Lauren-Photo (1)-002Through the years, whether or not I’ve had a partner on Valentine’s Day, I’ve always tried to take the same perspective. To me, Valentine’s Day is a day when you’re reminded to tell the people that you care about that you love them. Sharing these feelings with those important people is quite important; it’s this connection that helps drive us, makes us feel worthwhile, and can simply brighten our day.

Perhaps against the grain, I never completely bought into the idea that Valentine’s Day is a holiday for couples to shower each other with chocolate, teddy bears, red roses, and fancy dinners. Rather than limiting the spreading of love to just one’s partner, I see it as a day for me to take the time to remind all the people who mean something to me that I am grateful for them. Valentine’s Day is like Appreciation Day for all the people in my life who support me and help make my life fulfilling.

No grand gestures are needed. Just a simple note or exchange will do. A quick message here or there is sufficient. It’s the fact that you’ve taken the time and energy, and the leap to tell that particular person you care about them that matters.

Try one of the following approaches this February 14th.

(1) The good ‘old fashion’ phone call is a great place to start. This works especially well with grandparents and parents who may especially enjoy hearing your voice. Something as simple as “Happy Valentine’s Day! I wanted to let you know that I love you!” will go a long way.

(2) Schedule to FaceTime or Skype, or Hangout through Google Plus with a relative who lives far away so you can see each other while you catch up. Ask them how they are spending the holiday and let them know that even though you’re not close by, you think of them often.

(3) Send a free online card using websites such as or . For your loved ones who accentuate your humorous side, maybe a card from would feel more appropriate. These cards are really quick to send along to one or a few people. You can include a personalized message that reads something like “On this day of love, let this card be a brief reminder of how important and special you are to me!”

(4) Or, send a real card through the mail. It can be a generic Valentine’s Day card or a “Thinking of You” card. Write a short, but heartfelt message expressing your gratitude for that person being in your life.

(5) Scroll through your pictures on your phone or computer and email one or two to your friends, to reminisce about times past and tell them you look forward to seeing them soon.

(6) Plan a day or night out with friends. See a movie or get dinner. Take the reins of planning the night to show everyone spending time with them matters to you.

Whether you are attached, unattached, or somewhere in the middle, consider taking time this Valentine’s Day to share an exchange with all the people who matter to you. No one is really alone on Valentine’s Day. Even if you’re currently not in a romantic relationship, you are still surrounded by relationships that matter a lot. This coming February 14th, do an inventory of those relationships and take some time out of your day to tell those in your life you love them.

Lauren Messina, M.S., LGMFT
Licensed Graduate Marriage and Family Therapist


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