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How to Survive Valentine’s Day – A Practical Guide

How to Survive Valentine’s Day – A Practical Guide

Whether you are in a committed relationship and every day spent with your loved one feels like the first day of spring, or you are single, waiting for the right one to come, Valentine`s Day can give you a lot of headaches.

Which present to buy, where to go for dinner, or on the other hand, when will you meet someone to spend this special day with and how to keep your spirit up despite being a single fish in the ocean of happy couples. Being a Valentine’s Day grinch, sometimes you might wonder: “Who invented this stupid holiday anyways?”

Well, at one period of my life, I certainly did.

If you are in the second group, I have a brief history of Valentine’s day and a few tips on how to make it an enjoyable experience for you.

History and meaning

All around the world, people are celebrating this annual holiday in February—a month of romance, sharing love and sympathy. According to history, there are interesting versions of the story about who Saint Valentine was.

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There is a legend about priest Valentine who served during the third century (AD) in Rome. There was a law that prohibited marriages for young men because of believing that single men made better soldiers. Priest Valentine didn’t share this opinion and he saw injustice in this act, so he continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When his actions were discovered, he was sentenced to death.

Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been a prisoner who sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young woman who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, he wrote her a love letter signed “From your Valentine.”

Nobody knows the exact true story, but these legends indicate that he was some symbol of the romantic hero, so on that one day that is dedicated to him people celebrate romance, love, and devotion.

For People in a Relationship

When you’re in love and Valentine’s Day comes, you can close your eyes and see pink and red hearts, little Cupids flying all around. Make a special (yet affordable day) that both of you will never forget. You can never make a mistake with chocolate and flowers, but there are other cute ways to show your loved one how much you care.

141 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged annually,[1] making Valentine’s Day the second most popular greeting-card-giving occasion.[2] So why wouldn’t you push it to the next level and make one on your own? Be romantic, think out of the box and grab a piece of paper and write something spontaneous or, in case you lack inspiration, write some funny quotes. A homemade card is always more meaningful than a purchased one.

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If you are creative, the best way to show it is by some of the DIY projects. For example, you can make a dessert, so even if you order a dinner that night, you will be able to give your contribution, how cute is that? Also, you can make a little present that will have bigger value than a store gift.

This year Valentine’s day is a weekday, so you can imagine the routine: coming home from work, taking a bath together and lay watching Netflix. Not the best way to celebrate, huh?

Take a day off from work and walk around the city, eat street food, and drink soda on a bench in the park because the happiness is in small things.

In the evening, check Valentine’s Day events nearby: theaters, galleries, museums and cultural centers may be open late, offering exhibits and performances either for free or at reasonable ticket prices. Be open-minded for new things; you may be able to find a free entry or some deal (two-for-one price); maybe you will become a fan of some band or modern art after this night, who knows?

If you are thinking about the present, remember there is never enough cosmetic products for women so check some fantastic ideas for Valentine day gifts, and like you know diamonds are a girl’s best friend, so stop by a jewelry store on the way to the restaurant and let her pick something.

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    Image Credit: Elin B, Flickr

    And women, take him to the basketball game and buy him a hot dog and beer.

    More than anything, the most important thing that you can give to your partner is your time. Spend a romantic day without watches or smartphones, just talking to each other. There are beautiful places to be: a billion-star hotel – nature by night, whether by the river or through the park. Possibilities are endless when love and desire are there.

    For Single People

    Even if you are single, you can’t ignore this holiday because there is a euphoria all around.

    This may be too much romance for some people,[3] but there are also more mature ways to celebrate whether you have or do not have a loved one. A classy dinner and some fine wine with good friends, or a weekend trip to a near destination, or a casual night out in a jazz club, enjoying music and fine company for example. Check out some new spa centers in your city and get a massage and relax in a jacuzzi seem nice, no matter the occasion.

    If you aren’t into fancy (pricier) options, you can gather your single friends and arrange some fun activities, playing board games or going to the bar playing billiards and darts. Another option is to go shopping and treat yourself instead.

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    There are also parties and events for single people in many places. Maybe this is the way to meet someone interesting or just have some fun and participate. Be crazy that night and try something new. For example, go on speed dates[4] – it is an exciting way to introduce yourself, or at least you will remember the experience. In case you are not open for searching for a soulmate, just spend time with friends.

    It often happens that you can’t avoid it. Valentine’s Day will happen, and you’ll have to deal with it.

    Perhaps this is the best to join the festivities and have fun, but do it your own way.

    Happy your-own-way Valentine’s day!

    Featured photo credit: Laura Ockel via unsplash.com

    Reference

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    Dejan Kvrgic

    Blogger, Writer

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    Last Updated on July 10, 2020

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

    We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

    So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

    Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

    What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

    Boundaries are limits

    —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

    Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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    Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

    Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

    Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

    How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

    Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

    1. Self-Awareness Comes First

    Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

    You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

    To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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    You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

    • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
    • When do you feel disrespected?
    • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
    • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
    • When do you want to be alone?
    • How much space do you need?

    You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

    2. Clear Communication Is Essential

    Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

    Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

    3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

    Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

    That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

    Sample language:

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    • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
    • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
    • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
    • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
    • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
    • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
    • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

    Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

    4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

    Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

    Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

    Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

    We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

    It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

    It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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    Final Thoughts

    Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

    Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

    Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

    The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

    Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

    Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

    They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

    Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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