There are tons of articles out there on what you should do on Valentine’s Day: creative date ideas for the couples, fun options for the single folk, inventive recipes to whip up or DIY gifts to try and master…but no one really talks about the things you should NOT do on Valentine’s Day, this “day of love.” That said, I’ve put together a list of 10 things not to do on Valentine’s Day, for everyone’s sake.
1. Complain about how you’re single.
You, my friend, need to take a breath. There is absolutely no point in going around grumbling about the fact that you, like countless others, are single. Yes, it sucks to be alone on Valentine’s Day, but when you really break it down, you aren’t that alone. First off, you’re joined by the million others who don’t have a special someone with whom to share this holiday, which rivals New Year’s Eve in providing us with nothing but disappointment and loneliness. Second, at least you’ve got yourself. There are so many positives of being alone, including not having to shave your legs and being able to drink an entire bottle of wine without ever leaving the comfort of your couch. And if you’re really that lonely, get on Tinder and find the thousands of other singles in your area looking for some love.
2. Brag about how you’re in a relationship.
Most people who have two eyes and a working conscience can see from your incessant social media activity that you are in a loving, serious, committed relationship. Now, that’s just great for you, but I don’t need you to constantly remind me of your eternal happiness on the one day of the year when my being single feels a lot like rubbing salt in the wound. Having to double tap your Valentine’s Day Instagram, simply in the hopes that maybe you’ll return the favor when I post a pathetic picture of my footie pajamas and chamomile tea later in the night, seems like enough gratification for your relationship. Please don’t make me coo over your adorable dinner reservations when I’ll be eating my sixth Lean Cuisine of the week.
3. Go on a blind date.
As if Valentine’s Day isn’t already tainted by foul memories of your grade school crush not giving you a special, handmade card that professed his love for you during the classroom swap, you don’t need to go on an inevitably shitty blind date on Valentine’s Day. Let’s be real for a second: blind dates end in disaster or disappointment like, ninety-nine percent of the time. You get dressed up in some new top that you probably bought in the hopes of making yourself feel better with a little retail therapy, teeter in life-threatening high heels, and go to dinner at a restaurant where the food isn’t that good, because your date didn’t want to spend too much money on you, as he is unsure of how hot you are. You’re better off spending the night cooking macaroni and cheese for yourself and drinking Franzia than going on a blind date.
4. Watch The Notebook.
We all know that The Notebook is easily one of the most romantic, tear-jerking movies to ever grace the silver screen. But while its romantic overtones do elicit a sense of heartwarming longing, they also elicit a sense of desperation. Look, no one will ever have a love like Noah and Allie. No boy is ever going to write you 365 letters, let alone text you back within the hour. No boy is going to wait years for you, especially after you find yourself engaged to someone else, because what male has that sort of romantic understanding coursing through their veins? I’ll tell you: no one. All that’s going to happen if you want The Notebook on Valentine’s Day is that you’ll find yourself in a puddle of tears on your couch, three fingers of whiskey deep and calling for a large pizza with extra cheese to squash your hunger for love.
5. Drink (heavily).
We all know that you can’t count on both hands the number of questionable decisions you’ve made after one too many pulls of cheap vodka. On a day like Valentine’s Day, there’s no need to compromise your situation any more than just existing on a day like today. Don’t drink to forget your misery, whether you’re perpetually single or dating a frat boy who can’t tell the difference between a chilled Keystone Light and the cold, cold exterior of your un-held hand. Sure, have a glass of wine, or six, within the comfort of your own home and go to bed by 9:00 p.m. on your couch. But don’t take twelve shots of Tito’s before midnight and find yourself sobbing on the cold, hard ground of a club bathroom.
6. Eat a dozen chocolates in one sitting.
I can’t lie to you, dear reader, and say that I don’t feel this urge on a regular basis. But here I sit, with a metabolism that rivals the glacial pace of a slug on the sidewalk on a July day, and I acknowledge that sitting and eating a dozen chocolates on any given day will have disastrous results. On Valentine’s Day, I’ll probably already be feeling pretty downtrodden, considering the last time I had any physical contact with a man was when the cashier at Safeway accidentally brushed my hand as he gave me my change after purchasing a box of tampons. But my pathetic existence aside, go ahead and help yourself to four or five Dove milk chocolate squares. Whatever you do, don’t go out and buy one of those Godforsaken kitschy heart shaped chocolate boxes for yourself.
7. Downplay that card from your mom.
For the past twenty years, Valentine’s Day has presented itself as yet another average day in which no one confesses his undying love for me. I have never been asked if I would like to be someone’s Valentine, and in grade school, boys often neglected to give me the mandatory classmate Valentine because I think even back then they knew that I was a complete weirdo. But my mother, my dear, dear mother, has never failed to give to me at least a dozen chocolates on this day that, I am convinced, was created by Satan. In the mail comes a nice box of See’s Candies, along with a card and typically a small stuffed animal holding a heart that says “I LOVE YOU!” I can’t begin to express the elation I feel when this package arrives. Sure, it’s not the same as a boyfriend who can spoon me through the cold night and brush my hair out of my eyes as we kiss on the sidewalk in the rain. But a mom can’t dump you for another girl, so really, who’s the winner here?
8. Buy yourself flowers and pretend they’re from someone else.
This is pathetic. Please, for the love of God, do not call 1-800-FLOWERS and spend your own hard-earned money on the most expensive Valentine’s Day bouquet available at your disposal. Look at it this way: when you choose to avoid extravagant displays of literal plants on your desk at work, you are doing your part to reduce deforestation and the sense brutality to flora. Just do not stoop to the level of a Katherine Heigl character in a low-budget romantic comedy and buy flowers for yourself to prove the point to the rest of your office or dorm or whatever of how well-liked and sought-after you are. They’re just going to die in three days’ time, and you will feel even more pathetic than you did when the florist gave you a knowing look as she handed them across the counter.
9. Acknowledge that this fake holiday exists.
Valentine’s Day was probably created by Hallmark in an effort to garner more revenue during a particularly difficult fiscal year. They probably saw the potential of selling an excess amount of candy and chocolates as a way to make up for their lack of purpose during, well, any another given time of the year. Yes, St. Valentine is a real saint who was associated with a tradition of courtly love. But considering I had to look on Wikipedia to see that for which he was famous, and I have gone to Catholic school since kindergarten, it’s no wonder we’ve decided to twist this holiday into a day about overpriced, corny greeting cards and chocolates tainted by raspberry nougat.
10. Doubt that love is out there.
Ninety-eight percent of the time, I maintain an incredibly cynical stance on love because, honestly, I have yet to find it. There have been times when I thought I was in love, only to realize that heartbreak comes when what you’re feeling isn’t strong enough to keep your heart together when the rest of you is falling apart. Right now, I’m so single that a friend recently asked me if I was choosing to be single because of the lack of male attention I receive. But I’m holding onto hope that there’s some really hot and rich guy waiting for a girl with dishwater brown hair, unusually flat feet, and the desire to pursue a financially unstable career in writing. To me, love is worth the wait. Yeah, it sucks to be that college student who has yet to be asked to a fraternity date event and spends every night clutching their pillow for comfort. It sucks, but when you lose hope, you forget what love is all about. Love is about finding someone who takes that hope that you’ve held onto all this time, and takes it into their hands and transforms that longing and anticipation into exactly that for which you’ve been waiting.