Unless you are currently in a relationship, you are going to be kicking it with friends this Valentine’s Day. The very short window between the back-to-school-I-missed-you-so-much frenzy and the awkward pre-Valentine’s Day love shutdown has closed. This means the holiday can either be a total bummer or one of the best nights of your semester.
Asking someone out for Valentine’s Day is a solid Hail Mary, but should only be used as a last resort. The flowers and chocolate in your dorm thing may seem cute in a rom-com, but it never works in the real world. One of three things will happen: it all works out and you date, the other person turns you down and you feel worse than ever, or they say yes just because they don’t want to be alone and then a week or two later find an excuse to pull out the hump and dump. The odds are never in your favor.
People will start getting back into the swing of the dating thing around March 1. By then, it has been long enough that it isn’t super obvious you were avoiding the dreaded holiday of love, but not so long that your potential mates have already been snatched up by better candidates. I have started more relationships on March 1 than I care to admit. They last a solid couple of months until summer vacation and then you have new options.
It is important to remember to avoid lonely Valentine’s Day hookups. They arise out of loneliness and leave you feeling even more depressed than you felt walking through CVS and staring at all the heart-shaped merchandise. It is the walk of shame on caffeine pills. I have even heard stories of Valentine’s Day hookups ending in tears. Save yourself.
Instead, make plans with your other single friends and remember that loving your friends is just as fun as loving a person of your preferred gender and a lot less expensive. You’ll never regret a friend date! Try throwing an anti-Valentine’s day party like the one in that movie Valentine’s Day. A piñata can make any night magical.
New relationships and Valentine’s Day are not the beautiful romantic experience depicted in the movies. There is no clear distinction between what is an unforgettable evening, and what is trying too hard. Once, I started dating a guy a week before the big day. Unfortunately, the poor timing caused an even more pathetic Valentine’s Day then the ones I had spent alone. I gave him a card with an airplane doodle on it. Not even your mom wants that. Just hold off your declarations of love for a few weeks and you’ll be fine.
If you are in a committed relationship for Valentine’s Day, some of your friends may be passive aggressive and bitter about it, but you should feel lucky. It is the one day of the year that it is okay to make doe eyes at your date in a restaurant and be surrounded by other people doing the same thing.
Make your Valentine’s Day count, but don’t try to go overboard. The last thing you need is to be stressed out when you are supposed to be enjoying your significant other. However, that doesn’t mean you should slack off. Everyone needs to be a little mushy sometimes. Yes, Valentine’s Day is a commercial holiday endorsed by corporations, but viewing it like that is cynical and boring. Drop the hipster act and quit being a Debbie Downer.
Try to avoid the cliché candy flowers and the nice restaurant thing. You are an Emerson student — get creative and do something that is unique as your relationship. Do you and your significant other both have a passion for building card houses? Build a giant heart one or something. Just don’t be lame. Happy Valentine’s Day!