
4. Make their life a little easier
Is your roomie always losing their keys? Hang a key holder on the wall by your front door to cut their frantic searches around the house. Does your partner miss the whiteboard in their old office? Surprise them with one in their WFH space. Are they always looking in the pantry for a 3 o’clock pick-me-up? Gift them our XOXO Chocolate Hearts, perfect to satisfy that afternoon craving!
There is a simple but universal truth: people feel loved when they feel seen and valued. The knowledge that you’re paying attention to the little details of their life will go a long way. This doesn’t have to be an extravagant display. Sometimes the small and simple things you notice are all the sweeter.
5. Have fun!
In the name of Cupid, remember to make Valentine’s Day fun. Remove the stress and pressure… that is NOT what this day is intended to be! Throw on hot pink, red, hearts, glitter, whatever. One of the best gifts you can give to your people is the gift of joy, especially during this time.
Recall funny memories. Give your people something to make them laugh. Inject some happiness into their day. We promise your efforts won’t be wasted.
Amanda Wilens is a professional event planner, published photographer and stylist, and recipe developer. She’s expanded from her events background to styling, recipe development, workshops, photography, and social media. Amanda is also an editor on the feedfeed for the Sprinkle Feed, a contributor to LaurenConrad.com, contributor and influencer for LC Lauren Conrad, as well as The Little Market.