A lovely way to spend Valentine’s Day is to avoid the growing expectations of how to spend the holiday and spend a nice, quiet night with your loved ones, or simply use it as a good excuse to have a special night during an otherwise unexceptional time of year. It can be nice to avoid the crowded bars, expensive dinner specials, and cards and gifts that have become common and go somewhere a little out-of-the-way. One very nice experience I had on Valentine’s Day during one particularly stressful February involved nothing more than my then-boyfriend, a quiet Thai restaurant, and a DVD of something we both wanted to watch.
The restaurant was delicious, cheap and not known for being overcrowded, so we wouldn’t have to worry about waiting for a table, making reservations, or having to overpay for an expensive Valentine’s Day special. Still, we dressed up, which feels nice to do during an otherwise cold and dreary month. Because of the low cost of the food, we were able to treat ourselves to an appetizer as well as a bowl of fried ice cream for dessert. Just getting to take some time away from my busy schedule and spend a night with my boyfriend that was devoted to just the two of us was the best present I could have gotten that year, and fancy nights and drinks and chocolates and cards didn’t really seem necessary to me. For those people who are single, Valentine’s Day can be a very bitter and unpleasant day, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Why not regard it as just a built-in mini-holiday in February and use the night to go out with other friends? At times when I was single on Valentine’s Day, I’ve still used the day as an excuse to break the monotony of my daily routine and go out for a fun dinner, or see a movie with friends, or even go to a concert. Instead of a day dedicated to celebrating romantic love, spend it celebrating other people in your life who are very important to you—or to celebrating yourself!