How to actually be a cool person on Valentine’s day

Pressure. It sucks. And for some cruel, foolish reason we’ve placed a most pressure-filled, expectation-heavy holiday literally in the middle of arguably the bleakest month of the year.

As someone whose professional life is mainly devoted to helping divest people of pressure and expectations both self-imposed and external, you might guess that I’m not entirely jazzed about Valentine’s Day. Not to mention the weird heteropatriarchal and consumerist baggage around the holiday and its roots in pure capitalism, I just dislike holidays centered around following hollow scripts allegedly meant to convey a beautiful, rich, complicated emotion.

I’m not down on love. Far from it. I’m crazy about love. I’ve got loads. Need some? C’mere. But love is 365 days a year. Love is less what you do for someone and more what you do, what you create, with them. So rather than scramble for last-minute reservations in a restaurant you can’t afford, spend the day doing that- make something together.

Go to the store and buy beautiful groceries that you really like. No matter how extravagant you get with this, it will be cheaper than a restaurant. Look at exotic vegetables. Consider fancy cheeses. Fruits with names you can’t pronounce. Go home and cook beautiful food together. Try something new, or make the first meal you ever shared. Do something that makes you laugh and something that helps you work together. Collaborate on clean-up, too, it’s only fair. Let go of the pressure, the expectations and focus on what really matters, on Valentine’s and every other day: you and the person or people that you love and the world you create with them.

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