relationships

I Might Be Single But I Still Love Valentine’s Day And The Love I Show Myself

Courtesy of Jackie Mejia

It’s February and soon restaurants will be filled with couples eating pasta by candlelight and florists in a frenzy delivering bouquets to offices around the country in celebration of Valentine’s Day.

As a single person who has been single for quite some time, the heart-decorated holiday should fill me with dread if life was portrayed as a romantic comedy. Like, I haven’t had a date on Valentine’s Day since Enrique Iglesias’ ‘Bailando’ was regularly played on the radio. However, I love Valentine’s Day.

My love for Valentine’s Day started when I was still in elementary school.

CREDIT: Courtesy of Jackie Mejia

Growing up, I waited excitedly for the holiday every year. Really, it was only so I could check out which new cartoon designs came out on Valentine’s Day cards. I made sure to meticulously plan out which Valentine’s Day cards I would give my classmates so that I wasn’t repeating from the year before.

My mom and I made it a tradition throughout elementary and middle school to pick out little rose plants or flower pots to give to my teachers and coaches. Once, my coach even brought me the very first rose bud that grew as a thank you gift. All the feels.

In college, I still made it a point to wear some type of pink or red clothing item on Valentine’s Day, even on the year when Apple came to campus and filmed my multimedia class for a commercial. True story—I appeared in a spot for Apple wearing a rose boho headband because well, Valentine’s Day!

My sentiment on this holiday as a single person falls in line with that of the Latin American countries who celebrate February 14 as el Día del Amor y la Amistad (day of love and friendship.)

I find it as the perfect opportunity to celebrate love in its many forms and eat some sweets with those that have given me reasons to laugh and smile on a daily basis.

Valentine’s Day can be a holiday that you enjoy all the same whether you’re single or not.

Practice some amor eterno this year!

From writing down things I’m grateful for to adding some tones of blush or red in my wardrobe for the day, here are five ways in which I practice Valentine’s Day as a day of love AND friendship without wanting to chuck my co-workers’ rose arrangements in the trash just because I’m single.

1. Give you mama, abuelita and familia a call to tell them Happy Valentine’s Day

CREDIT: Courtesy of Jackie Mejia

As someone who has lived in multiple states for school and work, nothing beats picking up the phone to wish them a day full of amor and happiness on Valentine’s Day. Love can be spread through the miles through some good old-fashioned communication.

If you don’t have a current main squeeze, don’t flip out. You got this! There are plenty of people in your life who would appreciate a warm text message, phone call, or card via snail-mail to tell them how much they are loved.

2. Write down 14 things you’re grateful for.

CREDIT: Courtesy of Jackie Mejia

Keeping a gratitude journal every day of five blessings you’re grateful for might get forgotten in between finishing your meal prep and reviewing your work presentation for the next morning. However, making a list for one day seems like a much more doable task you can squeeze into your routine.

Write down 14 things that light you up and spark joy, Marie Kondo-style.

They can be as small as seeing your dog wag its tail each time you come home to as big as being thankful you have a job you are growing and building a career in.

3. Incorporate some hearts, red or pink hues in your wardrobe.

CREDIT: Courtesy of Jackie Mejia

You might think that wearing red and pink together makes you look like a walking Kate Spade ad. I’m here to tell you the colors are welcome in your office or school setting on Valentine’s Day.

Pick out a small accessory to dip your toe in the trend: wear some pink sunglasses a la Bad Bunny, bundle up in a blush pink coat or wear a red enamel heart pin.

This year, wear your heart on your sleeve!

4. Host a Galentine’s party.

CREDIT: Courtesy of Jackie Mejia

It’s not a typo. Galentine’s is a thing!

I’ve been hosting an annual Galentine’s Day party for a few years now and invite all my single friends and friends whose baes are long distance.

One year we all dressed up and went out for drinks at a rooftop patio. Last year the party took a funny turn by going around the room and telling each other our worst date stories while we ate pizza and munched on brownies.

A festive party can help your friends shake off the stigma of being single on this couple-ed up holiday.

5. Practice some self-care

CREDIT: Courtesy of Jackie Mejia

After a long day, sit back and relax with some facial masks and a lush bubble bath. If you don’t want to wear any pink clothing on Valentine’s Day, cheat a little and put on some pink grapefruit mask to give you some zen before you shut your eyes.

Valentine’s Day can be a day you look forward to whether you have someone to give you a besito to or not.


READ: Get In The Valentine’s Day Mood With This Playlist Of Spanish-Language Love Songs

How are you celebrating Valentine’s Day this year as a single person? Let us know in the comments!

This Valentine's Day I Am Treating My Husband To The Same Love He Gives Me Year-Round

relationships

This Valentine’s Day I Am Treating My Husband To The Same Love He Gives Me Year-Round

Giorgio Encinas / Unsplash

My husband and I had our first date on Valentine’s day — cheesy, I know. We didn’t intend on having some romantic time on that specific day, but it turned out that was the only day we could actually meet. So we agreed to go out on that day knowing full-well that first dates on Valentine’s Day are not only loaded with so much pressure but also super corny. However, we didn’t let that baggage stop us from meeting up. Thankfully it turned out to be one of the best dates I’ve ever had — and two years later we got married.

While he acknowledges our wedding date as our real anniversary, I cannot help but still think about our first date five years ago. One of the biggest reasons why I fell in love with him was because of his romantic sensibility.

I love romantic comedies and those over-the-top mushy love stories. However, when it comes to me embracing love, or allowing someone to love me is another story. Despite my drawbacks, I genuinely try to let my husband be romantic even though I am always suspicious of it, or worse become distant simply because how much mush can someone take? When I get like this — bitchy and annoying toward my husband when he wants to be loving — I try to remember how my life would be if he weren’t in it. That’s when I take control of anxiety (as best as I can) and give him the love that he deserves.

This year, for our first-date anniversary on Valentine’s Day, I’m making a conscious effort to do something very different.

CREDIT: Unsplash

I am taking charge of the day he came into my life by showering him with all the love he gives me year-round. I think it’s ridiculous how much social pressure it is for a man to be the one that makes all of the grand gestures. Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to get special gifts like flowers and be taken out on romantic dinners, but it’s rare that that kind of pressure or obligation is placed on me, the woman. Relationships take work from both parties, so it’s only fair that I should put in as much work as he does. Also, Valentine’s Day is already loaded with so much anticipation that includes wondering “what will he get me this year” or “he better not forget today is Valentine’s Day because if he does…” No one has time for that kind of stress. So my advice to you is not to take the love that you share for granted because that is only a problem waiting to happen.

Take control of your Valentine’s Day and show him how much he truly means to you with no strings attached.

CREDIT: Unsplash

Do not treat him like your king only to get something in return. That is just cruel and insincere. (Again, my advice is for women, who like me, get moody a lot and have a difficult time being loved.) Let your guard down and be there for him. It doesn’t have to be on Valentine’s Day, but try to show him love as much as he loves you at least once a day. Here are some easy things you can do.

Make him his favorite meal.

CREDIT: Unsplash

Who doesn’t love good food? So if he’s into gooey casseroles, make it (or buy premade), or if he desires Arby’s, then go through the drive-thru and surprise him with his favorite meal. Just pair a nice glass of bourbon, or whatever he’s into. He will be floored with just that.

Give him a day at the spa or relaxing beach time.

CREDIT: Unsplash

This is probably a gift for you more than it is for him. There are a ton of men’s grooming salons that will greet him with a complimentary glass of wine and make him feel like he just won the lottery.

Let him compliment you and don’t question it.

CREDIT: Unsplash

Now, this gift is free, but hard to do for some of us (at least for me). When my husband is all cutesy or loving, it’s super easy for me to roll my eyes. Instead of being jaded, let the love take over.

If he’s into sports, get him tickets to a game of his choice.

CREDIT: Unsplash

If you’re not into sports, tell him he can take his friend. But really, try and bear one game, it won’t kill you.

Get him a box of chocolates.

CREDIT: Unsplash

If you’re not the lovey-dovey type, fake it for just one day at least. Your boo will adore you for putting in some real effort.

My point is, don’t expect him to treat you like a queen when you treat him like a peasant. Now, if your husband isn’t as romantic as mine…perhaps you should let him read this essay to clue him in on things he should be doing for you.


READ: I Started Yearly Trips To Mexico With My White Husband So We Could Better Understand Each Other

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