Valentine’s Day is a time when the world is swirling with beating hearts and scarlet blooms. Romantic relationships are great, but they aren’t everything. Our culture tends to highlight the need for a significant other in order to fully engage in the holiday tradition; however, it’s not just a season for the romantics to embrace appreciation for one another. But rather, it’s a time to reflect upon those that matter most.

Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to value the significance of life. It’s a genuine reminder that humans are significantly worth loving — regardless of relationship status. We each carry a purpose and a story that makes us unique. Everyone from the coworker two cubicles down to the loyal deliveryman at the front desk deserves to be appreciated. When a person’s joie de vivre involves people, not even social constructs can keep us from pouring out love in the simplest of ways.

Here are a few tips on how to dive into the celebration this month with a fresh perspective:

Photo by Esther Lee

Replace an obsession over a dream relationship with a value of existing relationships.

Appreciate the blessing of having parents, siblings or friends who have been consistently active in building a connection with you. It can be easy to fixate on waiting for Mr. Right’s anticipated arrival. However, if we’re not careful, then we can allow that to become our main focus and it will rob us from enjoying what’s right before our eyes.

When we focus on present relationships, we let go of what “could be” by enjoying what is. It’s not a matter of whether the dream relationship will come, but rather, it’s a matter of valuing the relationships we have that already fulfill our dream of acceptance and belonging.

Photo by Meagan Floris

Take a refreshing approach to communication by mailing out letters or giving phone calls.

Long gone are the days where our interpersonal responses did not involve the Internet or social media. The timelessness of human touch elevates the connection of two people. Old-fashioned ways of communication display a sense of care and effort that supersede a Facebook post or text message. Send love and an act of thoughtfulness to let someone know you’re grateful for those late night chats, early morning favors and home-cooked dinners. Go out of your way to let someone know you were thinking of him or her.

Look for opportunities to encourage, help or motivate someone in your daily routine.

Whether it’s holding the door open for the person behind you or buying the receptionist a box of candy, find ways to celebrate people who might otherwise be overlooked and create a sense of community. In a time when busyness can overpower our lifestyles, intentionality is the best gift we could bring to the table.

In a time when busyness can overpower our lifestyles, intentionality is the best gift we could bring to the table.

Photo by Meagan Floris

Host a gathering with good company.

Spare someone from spending a night alone on the couch and invite a few friends out for a downtown dinner or movie. Check out your local events calendar for live music to dance the night away. One can also never go wrong with a styled party. People love to feel included and remembered. Socials are the perfect way to dissolve holiday insecurities and, instead, empower others to celebrate life unapologetically.

Who is an “unexpected” Valentine you can appreciate this holiday?

Feature Image by Maddy Corbin


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