Seven Things Not To Do on Valentine’s Day

Seven Things Not To Do on Valentine’s Day

  • Mel, selected from DivineCaroline

By Lyndsay Rush, DivineCaroline

Ahhh, Feburary 14. The day of love. The day that Cupid works for all year. The day Hallmark cashes in on our emotions.

For some people, February 14 is just another day. And this year, just another Sunday. Whether you’re indifferent, upset, or excited, there are some things you just shouldn’t do on this lovers’ holiday:

1. Go on a first date.
I would like to shake my fist at whoever suggests this as a way to spend Valentine’s Day. First dates are hard enough as it is without the added pressure of taking place on a holiday like this. Chances are you’ll either spend the evening with false expectations, hoping he’s “The One,” or you’ll spend the night miserable and wishing you were home in your pajamas. Valentine’s Day is NOT the day to take a dating risk. Reschedule for the next day and question his sanity if going out on Valentine’s Day was his idea.

2. Complain.
There is nothing worse than hearing someone spend all day complaining about their lack of prospects, heartache, or ticking biological clock. Save yourself some dignity, throw out a few snarky jokes about being single if you must, and then save it for your journal. Negativity begets negativity and you will feel the effects of being a downer all day. And so will everyone around you.

3. Call your ex.
ABORT! I repeat, ABORT! If you are considering this as you look tearfully out your bedroom window with The Holiday soundtrack playing in the background, ABORT! On a day like this it’s natural to have your thoughts drift to the last person you were with, but you broke up for a reason and even Cupid can’t create a day big enough to change that. Avoid the Valentine’s Day emotional hangover and don’t attempt a reconnect.

 

4. Reenact MTV Spring Break.
The last thing you need to do is drink your way out of this holiday. While it is perfectly acceptable (and fun!) to dress up and go out with your girlfriends on V-Day, don’t channel your inner “Senior year spring break.” Remember, this is just another day on the calendar and you taking four tequila shots is not going to fix anything about your love life.

5. Take yourself for granted.
This is a big one. Do whatever it takes to get perspective on life amidst the flower, candy, and romance-induced mayhem. Your worth and value as a human being and sister, daughter, friend is in no way influenced by your relationship status. Keep your chin up and focus on what you have accomplished this year or what you hope to accomplish in the future. You are loved and valued for more than your ability to snag a significant other.

6. Be alone.
The chances of the above “not to-dos” occurring is exponentially higher if you’re alone on Valentine’s Day. Gather with friends over dinner. Get some pals and go see a flick. Open a bottle of champagne with your best friend. Do whatever it takes to surround yourself with love. This is one of the best ways to ensure you spend the night having fun and focusing on the wonderful, non-romantic loves in your life.

7. Overlook the good in your life.
This one goes along with the “taking yourself for granted” no-no. Although it’s easy to be swept up by romantic comedies, candlelight dinners, past lovers, roses, chocolates, teddy bears, and diamonds, there is much in life that is equally–if not more–important. Try making a list of blessings in your life. From “roof over my head” to “amazing nail polish collection,” pen all of the things in your life that make it excellent. We need reminders of this every day and not just Valentine’s Day.

At the end of the day, what really matters is a healthy perspective on February 14 and all that comes along with it. In no way do I mean to imply that this should be a day of doom and gloom to those of us who are not currently in a relationship, but I offer this list as an opportunity to maintain perspective amidst a wildly commercial day focused on romantic love. Cheers to a day full of love–in whatever way it reveals itself to you!

The Most Wanted Gift (and It’s Free!)

The Most Wanted Gift (and It’s Free!)

  • Robert Pagliarini

 

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve written how you can save money this Christmas and even shared 10 free Christmas gift ideas. If you follow those tips, you’ll make the people on your list quite happy. But if “happy” just isn’t good enough for the most special people in your life, you can give them a gift they will never forget . . .

I was at a party the other night, and after the other guests had left, the host and I sat around the kitchen table and just talked. I mean we really talked — something much deeper and more meaningful than the surface-level chit-chat that occupied most of the evening’s conversations.

What I heard touched me. The host, a neighbor I just met this year, opened up and told me how much he valued our friendship. He said I was an inspiration. I shot back, “I don’t know about that…” but he stopped me. He looked at me thoughtfully and slowly said, “Robert, you really have been.” He then went on to give me very specific events and interactions over the last 12 months of how I impacted his life and why he was grateful we met.

A few things struck me about this conversation. First, I immediately felt overwhelming gratitude. It was an amazing feeling to have someone tell me how much my friendship meant. Nothing feels better than to hear someone tell you how much you mean to them and the impact you’ve made on their life.

Second, whether you are cognizant of it or not, you have had and are having an impact on others — your co-workers, your neighbors, your clients, your family, and your friends. And if you think very long about it, you’ll realize they have had an impact on you.

Third, for a lesser man (or woman), these heart-to-heart conversations don’t just roll off the tongue. They take courage. They also require details. It’s one thing for someone to tell you in glib Hallmark fashion how much you mean to them, but it is a completely different and more profound experience to hear the smallest of details that you thought went unnoticed.

Fourth, there is usually a large disparity between how we see ourselves and how others see us. It can be fascinating and eye-opening to hear how others experience us. And lastly, the feeling that has developed since that night is the desire — maybe more aptly described as a need — to share with those around me how they have impacted my life.

Maybe you’re already good at sharing your feelings. You may argue that throughout the year you tell your friends and loved ones what they mean to you so there’s no need to do it again. Maybe you’re afraid this kind of conversation would make your friend or family member feel uncomfortable. Or more likely, you may be hesitant because it would make you uncomfortable.

Whatever your excuse, I’m going to make it easy for you. Use these questions as your guide. If one-on-one isn’t your thing, write your answers in a letter or card, send them an email, or post the questions and answers to their Facebook wall.

  • What do you appreciate about me the most?
  • What have I done this year that made your 2011 special?
  • How would your life be different if I wasn’t in it?
  • What did I do this year for which you are most proud?
  • What are my best qualities?
  • What traits do I have that you wished you had?
  • How do you experience me?
  • What do you know about me that I probably don’t?

This is your fast track to move beyond pleasantries and platitudes. It will touch the lives of all those you send this to in a powerful and meaningful way. They won’t look at you or the relationship the same. And if that’s not enough, this is one gift you can give and avoid the malls, the lines, and the debt this Christmas. Now that’s something to be grateful for!