No matter your relationship status, this day drums-up feelings about partnership and love. Everyone has some thought, opinion or wish on Valentines Day. Some individuals take the reins and create a Valentine's Day that has meaning for them and their loved ones. Those who aren't into the hype hide out until it's over. No matter how you celebrate, the key is to acknowledge where you are in relationship to the individual with whom you choose to share this day. So this Valentine's Day, take it from Frank and "...do it your way!"
All the Single Ladies...
If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you are with! And who are you with all the time? YOU! Take this opportunity to be good to yourself and appreciate the freedom and joy you have being the goddess of your fate, the mistress of your destiny. Take this holiday to show some love to yourself; give yourself a Valentine's Day that is meaningful and nurturing of you.
Whether you go traditional route taking yourself out on the town, buying your favorite chocolates, and placing flowers on your desk, or you enlist friends, family, and/or other singles to engage in a celebration of single-ease, make this day something that has you feel the love. It should be a something that re-affirms your belief in self-love, self-worth and value to humanity.
Valentine's Day doesn't have to be just about romantic love. It can be about any kind of love. Love of family, friends, country, humanity, cause or love of self. Don't limit the type of celebration that can be created or enjoyed. Plan on showing a little love to the number one person in your life, Y-O-U!
All the Dating Ladies...
The number one thing that has this holiday crash and burn is unmet expectations.
Do yourself a favor and take the pressure off yourself and him. Unless your man (whether in an exclusive relationship or not) is the romantic type by nature, this is not likely to be the kind Valentine's Day you see depicted on TV or in the movies. And that's OK. It's truly the sentiment behind the celebration that counts (or that's what should count, IMHO).
If this day is important to you, communicate that to your date. Let him know what you like and how you'd like to celebrate. Men are not mind readers and generally speaking, this holiday is marketed towards what a woman wants. So, unless you two really create this day as something special, then you are leaving it all up to him and he may not be into it.
Besides, most men aren't the best at getting subtle hints (sorry, fellas). If you really want a romantic evening with all the trimmings, I say go direct! Start by asking him how he feels about the holiday and then move on to whether he's planning anything in particular for the two of you. If he's not into the holiday, unless he's into you, I wouldn't get my hopes up too high. Men generally have the feeling (mostly from Hallmark) that this holiday holds significance to women. So and unless he's planning on going in that direction (significance in the relationship), or made it clear that this isn't (significant) and he just wants to celebrate the holiday, don't expect him to pull out all the stops just for one day.
If your relationship hasn't risen to the level of acknowledging this holiday, perhaps it's too soon or you, or he just isn't the one, then you can take the pressure off and just say you'd like to "do something" to acknowledge Valentine's Day and plan the holiday together. This will have you both have a great time without the fear of not meeting hidden expectations.
The best gift you can give to anyone is letting them where you stand and honoring their wishes, wants and feelings rather than having some hidden agenda that secretly measures their love by what happens on this day.
Make this an enjoyable holiday by sharing what you'd like, accepting where he is. Magic can happen when two people know where they stand and what they want without making the other responsible for their happiness.
For the Married Ladies...
By now you and your hubby probably know each other well. Even if this is your first Valentine's Day, you probably already have a sense of whether this day is just another day for him, he's into it for you, or he's the romantic type and is into it because he's into it.
No matter what your plans are for the holiday, consider something that you can give your partner that will be surprising. Mix things up a bit, putting some excitement and spontaneity into your plans. Make it something he truly wants rather than something you want to give. Perhaps what he really wants is you naked next to a can of chilled whipped cream, or his favorite home cooked meal served by you only wearing an apron, or maybe he wants to play Fifty Shades of Grey. I'm sure if you think about it, there's something that he's been wanting that would that would completely blow his... mind.
Since this holiday is generally about the romantic aspects of relationship, it's targeted more towards women and their needs. Every commercial shown is about what to do for the "her" in the relationship. Take a piece of this holiday and flip the script. Use this holiday to put some sexy back into the partnership. And if this flame is still burning bright, take this time to throw another log onto the fire. Give him something that will have him looking forward to the next Valentine's Day because he knows that there is something in it for him too.
And finally... for the Married Woman With Children
Hopefully, you and your hubby create a wonderful celebration of your relationship and continued commitment to each other in a way that has you both energized and read to do something cool the kids.
It's always wonderful to have family celebrations that give you the opportunity to express love and affection in an affirming way. And and it's an opportunity for the kids to feel loved and supported in other ways that do not involve elaborate decorations, presents, and house hopping with relatives. Especially for teens, who are impressed upon by TV peers and society in general that is strictly a romantic holiday.
Some ideas to try on: Mommies (and daddies, too) can have a pampering day with their girls (and boys too). Daddies can take the boys (and girls too) to a sporting event, gaming arena (paint ball, go-kart racing, laser tag). Museums and cultural events are also great. Or make up your own traditions of love. There aren't any rules except that it has to be a loving experience for all.
Although I am more in favor of having a loving experience as the celebration rather than spending money, "gifts" are actually a love language for some and can be the perfect way express your love. I personally keep a list of special things for my daughter that I can give her for occasions such as this -- cards, chocolates, lip gloss, perfume, action figures, fun stickers, fashion cases for her phone, iTunes cards, beanie babies, etc. Just a little token so that she'll remember the day, and more importantly so she'll feel the love. Giving people a gift that is about their likes or wants, has them feel seen, heard, known, and ultimately loved.
Whatever you choose to do this Valentine's Day, be sure to take at least a moment to express your love, whether it's to yourself, your partner, your family, or your friends. We don't always say I love you with words, but take just a few to say those magic words to someone who means the world to you. It's one thing to know someone loves you intellectually, it's another thing to actually feel it. And ultimately that's what this day is all about -- letting those you love actually feel your love.