Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and honestly I agree with the plethora of hate statuses filling every news feed on social media. Deciding what overly cheesy gesture to choose this year is not another stress that is sorely needed.

Everyone will stare at price tags then glance at bank accounts and ignore the obvious, cliche fact that the best thing you can give someone is your time. Then they will wait in line at a restaurant for triple the time they do any other night for food. And yes, we all know it’s the Hogan Road Olive Garden.

Why the stress for a holiday no one actually likes, single or not. The day is no longer how it was when we were children. Valentine’s Day was just a second Halloween decked out in pink and reds. It’s not like anyone celebrates love anyway, or if they do it’s because they feel they have to. Yes, I heard you mutter Hallmark holiday under your breath. So, what turned this loving holiday into a hate-fest, stress-bringing excuse for a candy sale?

For that, there are many answers. However, they’ll just take more time and probably cause more stress and irritation. Or decent puns, depending on who you’re talking to. And those not in relationships? They seem to find it as a slap in the face. Just another day to point out how they haven’t met their special someone yet. This can lead to depression or good humor, depending on the person. Either way, the day has a negatively lit trail leading to it.

I believe Valentine’s Day needs a serious make over. One that doesn’t include overpriced flowers and other gifts that break the already broken collegiate bank. No big red hearts, and dear Lord, no sky high heels with red dresses. When we think of that special day and our special someone, the reaction should not be grabbing our wallets and holding back the desperate sighs.

Who says we need a day for love? We should be showing it every day. There’s a big emphasis on “should.” But since we’re all running six different directions at once in this fast-paced world, we forget. We forget about how the smallest gesture can have the greatest effect. Favorite memories are made from laughter and love — not gold or silver. Simple gestures tell those you love that they are special, they deserve a place in your life and that you are honored to belong in theirs, even if that person is simply yourself.

 
So this Valentine’s Day, make it about you and those that have filled your life with happiness. Stay in and have a cellphone-free night. Have an honest face-to-face conversation. Go for an adventure. Gift your time, not some sappy trinket. And if it is you and Netflix for the night, take no shame in the comfort of solace. Being by yourself on this supposed holiday doesn’t mean anything at all. Take the time to give yourself some extra love; we all know there isn’t enough of that in the world.