Ask Abby, Lifestyle

Ask Abby (Or Analise): Love is not actually blind — here’s how to master Valentine’s Day

Dear Abby: Is there ever a “right” way to do Valentine’s Day? The date is quickly approaching and I don’t know how to go about this. Romance is pretty new to me, but there’s someone I like. Please help.

Lila Baltaxe | Senior Graphic Artist

Ah, Valentine’s Day — the most coveted, romantic holiday of the year. The entire month of February is seemingly dedicated to finding and cultivating love. I mean, I practically have conversation hearts pooling out of my ears and pockets as I write this.

I get it’s easy to be bitter about a holiday dedicated to love if you don’t have that special someone in your life — and it’s even worse if you’re going through a breakup. However, the love created by Valentine’s Day is not limited to partners. I have loved my friends and my sister just as much as I have liked any boy, so don’t feel like your options are limited.

Now, there’s no right or wrong way to prove your love to someone — but like most things, some methods are better than others. 

Who better to provide you with the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of Valentine’s Day than the author of a dating advice column?

Do: Get them some flowers

I don’t think there’s any gesture more classic than getting someone you love a bunch of flowers. Whether you get them from a professional florist, pick them off the sidewalk of Commonwealth Avenue or stop by that one section of your local grocery store — the options are limitless, which leaves no room for an excuse.

I don’t want to hear, “Oh they’ll just die.” While that’s true, I have pressed or saved at least one flower from every bunch that I have ever been given, solely for the memories.

Now, I suppose roses are the most commonly bought flower for the holiday, but don’t be afraid to stray from the norm (speaking of me personally, I’m a baby’s breath kind of girl). I’m almost certain that someone would prefer a hand-selected bouquet of flowers or a bundle of their favorites over the cliché. 

I swear it’s easy. The petite bouquets from Trader Joe’s are so cheap –– I beg you to stop by and grab some, you might just make someone’s day. 

Don’t: Stay away from generic chocolate

Chocolate of all shapes, sizes and percentages of cocoa are a staple of the holiday –– but I wonder how many actually get eaten? 

While I do think Russel Stover chocolates are fabulous, there are other brands that tend to look better than they taste. I love a heart-shaped piece of chocolate just as much as the next person, but not when it tastes like wax. Yuck!

I think we’ve come such a long way with our creativity to just remain forever limited to chocolate. I recently saw a video of someone who made a bouquet of Sonny Angels for their girlfriend. Now, you don’t always have to be “out there” with your creation, but really think about your person’s favorite things and what they might actually like to receive.

Do: Write them a letter/note

The power of words never ceases to amaze me. Maybe it’s because I’m a writer or extra sentimental, but there’s nothing I would rather receive more than a handwritten letter from someone who loves me.

We tend to sporadically mention how much we all love and appreciate one another, but I appreciate how written words make these sayings all the more tangible. 

Just think about how much thought actually has to go into it. Putting pen to paper requires your special someone to reach into the back of their head and express their adoration for you.

Don’t: Regular stuffed animals won’t cut it anymore

Okay, maybe this one is silly, but in the age of Jelly Cats and Squishmallows, a stuffed bunny from Target just won’t generate that “wow” factor anymore. 

A running theme throughout this article is exactly this: get creative! 

Even if you can’t get your hands on the two most coveted stuffed toys of the year, choose something you know your lover would, well, love. 

Do: Speak up

As I always say, it’s the littlest things that truly mean the most. With that being said, you can never really go wrong with being direct.

A commonality I find in today’s society is that so many people are afraid to tell each other how they feel. Telling someone you “love” them is serious by any means, but I hate that people get too afraid to even speak up.

Even if you can’t commit to such a strong term, don’t let that stop you. Compliment someone you like. Tell your friend you care about them. Tell someone you’ve been admiring in your class that you think they’re really cool. Who knows what may come of it? 

All in all, don’t reject yourself before you have the chance to be rejected.

Don’t: Check, please!

I love and appreciate a dinner date, honestly I do. Where so many people go wrong is that they choose a place without consideration or care. 

You can go to dinner any night of the week, but this is Valentine’s Day. Come on, people! Go big or go home. I’m not saying you should book a dinner next to the Eiffel Tower, but consider surprising your person. 

Take them somewhere unique or a place they really love. Most importantly, follow this up with something romantic: A movie, a walk in the park, dessert and so on. 

My final thoughts

I’ve personally never been a fan of Valentine’s Day, but it’s not because I have been single on every single occasion for the past 19 years. My qualm is that people rush to get something materialistic together to show someone just how much they love them for that one day a year.

Love is a continuing and ongoing process, and doesn’t magically end once the clock strikes midnight on Feb. 14. I firmly believe people should be dedicated to this kind of care and commitment all year-round. 

Still, though, love isn’t blind. Don’t be hesitant about showing out for the big day!

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