Valentine's Day Is Fun, Not Cringe. I Said What I Said

It's cheesy, but we love it.
eyesfoto via Getty Images

After what felt like eight weeks, the month of January is finally over. Say goodbye to Dry Jan, that ridiculous diet plan you didn’t stick with, and say hello to February and payday. Though it’s a short and sweet month, there’s one date that stands out in the month of February.

No, not Pancake day (which is on the 21st of February for those who were wondering) it is of course Valentine’s day. The day of love tends to bring up mixed opinions. For some, it feels cliché or cheesy to be excited about Valentine’s day. You can show love to your partner, friends, or family on any day of the year, so why should we use this one day to make someone feel extra special?

Additionally, Jessica Alderson – a relationship expert at So Syncd – says “some people feel uncomfortable with the idea of publicly declaring their love in a highly visible way because they see it as fake or cringeworthy.”

i hate valentines day i hate it so much

— sima hater era (@zmntiii) February 1, 2023

“Some people simply don’t believe in celebrating Valentine’s Day because they eschew tradition and think that it is unnecessary or celebrate anything on a seemingly arbitrary day. They can see it as a forced display of affection that doesn’t come from an authentic place,” she adds.

It’s also a capitalist’s dream day. Pink hearts, chocolate, and flowers all on display to be bought in the dozens. “Some people see Valentine’s Day as an overly commercialised holiday that encourages excessive spending on gifts and other items,” Alderson adds.

There’s also societal pressure put on us to celebrate Valentine’s day. “It’s not uncommon for friends, family, and colleagues to ask each other if they have plans for the day or to compare gifts they’ve received,” Alderson says.

Despite knowing all of this, I still love Valentine’s day. It’s an excuse to treat your loved ones and show someone you really love and appreciate them. The day doesn’t have to be centered around romantic relationships, you can spend the day by yourself, with your friends, or with your family. And there’s nothing wrong with wanting to enjoy the day. “You should just do what is right for you as a couple,” Alderson says.

“Whether that’s celebrating the day with a romantic dinner, simply cuddling on the couch, or choosing not to celebrate it at all, if that’s what works for you, then go with it.”

Even if you’re single or just went through a break-up, it doesn’t have to be an awful day

If you’ve just been dumped or are currently going through a breakup, the day can be a reminder of what could have been. “For people who have been dumped, Valentine’s Day can come with a whole host of complex emotions. While seeing happy couples can be a reminder of what you’ve lost,” Alderson says.

But this doesn’t mean you can’t make most of the day, Alderson has some tips on how you can still enjoy the day:

“First, it’s important to be kind to yourself by acknowledging your emotions and feeling them without judgment. Your emotions are natural and valid, so it’s important not to suppress them. So don’t beat yourself up for feeling sad.”

Alderson continues: “though it’s important to accept your emotions, there are ways of adjusting your mindset that can help to shift your perspective of Valentine’s Day. “Every time you see a couple, you can either view them as a reminder of what you don’t have or inspiration of what you can have — the choice is yours.”

“Take a step back and consciously think about how you frame your thoughts.”

“Instead of telling yourself that you’re the only one who is single, remind yourself that if there are so many couples, there’s a high chance that your match is out there too. Essentially, use Valentine’s Day as a source of inspiration rather than thinking about it from a place of lack. This is extremely powerful,” Alderson adds.

If you feel like you’re going to find Valentine’s Day difficult, either plan a fun evening with friends or an enjoyable activity for yourself.

“There are lots of different kinds of love in the world. You can use Valentine’s Day to celebrate friendship, love, or self-love. Both are essential to our happiness,” Alderson says.

Use this time to focus on the positives of being single. “Like having freedom, making your own decisions, and having more time to work on yourself. Next year, you might have to compromise on some of these things, so make the most of it now.”