Valentine’s Day: a day filled with mixed emotions. Singles approach this day with either optimism for possible love connections or self-loathing depression, the kind that has you watching rom-com’s with your date, a bottle of Moscato. They stroll through the day, scowling at all the happy couples, not because they are happy, but because the commotion made is nauseating. Why is it that on this one particular day of the year, you spend all this time and money, just to “express” your feelings for someone? Why does this day have to be stressful, complicated, and competitive? And when did it become a race towards commitment?

When we were kids, Valentine’s Day meant a time to send your secret crush an extra personal valentine, usually including a hand-drawn picture of your future family. You giddily crafted the perfect vessel for your numerous Valentine’s, probably sporadically placing ribbons and hearts till the surface is muddled and unrecognizable. You eagerly awaited the exchange, where you walked around placing your Scooby-Doo Valentine’s lovingly in the care of each classmate. Why is it that when you grow up, everything has to be more complicated? Why can’t we be like our younger selves: keep it simple and genuine? There is no need for crazy plans, superfluous gifts, empty feelings, or loveless acts of competition.

Like most holidays, we, as a society, misconstrue the true meaning of a holiday to accommodate for our own wants and longing. Valentine’s Day should be about being appreciative for all the love we have in our lives, not sulk over the loves we don’t have. Whether that is for our friends, family, girlfriend, boyfriend, dog, mailman, whoever, we should open our hearts and show everyone how much we care for them. Except, we shouldn’t save all this love for one day a year; we should show people that we love them every day as if you will not be able to tomorrow. So, go to the grocery store, buy some three-dollar middle school Valentine’s, and pass them out to people. Hell, give them out to random people, or your bus driver, your cafeteria worker, your boss, your booty call. Just keep it real.