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Fall In Love with Valentines Day

Fall In Love with Valentines Day
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By Nina Malkin

Heavy-duty marketing can make February 14th feel crass, commercial and utterly unromantic—especially to a mature adult. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Ahead, tips to help you reinvent the sweet (and sexy) celebration—without the pressure of obligatory gifting—no matter what your relationship status.

If You’re Single…

Singletons can suffer on Valentine’s Day unless they remember that love is much more than romance. So first up, acknowledge that self-love is basic to bliss, and do something special for you. Book a massage for indulgence with a sensual side, or simply devote the day to that novel or television series you never have time for.  If you’re feeling social, spend the day with family and/or friends who mean a lot to you. It’s particularly important for those who recently lost a spouse to be surrounded by loved ones, sharing warm memories of the one who passed away. The holiday may be hardest for those reeling from divorce. If that’s the case, protect yourself from the onslaught of media hype: Watch DVDs instead of commercial TV and dine at home rather than eat out amid the coupled-up.

If You’re Casually Dating…

Love takes time, so don’t let the V-Day marketing machine pressure you into anything—be it a present or a premature commitment. That doesn’t mean ignore the holiday either. Instead, use it as a chance to establish relationship parameters, so that there’ll be no mixed messages or nixed expectations. If you’re seeing someone new, keep the date low key. One idea: Buy some inexpensive stuffed animals and bring them to the children’s ward at a hospital; volunteering with a person will offer great insight. If you’re all about playing the field, hit the town solo or with friends. Once you and your “unsteadies” understand the score, you can enjoy the day (and night) in a way that focuses on fun and freedom. Go dancing, for instance, and change partners frequently. Or toss a naughty pagan Lupercalia party, an ancient festival celebrated this time of year in honor of the she-wolf goddess (http://www.paganlibrary.com/reference/lupercalia.php for details).

If You’re a Couple…

Ho-hum, big deal, another Valentine’s Day. Many long-term partners feel that way; they may even resent serving as a “poster couple,” expected to act all lovey-dovey in a public display. If you’re uncomfortable being unpaid pitchmen for the V-Day industry—with expensive gifts and fancy restaurants de rigueur—rebel! Bond over something totally silly, like playing miniature golf or taking in the circus. Or forget the outside world entirely: Stay home, turn off your gadgets and simply hang out, talking, cooking, snuggling and…whatever. Oh, to ensure “whatever” happens, skip the sweatpants and break out the soft-and-sexies—ain’t nobody’s business but your own!

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An all-around wordsmith, Nina Malkin is a journalist, novelist, copywriter and memoirist. She’s also an avid collector of lovely things from eras past—read her musings at http://www.vintagevirna.blogspot.com/