Valentine’s Day: Your best friend could be the best date

Valentine’s Day is often overwhelming for someone living the single life. Instead of having to dress up and go on an awkward first date in an overcrowded restaurant, doing your own thing or going out dancing with your closest friends can be much more appealing.

Dating apps and social media are skewing the holiday that once represented love and romance. Valentine’s Day is better spent with people who you already love and adore, opposed to on a date or spending ridiculous amounts of cash to impress people in the virtual world.

As I entered into this so-called “single life” in the beginning of this month, I was stressed and sad to know that I may be spending this holiday alone. In the midst of my usual Valentine’s Day meltdown, I downloaded as many dating apps as I possibly could to find someone to fill the void that my last partner left just weeks prior.

I quickly came to find this was not what I expected. Ranging from an awkward game of 20 questions to a waste of a good dinner, this approach to a blind date typically dances around the same result. I couldn’t find anyone who could pass the first date test. It wasn’t until my best friend pried me off of my cell phone that I found the date that I have planned now, a night out with my other single friends.

Utilizing dating apps like Tinder and OK Cupid seem to complicate what should be a natural and enjoyable part of life in your twenties.

Mic conducted a survey concluding that 60 percent of 18-to 34-year-olds met their partners through mutual friends or out in a social setting than by any other means, including online dating and apps. Why waste your time with blind dates off of the internet when you could be attracting someone by enjoying time with friends?

Illustration by Reid Cammack/Xpress

Illustration by Reid Cammack/Xpress

Believe it or not, there is an existing population of single millennials left in this city that might even be willing to let cupid do the work. “Fate,” if you will. I’m not denying that it will take courage to maintain traditional dating in a city with such a thriving tech culture, but not everyone relies on the internet for companionship. Don’t be afraid to approach someone while you’re out with your friends. This is your chance to meet someone in real life, without the stress of finding out who’s the real person hiding behind the screen.

Valentine’s day and dating and general has changed a lot since exchanging cards in elementary school. For one, not all of us get a Valentine and not all of us are showered with gifts.

According to a press release from February 2nd, the National Retail Federation expects spending to reach more than $19.7 billion – a record high, boosted by increased digital sales.

Who brainwashed us into thinking material items represent true love and affection? Valentine’s Day was once a day to show love to those whom you love and who love you. Spending time is much more valuable than spending money.

These days, the dozens of overpriced flowers, jewelry and the same crappy old chocolates make this holiday more about boasting materialistic items than it is about love. Social media news feeds are flooded with photos of what bae bought you. Could this be an attempt at self reassurance? The best thing you can do for yourself and the ones you love is to simply spread love.

My ultimate suggestion is to treat this Sunday like every other night. Make time to love yourself. Make time to love those who love you. Who say’s you need a holiday to force love onto others or to love yourself?

In the name of St. Valentine, don’t let Feb. 14 bum you out. Embrace love and happiness. Intimacy and romance are neither limited to relationships nor conventional dating. If you look close enough, these blissful elements surround you in your everyday life.

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