Heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, dozens of roses and whatever grand gesture Machine Gun Kelly and Megan Fox have planned will inundate the average person's social media feeds on Valentine's Day. But if long-standing tradition (and a healthy dose of all-important earnestness and corniness) aren't exactly your thing, that doesn't mean you have to miss out on Valentine's Day festivities. After all, the start to 2022 has been less than ideal, so why not go all out and do Valentine's Day your way this year?
With that in mind, here are six new ways to make Valentine's Day this year spark some joy and spread some love, no matter what your style is.
1. Spend It With Friends
The Parks & Recreation Galentine's Day episode still lives rent-free in our heads — and for good reason. While the show might have displayed signs of #Girlboss feminism at times, the episode was a reminder of how we should always treat celebrating our friends with the utmost importance. Buy them thoughtful gifts, cook up an extravagant brunch, make them personalised Spotify playlists...let your imagination run wild.
Considering that so many Christmas and NYE plans were marred by COVID (yet again), getting family members involved this Valentine's Day could also be cute. Write them notes of appreciation, surprise them with an extravagant brunch delivery from their favourite place and compile banks of hilarious TikToks to send them for a comfort scroll. Remember, V-Day is all about spreading the love, romantic or not.
2. Have An Anti-Valentines Day
Fighting for a coveted Feb 14th booking at a hyped-up, fancy restaurant (that's likely only doing a set menu for the night) isn't everyone's vibe. So instead, have the best night in ever with your SO — we're talking pyjamas, endless comfort movies or TV shows, scouring DoorDash for the most luxe takeaway there is — you name it.
Having spent much of the last two years indoors, we've come to master the art of the at-home date night. Remember, mood lighting is key, deliciously scented candles everywhere are a must, and setting the right tone with your music is essential. Do this and you won't miss being cramped in with approximately 800 couples in a restaurant at all.
3. Buy Yourself A Gift
We're always advocates for treating ourselves. If you're struggling to justify a big purchase (or even something small) for yourself, use Valentine's Day as an excuse, whether or not you're expecting a gift from someone special. If you've had something sitting in your online cart for months, or a coveted item on your desktop home screen wishlist, take this opportunity to finally tuck in.
4. Go Speed Dating
One of 30 Rock's greatest episodes is when Tina Fey's character Liz Lemon organises a first date with the handsome-yet-clueless Jon Hamm unknowingly on Valentine's Day. If you're single, the only thing more audacious than going on a first date on V-Day is going speed dating.
Yes, it sounds retro, but there are still plenty of themed, LGBTQIA+ friendly and fun speed dating events at pubs and bars. It could be a quirky way to spend V-Day with your single pals, and if they need some convincing, you'll have at least one good story to tell at the end of it all — and what's better than that?
5. Try Something New (In Bed)
6. Recreate Your First Date
This one may be a little more sentimental. For those that are looking to really love it up on Valentine's Day, recreating your first date is a great way to go – especially if your first date was anything but average. If you can't recreate the date exactly, heading to the location and stirring up the feelings and butterflies you first had could really get you in a starry-eyed mood.
Even if you're not really into Valentine's Day, it could be the day you create your own yearly tradition with yourself or someone you love. It's easy to see the day as nothing but a Hallmark holiday, but in the spirit of making 2022 a year of joy despite the odds, why not use the opportunity to indulge a little?