Why I Love Valentine's Day

Illustrated by Elliot Salazar.

Valentine's Day has always been a fun holiday for me (chocolate and pretty pink things everywhere? Yep, I’m in!). Even when I was single, I enjoyed V-Day, because I love love. And so, for me, on the day that is made to celebrate love (even if Hallmark did have a big hand in helping that along), I'm not going to be a hater — I'm also not going to reserve my mushy, lovey-dovey feelings just for my man. 

Instead, I am going to spread Valentine's Day cheer to all of the loves in my life — including myself. If you're single and not feeling February 14, take a hint from me and shower your people, near and far, with love. It's a hard holiday to escape, so finding a way to make it a positive time of year will only do you good.

Family
Since I was a little girl, I could always count on receiving candy and stuffed animals from my dad on V-Day. Even though I’m adult and on my own now, I still anxiously await his deliveries, but instead of just being on the receiving end, I'm going to give back. I have cards for my mom, dad, and my sisters.

My family is my number one source of love and support, they’re the people who taught me to love, so I definitely need to celebrate them on 2/14. It doesn't matter if you're super-close to your parents, it still might be fun to send them valentines. Maybe your grandmother or niece or nephew will appreciate the unexpected snail mail.

Related: I Have Someone This Valentine's Day & I Haven't Changed


Friends
When I wasn’t dating anyone, I loved spending time with my friends on Valentine’s Day. One year, I had everyone over for Mexican food and margaritas. I ended up being so busy cooking a meal and mixing up cocktails (and eating the chocolate that my dad sent) that I didn’t even have time to think about the fact that I didn't have a romantic valentine. 

This year, I’m dating someone, but I'm not about to ditch my friends. As Valentine's Day falls on a Saturday, I'm thinking maybe mani-pedis on Friday after work, or a group yoga class on Saturday morning. Don't be that friend who forgets about the single people, even if you are happily attached.

Related: 21 Last-Minute Valentine's Day Dresses


Coworkers

I’ve been blessed to have great office pals — and thank goodness for that because I can’t imagine spending 40 hours a week with people I don't like. A couple of years ago, I decided to make Valentine's Day my coworker appreciation day, so baking brownies or buying cookies is my way of showing a little love to the people who manage to make the workday fast and fun. 

It never feels bad to do something nice for someone, and this can be especially true in the office, when we're all a little stressed and dealing with various demands. So, this week, bring Valentine's Day to work and use it to show your gratitude for the people who are by your side all day long.

Self
The most important relationship I have is with me. Whether I’m in a relationship or not, I know it's the love I have for myself that's truly sustaining. I’m learning to love my body at any size, learning to accept my accomplishments in life, and am just learning to love who I am right now. I'm continually striving to be the best version of myself that I can be.

I'd encourage you to do something for yourself this February 14. Maybe it's as simple as taking an extra 10 minutes to sit in the steam room after your workout, downloading a new album to listen to on the train, or taking yourself to see Fifty Shades of Grey because you're dying to see it. You deserve to be treated amazingly, even if you're the one doing the treating.

Related: How Do I Love Myself?


We don't need to be in a romantic relationship to celebrate love and to be happy. In my opinion, it's feeling and sharing love that's at the heart of this holiday — not a specific requirement of who you do that with. There are probably a few worthy people on your radar, so take a few minutes and figure out who you want to spread the love to this year.
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