Valentine’s Day runs the gamut of emotions for many people. Some love it and celebrate it with joy, while others loathe it and see it as a “Hallmark Holiday” that is essentially meaningless. The primary reason it is a difficult holiday for many to navigate is the definition of Romance is to “perform an ordinary act of love or kindness at an unexpected time.” It is that “unexpected time” concept that makes it a challenge.
What is unexpected about Valentine’s Day? Not much. We all know it falls on February 14th. The number 14 on most calendars is printed in red to imply love and affection. Chocolate, flowers, jewelry, dinners, hearts, stuffed animals and kisses are seen as the traditional “go to” gifts, which although are appreciated, are often considered cliche’.
So, what is one to do? Here are a few suggestions:
First, instead of seeing it as a holiday to despise, see it as an opportunity to be creative, service oriented and giving.
• Throw a S.A.D. Party (Single’s Awareness Day!) and invite all your unattached friends to attend. Ask that they each bring a food and drink item to share and also to bring along another single friend in order to gain access to the event. Who knows how many budding relationships may blossom from such a fun gathering.
• Give your gift, card or sentiment on February 13th, NOT the 14th along with a handwritten note saying, “No one as special as you should have to wait another day!” If you can tell they were not overly thrilled by what you did, gave or planed, simply say, “I was totally kidding. I know tomorrow is Valentine’s Day (and you have 24 hours to regroup and save your soul).
• Never give a gift that is alive or one that should be and isn’t. If you give someone a living, breathing being, that “pet” may outlive the relationship and become a permanent reminder of a failed relationship. Also, avoid gifts that should be alive but are not, such as snake skin boots, a fur coat… jewelry, etc….You get the picture.
• Avoid giving gifts that infer that at some point in time they will ultimately be used on or for you! A new set of pots and pans, hair trimmers, a back scratcher or massager, food processor, cooking knives, tickets to YOUR favorite group or activity, etc.
• Go with edible gifts and activities over candy and flowers. Make sure they are fresh and delicious or surprise them with an outing they did not see coming (such as dining at the restaurant of a culture whose food they have never experienced).
• Never spend more than half more than what you expect your partner to spend on you. For example, if you expect a gift of around $50 from them, don’t exceed $75 with yours. This should not become a “can you top this” competition nor make someone feel slighted or inadequate.
• It you want to do something nice for the employees of an office or company, consider renting a chocolate fountain (with milk, dark and white chocolates) along with fresh fruit and/or pastries for dipping. This would be a nice touch and surely appreciated by all.
– David Coleman is one of America’s most requested and versatile speakers, addressing the topics of heathy relationships, leadership training, exceptional customer service, building inspired, united and selfless teams and outstanding public speaking.