Amanda Cade

Worth It! (Things to try, read, watch, hear, and discuss)

Depending on who you ask, Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love, a Hallmark inspired scam, or a depressing reminder of being alone. I tend to go with the celebration of love, despite being single. In my Valentine’s themed post last year, I talked about different ways to think about Valentine’s Day, whether you’re single or part of a couple. However, I am well aware of the fact that a lot of people regardless of their relationship status and best of intentions find Valentine’s Day stressful. So let’s talk about why that is, and how to avoid it.

Couples

date niteWhy it’s stressful: Expectations. There are some very strong messages coming from everywhere, all the time, about what Valentine’s Day should be. I think this has gotten especially strong in today’s world of ubiquitous social media. You need the right gift, the right card, the right flowers, the right restaurant. If you don’t plan the perfect Valentine’s Day, you’ll be in the doghouse, or if you aren’t on the receiving end of the perfect Valentine’s Day, your partner is insensitive, irresponsible, and/or just doesn’t care enough.

What to do about it: First of all, tune out all of those advertisements, movies, and advice from others and realize that there are only two expectations that matter: yours and your partner’s. Have an honest conversation about how important Valentine’s Day is or isn’t to both of you. Talk about the options, and plan together instead of one person taking on all the responsibility. You might find that your expectations are in sync, and if not, it gives you the opportunity to find your middle ground or to decide what you’re willing to give up or grin and bear. 

Once upon a time, I had a significant other go absolutely insane planning an expensive and elaborate Valentine’s Day experience. I appreciated it, but honestly, it was completely unnecessary. I’m a no frills kind of girl and would have been fine with something simple. I wish I’d made the effort to make my feeling’s known and saved the poor guy a lot of stress. 

Happily Single

hello friendWhy it’s stressful: This is where I live my life right now, and it’s actually a very easy place to be. For those of us who are content with not being in a relationship, most of the Valentine’s Day messages just become white noise. The thing that can be stressful, though, is that Valentine’s Day often inspires the people around us to comment on our single status. It amazes me how often people try to fix me up in the first few weeks of February. 

How to deal with it: Start by remembering that most people are doing these things from a place of concern. Odds are that if you hear them out, they will then be receptive to a polite response. Have one ready so you aren’t caught off guard, like, “I appreciate it, but I’m actually very happy with my life right now. I hope that you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day, and again, thank you so much for caring.”

Unhappily Single

broken heart rainWhy it’s stressful: This is probably the toughest place to be, and I have been there. If you’re not in a relationship and would very much like to be, Valentine’s Day is one of those times where you feel the universe is rubbing it in your face. 

How to deal with it: First, remind yourself that things happen when they happen and that trying to force a romantic connection almost never leads to a good outcome. Second, keep yourself busy. Make plans with other single friends, or set the time aside for solo activities you enjoy. Remind yourself that there are also benefits to not having to check with someone else about what to do, what to eat, what movie to watch, etc. Give yourself a self-care night or time to indulge in a hobby or interest. Enjoy the company of friend and family, or yourself, because those relationships are important. Either way, focus on what you have as opposed to what you don’t. 

And stay away from the rom coms. Trust me on that.

happy valentines day

Do you have any plans for Valentine’s Day?

31 thoughts on “Avoid Valentine’s Day Stress (for any relationship status)

  1. kagould17 says:

    Timely post for sure Amanda. Corporate America and Canada create all this stress, so you can tell that perfect someone that you love them on one day a year and then go back to normal for the other 364. I am glad to be happily married for 42+ years and comfortable enough so not only can we agree on how we will celebrate the day, but on when and where we will timeshift it to and. We fixed the problem of buying the wrong chocolates for each other too, by going to the shop together, picking out our own and then paying for each other’s purchase. Life is too short to be worrying about someone else’s version of love. Happy Valentine’s Day Amanda. Allan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I love that phrase “someone else’s version of love”. What a perfect way to describe the unnecessary pressure so many people feel.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The Eclectic Contrarian says:

    People tend to judge you if you’re at a certain age and still single. Yet many portray marriage like a prison… It should only be about love. Regardless of what your status is…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. msnyder1970 says:

    My wife and I don’t treat it as a big deal. I’m allergic to flowers so that’s out of the question. We only go out to eat if it falls on a weekend otherwise Ill cook her favorite meal. We’re both creative so we don’t have to $pend on cards either. The thing I hated the most when I was single was buying anything on that day and having the clerk say, I hope she likes it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      Sounds like you and your wife have found what works for you. I never thought about the conversations with store clerks, but you’re right…I do recall now that Valentine’s Day is usually mentioned when I’m shopping.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. msnyder1970 says:

        yeah same thing happened to me on Mothers Day. I just sometimes think it’s best to leave holiday greetings out of retail. At the time I was buying flowers for my late Mom to put in the cemetery.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Amanda Cade says:

        That’s a really good point. I imagine a lot of people don’t realize that their comments can inadvertently make someone uncomfortable.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Paul says:

    My partner and I don’t tend to paty a lot of attention to Valentine’s day — it is a very commercialised holiday and one that often seems to exist for no purpose other than to extract money from people. If things work out for us timewise, we may do something otherwise we won’t bother.

    As yau say at the start of your post, the only expectations that matter are those of you and your partner. As long as these are aligned, everything else is very easy to ignore.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I have a coworker who enjoys gleefully saying, “Happy Hallmark Day” to everyone he passes.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Very nice post! I actually thought about buying Hallmark stock around this time of year. To my chagrin, I learned Hallmark Cards, Inc. is a private, family-owned American company based in Kansas City, Missouri. Uh, well. So much for great ideas. 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      How selfish of them. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Wait, is Valentine’s Day coming up?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That would explain all the hearts I keep seeing hanging up in stores…here I thought it was something to raise awareness for heart disease 😛

        On a more serious note, I used to hate Valentines Day for various reasons, but now I sort of like it, at least when honored sincerely. We get so caught up in the nonsense of life, and it’s nice to have a day officially designated to let your partner know how much they mean to you. Gosh, I’m getting soft in my old age.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. It is so commercial! We don’t even celebrate and we will be married 30 years in November. I make it about the grandkids, that’s much more fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I buy presents for me nieces, and my dad always sends me a card. 💖💕

      Liked by 1 person

  8. that is a very realistic round up of Valentine’s day

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      Way too much unnecessary stress.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. alexraphael says:

    “Do you have a date for Valentine’s day?
    Yes, february 14th”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I’m going to steal that one!

      Like

      1. alexraphael says:

        Go ahead 😃 It’s from The American Office.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. CarolCooks2 says:

    Valentines Day…cards and gifts were send anonymously and then along came commercialism…As a teenager many moons ago we loved the mystery…

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Lynn Cannon says:

    I wrote something similar in regards to Valentine’s Day titled How to be a Good Friend on Valentine’s Day. Check it out if like https://leisurelynn.com/how-to-be-a-better-friend-on-valentines-day/

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Jay says:

    We don’t have any big plans this year. Sometimes we have a big night out, other times a quiet night in, and sometimes it just goes unremarked upon and it doesn’t much matter to either of us. We take any chance to celebrate each other and it doesn’t really matter which day it falls on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      No 24 hour movie marathon? 😉

      Like

  13. Happy single right now ….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      Thanks. Living the single dream over here. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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