The Happy Trail

How to celebrate Valentine’s Day if you are…

By: Kaya Heimowitz

In a relationship: Give your partner flowers on Valentine’s Day! Regardless of gender, anyone is happy to receive a bouquet, and it’s a thoughtful way to honor a holiday about love. And if you’re going to give someone flowers, do it right. Start by asking your partner or their friend what their favorite flower is, and if they don’t have one, it’s time to get creative. In terms of obtaining the flowers, I recommend placing an order through a local florist (Google “Tacoma florists,” I guarantee you will find one you like), putting together a bouquet from Trader Joe’s (pick out a handful of different flowers and greenery and arrange it yourself), or placing an order through an online flower subscription service (ex: Fresh Sends – great for long distance relationships too). If you choose to make a bouquet, the finishing touch is to wrap it in newspaper (like this copy of The Trail) or brown paper (like a grocery bag from Trader Joe’s if you cut it open and lay it flat). Valentine’s Day falls in the middle of the week this year, so it might be challenging to spend quality time together, but giving your partner a bouquet is a simple way to show that you care. 

“Seeing” someone: If there is no label, there is no gift. It does not matter if you want this situation to become a relationship or not, no label = no gift. If you see this person as being someone you would like to continue seeing, or want to date then you can decide to spend time with them on Valentine’s Day. And if you decide to spend time with the person you are seeing, keep it casual: split a cookie pizza with a scoop of vanilla ice cream in the Cellar. Then go do your homework. If there’s no label, then it really is not serious enough to warrant a grand romantic gesture. MAYBE you can give the person you’re seeing a cute SMALL handmade Valentine, but the maximum effort I would recommend is a paper heart with the words “Happy Valentine’s Day” on it. Spending time with someone you like on Valentine’s Day is a nice way to enjoy the holiday, but keep your expectations low if you are not officially dating the person. 


Single: Everyone knows that Valentine’s Day can be tough for single people. The build-up to Valentine’s Day can be more overwhelming than the holiday itself. Seeing pink, red, and heart-shaped decorations in every store you walk into after New Year’s Day until February 14 can be a subtle reminder that you are single (whether you want to be or not). When the dreaded (or not) day finally arrives, make sure to take care of yourself so you don’t get overwhelmed. This means no social media on Valentine’s Day; whether you are happy being single or not, looking at social media on Valentine’s Day is definitely gonna make you feel worse. Instead, spend quality time with friends, family, or yourself. Valentine’s Day is a good day to think of all the other types of love present in your life. It’s also a great day to get yourself a little (or big) treat. Get a fun drink at Divs or buy something you have been eyeing for awhile! Whatever you choose to do, DO NOT reach out to your ex (whether you are on good terms with them or not they are an ex for a reason). Valentine’s Day is not the day for a booty call – it can wait until February 15. Do not intentionally do anything that is going to make yourself feel upset and lonely, and do something kind for yourself. 

Heartbroken: Good luck! Valentine’s Day is probably your worst nightmare at the moment! My advice to you is the same as my advice for single people, but maybe also treat yourself to some ice cream (I recommend chocolate or mint chocolate chip) for getting through the day. 

Any of the above: Valentine’s Day falls on a Wednesday this year, so wear pink! It’s a great day to dress up like an elementary school teacher – wear pink, red, or something with hearts on it and have fun getting dressed! Do one kind thing for someone else! Call or text a family member or a friend and wish them a Happy Valentine’s Day! At its base level, Valentine’s Day is a holiday about love and the best way to celebrate whether you like the holiday or not, and whether you are content with your love life or not, is to recognize that “love actually is all around” (I hate the movie “Love Actually” but the quote is correct) and to show some love to the people you love, which includes yourself.