We've heard all the excuses: "Valentine's Day is too commercialised", "I don't need one day of the year to show someone I love them, I do it all the time", "it's not fair on the singles", "it's a waste of money", etc. But while I can agree with (some of) those statements, I don't think that's a reason to not celebrate Valentine's Day.
It may just be hopeless romantic, in a relationship, me, but I both love Valentine's Day and I believe it should be celebrated, even if the day is marked by something as simple as giving cards (even handmade ones, they're the best) and spending time with the person you love, whether that's a candlelit dinner or a completely free stroll on the beach or in a park. There are a million ways to celebrate Valentine's without pouring away your money, and unless there is some important commitment or an issue of distance, there is no reason why you shouldn't spend the day with your loved one (and hey, the cost of a card and a postage stamp is only around £2!) And what about the singles, you say? Well, why not use the occasion to let that person who has stolen your heart know how you feel about them? And if there is no one, well, did you know that in Finland Valentine's Day is known as Friend's Day? The first Valentine's letter, sent from St Valentine himself on the day of his execution, was for a friend who had comforted him in his final hours, after all. (If you don't know the story of St Valentine, he was a priest in Roman times who performed forbidden marriages. You can't get more romantic than that!) So arrange to meet your fellow single friend, write them a card about how awesome they are, take some flowers, chocs, sweets, or whatever you think they'll love and spend an evening watching great movies, cooking together, having a natter... the possibilities are endless.
And to those of you who don't think you need one day of the year to show that person how much you love them, well, here is the reason why, above all, I love Valentine's Day: it's the one day of the year when I'm surrounded by people openly showing their affection, whether that's on social media or in public. Seeing the things couples (and friends) are doing for/with each other makes me feel all gooey and puts my faith back into love and romance.
So don't be cynical today. Show your loved ones how much they mean to you, ask out that special someone, call up your best friend. There's a lot of love in the world, and even if it is shared all year round, this is the one day of the year I can truly see it and appreciate it.
Happy Valentine's Day, you beautiful people <3