I used to dread Valentine’s Day. It was the worst to see everyone in a relationship and me . . . well, not. I’ve tried to find ways around it.

properly celebrating valentine's day | Girl and a Cup of Cocoa

In college, my friends and I pulled an almost all-nighter watching Pride and Prejudice (the six-hour version because the Kiera Knightley version wasn’t out yet). We had regular visitors stopping in to view a few parts of the movie and then continuing on with their activities. It was a great night filled with friendship and laughter.

About two years ago, I was visiting my sister-in-law while my brother was traveling for work. I sometimes escape my life and go visit them to run after little kids instead of running around the office trying to get things done. My wise sister-in-law told me that Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be about showing love to a significant other (boyfriend, girlfriend, whatever), but should be about showing love to the people you truly love.

Last year, my nieces sent me a stuffed giraffe.

I was busy for Valentine’s Day last year, working late. But this year, I’m already pondering what I can do to make it a special day for my family and friends.

What can I give to say ‘I love you’?

A few years ago, I was on a relationship guru kick (meaning I spent a lot of time reading self-help books about relationships). I read about the five love languages and to this day, I still have no idea which love language is my strongest (I swear that I just love being loved).

I read Attached and discovered that I’m anxious. That means a lot of things, but for me it means that when my boss calls me into his office, I have to ask why. It also means I usually blame myself when a guy ghosts me. Recognizing it has made me more aware and in turn has empowered me to figure out what I need. So now I do things like ask why I’m getting called into the office, or realize that the guy who ghosted me is really the one who has problems. While these are short term solutions, I’m still able to become better.

So, instead of being anxious about being alone, I’m going to try to start to be secure and confident. And that starts with showing the people I care about the most that I love them.

How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day?