Valentines Day: For Both the Single and Taken

by Taylor Hudson

I’ll admit it: I am Valentine’s Day scrooge. There’s just something about the commercialism of the holiday that I find extraordinarily forced and synthetic.

As cliché as it may it sound, I am a firm believe in love that isn’t earned by purchasing a Texas-sized teddy bear that has no sole purpose other than to collect dust. Or, a massive heart shaped box filled with chocolates that will only produce diabetes, not affection. Or, a dozen roses that, honestly, just get depressing after a week—like the rose in Beauty and the Beast that slowly shrivels away and insinuates the death of their possible love story. You get my point.

It just doesn’t make sense to me. But, don’t get me wrong—I genuinely don’t hate the holiday. The idea of a day of devoted solely to expressing love is refreshing and romantic. I do not hate the holiday—I hate the fact that it’s synonymous with a trip to Hallmark.

Shouldn’t we attempt to stray away from the norm, and think out side of the pink and heart-shaped box? I know critical thinking is hard, but it can be done; I promise.

Guys, if you really want to impress your girlfriend, refrain from spending money. Yes, you read that correctly. Find a way to show how much you care for her without spending a dime—or at least very little. It shows that you actually put thought into your gift or date and didn’t rely on wallet to speak your feelings for you. Some ideas could be going on a hike together, sticky noting her entire dorm room with cheesy love notes, or surprising her during her work shift with her favorite Starbucks drink. You could even call up that friend of yours with a nice a DSLR camera, do a quick photo shoot with her and surprise her with the printed pictures in a nice frame.

Of course, the burden shouldn’t only be put on the guys. Girls, you have to step it up to! Imagine if you devoted a whole date to learning how to do all the stuff that your boyfriend does: video games, sports, or anything else that he loves, but you don’t. He’ll appreciate the effort, and have fun trying to teach you[PL1] . Maybe he will even let you win a time or two.

If you’re single, don’t get down in the dumps. Valentine’s Day is always advertised as the holiday that is reserved for people in relationships; this idea is wrong. Valentine’s Day is supposed to be about love, right? So, why not still celebrate it with people you love?

Girls, don’t be afraid to call up your girlfriends who also are victims of JMU’s poor boy to girl ratio and plan a day together. JMU offers several Valentine’s Day events, like movies and food , both for free! What can be better? Or, you could plan a single girl’s party—a full night of romantic comedy’s, extremely fattening food, and 90s music.

As far as you single guys go, I may not be of much help—being a girl myself, I may not have the best advice. But, I see nothing wrong with organizing a game of basketball with your friends. Or, a video game tournament?

Whether you are a girl or a guy, the trick to hanging out with other single friends on Valentine’s Day is to avoid the pity party. Don’t let your singleness be a downer; own it and have fun!

If all else fails, and you still need an idea for Valentine’s—regardless if you are in a relationship or not—there is one place that will always be a guaranteed love-fest. Volunteer at the SPCA; those dogs will lift your spirits by showering you with loving kisses and wagging tails. Perfect for Valentine’s Day, right?

Hallmark may not agree, Valentine’s Day is not about what your wallet can offer. It’s about the genuine effort.

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