Be Present, Not Perfect, This Valentine's Day

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It’s really hard to manage expectations, especially for a holiday as played up as Valentine’s Day. We’re told we need to buy flowers, or chocolates, or jewelry, or all of the above! We need to get made up, and take our significant other out for a fancy dinner, and finish the night, what’s the best way to say this…right. We’re made to believe that if we don’t do these things, we somehow failed at Valentine’s Day. That’s a lot to deal with, especially with every couple in your area vying for the same gifts and dinner spots. Things can be hard this time of year and the pressure can mount super duper quickly to have the “perfect” Valentine’s Day evening with your special someone. Well, I’ve got news for you, something is bound to stand in your way of having the ideal Valentine’s Day evening and you can take it one of two ways: you can either wallow and allow it to ruin your night, or you can roll with it and make the best of a less-than-ideal situation.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, be present this year on Valentine’s day. Keep it all in perspective and I guarantee you’ll have an amazing evening.


There’s no “perfect,” it doesn’t exist. There is only what is perfect for you (and yours). I don’t know when we started expecting things to consistently be perfect, but it has managed to destroy our ability to enjoy the moment. Our obsession with perfection, especially on this holiday, has taken us away from the meaning of the holiday. We’re supposed to be celebrating each other, and the bond that we share, and yet we get all bent out of shape if we wait 15 minutes to be seated at the most sought after restaurant in the city. Why?

Take a step back and realize that 1) there is nothing you can do about it, so you may as well take it in stride, and 2) you’re waiting with someone you (hopefully) care a lot about. Since when is that a bad thing?

When we expect things to be perfect, we set ourselves up for disappointment. The funny thing is, we can’t control when we get seated, or where. We can only control how we react to the situation. Took a little while longer to get your food than you would have liked? Ok, understand that there is nothing you can do to change it, and find the positive in it. (Hint: If you’re having trouble finding it, it’ll be sitting directly across from you.) Don’t expect your evening to be perfect, expect to enjoy it.


Don’t get me wrong, there is NOTHING wrong with putting on airs, and dressing up nicely, and being all fancy schmancy. If there is ever a time to do it, Valentine’s Day is it, but think about why you’re doing it. Are you doing it because you think you should be doing it? Or are you doing it because it’s what you and your special someone want?

The key, in my mind, to having a successful Valentine’s Day is to do what fits for you and yours, not what’s expected.

Maybe y’all love taking walks and talking for hours, or people watching, or even staying in, dressing down, and making a cozy meal. Whatever it is that makes the two of you happy, do it. Don’t let advertisements, and movies, and songs, and TV shows pressure you into thinking you have to do this, that, and the third to Valentine’s Day (yes, it’s being used as a verb) properly. You know yourself, and your partner, well enough to know what will make for an enjoyable evening. Do that.


In the midst of it all, let’s not forget what Valentine’s Day is all about - and no, I don’t want a history lesson about the origins of Valentine’s Day and how it originally had nothing to do with love. Get dressed up and traipse around town looking dapper as hell if that’s what you want to do, but don’t let that take you away from the person sitting across from you (across? Next to? I don’t know, seems overly complicated to me). Take the opportunity to enjoy the other person’s company. Sure, it may be loud in the restaurant, but none of that matters. Everything you need to enjoy your Valentine’s day is sitting at your table, don’t forget that.

(Pro tip: If you aren’t enjoying your valentine, you may want to start looking for a replacement before next February 14th comes around. Just saying).

Until next time -

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When Arye isn't helping optimize your time, he is doing his part to ensure life is full of shenanigans.