Every year, Valentine’s Day rolls around and we all hear the same old story.
“It’s okay if you’re single right now, just celebrate you!”
“There’s no need to go all out, you can totally keep it low key”
“No ones forcing you to celebrate, just opt-out if you’re not feeling it”
Yet, when the day of love is upon us, we’re bombarded with ads, social media posts, and other people’s opinions all telling us the opposite, and suddenly it doesn’t feel so easy to just do what we want to do. The whole idea of Valentine’s Day comes wrapped up with a big bow of pressure and if you keep finding yourself stressed the f*** out year after year, you’re so not alone. Enter: a global pandemic.
Turning the Pressure Dial Low
While Covid-19 has affected us all in various ways, many of them not so great, the upside of small bubbles and stay at home orders is way less pressure when it comes to holidays, especially Vday. When the team here at Plenty of Fish asked 2000 Americans, seven out of ten said they were keeping it calm, cool, and collected and not feeling nearly as much romantic stress this year.
After so many years of succumbing to the pressures of the “month of love,” singles and couples alike can finally let out that big sigh of relief we’ve all been craving. But why now?
Let’s be real, pandemic protocols suck, but it looks like it’s finally brought us an upside. Singles have settled into life with their quaran-team, whoever that may be, and it’s caused the societal expectation to “get out there” to take a backseat. In fact, we’ve all become homebodies just a little bit more these days, and while many of us still might love to have big plans for a day, Valentine’s Day doesn’t seem to make the cut, and we’re not mad about it! Almost 50% of millennials are chilling at home with their bubble (be that their friend, boo, roommate, or family), and for the rest, the “biggest” plans on their plates are a virtual date or a small outdoor visit. Fancy dinners? Don’t need ‘em.
Simple Pleasures are the New Grand Gestures
If the past year has taught us anything, it’s the value of the little things. Just like low-key hangs are the new big plans, simple pleasures have become the new grand gestures. For some, extravagant presents used to feel important, but now things like thoughtful notes and physical touch are what end up meaning the most. We’re all just looking for connection however we can get it, and I know I would give up a whole hell of a lot for some quality time with the people I love the most.
So, if you do have a special someone in your life right now – this is your reminder that small romantic gestures go a long way. 58% of surveyed Americans are placing more importance on these gestures than they were pre-pandemic, and I’m not talking bouquets of roses and pounds of chocolate… holding hands, kisses, and even flirty smiles from across the room are more than enough right now.
Turning the Hope Dial High
While the pressure to have that picture-perfect Valentine’s Day is off, the hope for future romance is still high. More than half of surveyed singles say 2020 made them want to start dating again, and 57% are feeling like 2021 is the year they could find “The One.” If you’re now thinking “wait a minute, you just told me not to worry and now you’re saying I should be looking for love?” just hear me out! Hoping for something, and feeling pressure to have something are two very different things, and it’s become clear that singles are realizing this difference more and more.
There’s no need to rush into anything or put yourself out there if it’s not where you want to be right now, but if you’re ready for something more, it feels pretty freaking good to feel confident you’re going to find it! My cheesy advice? There are no “shoulds,” when it comes to L-O-V-E, you know what you need 😉
Just Celebrate Love
Whether your single, searching, coupled, or anywhere in between, the point is – this year, it really doesn’t matter. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it a million times – Valentine’s Day should be about celebrating love whatever that looks like. This day is truly whatever you make it. Celebrate your family, partner, friends, pets, complicated relationships, or your beautiful self! At the end of the day, it’s all about what makes you happy. Remember: less pressure, more hope.