How to: Be the Perfect Valentine

With the dreaded Feb. 14 rapidly approaching, the vast majority of us are panicking, pretending not to panic or attempting to hide our bitterness about being alone and lonely on our favorite Hallmark holiday. Whether you’re single, taken or fall into the multitude of “it’s complicated” situations that Yalies are so prone to developing, you’ll unfortunately still be obligatorily subjected to the horde of candygram invitations, chick flicks and begrudging singles events boasting female empowerment or male bonding. It’s inescapable. But because we all know that finding a Valentine inspires an anxiety akin to case interviews, midterms, and anything that “Meets During Reading Period,” I figured that we can all take a moment to discuss proper Valentine’s etiquette.

Single: Valentine’s Day is a single girl’s worst nightmare. Despite our tireless efforts to convince our friends and family that we don’t mind spending the most romantic day of the year by ourselves on a couch with Ben & Jerry’s, “He’s Just Not That Into You” and a crippling fear of dying alone, anyone with a pulse knows that you’ll be sulking in the darkest recesses of your bedroom with a copy of “Breaking Dawn” and a box of Kleenex. To avoid these single girl woes, refuse to be alone. Grab your single ladies and hit the movies. Hit the bar. Hit a stranger. Put on a cute dress and some makeup. Treat yourself! Refuse to let being alone mean being lonely. Make it a day to celebrate your bachelorhood, your days of pre-marital bliss. It’s a chance to think about what you want romantically, what you don’t, and maybe by your 4th Skinny Girl Martini or imported beer, you’ll even be celebrating your freedom.

Taken: When you’re in a relationship, Valentine’s Day is God’s gift to womankind. It’s a full 24 hours of being able to expect ridiculous amounts of attention, overpriced G-Heav flowers, and dinner courtesy of your special someone. It’s an excuse to put your Pinterest obsession to use, buy things with hearts on them and bake diabetic coma inducing treats that your sweetheart is obligated to eat. But despite the long list of obvious positives, a multitude of boyfriends and girlfriends still flock to edible arrangements in a panicked frenzy with the hopes of assuring that their relationships lasts until the Feb. 15. I wish I could give you a price range. I know that V-Day can clean out your wallet faster than Wednesday Night Toad’s. But unfortunately, as with so many other things, women have not reached a consensus. Some women are fine with candy and flowers. Others require jewelry. All that I can say with certainty is that women appreciate a little creativity. If you can’t take her on a sunset dinner cruise on the Bateaux, the least you can do is put a little thought into your V-Day plans. Take her to a nice restaurant. Do something spontaneous. Show her that you understand her. A little consideration can turn your vomit-inducing Valentine’s day into a post theater hummer or a steamy bedroom romance novel faster than you can say “I Love You.” Tell her you love her, write her a poem, make her something edible. If all else fails, diamonds are a girl’s best friend.

“It’s Complicated”: If you can’t classify your situation with one of the dating extremes, you’re likely involved in one of the plethora of ambiguously classified “arrangements” which leave you anywhere from hoping to start a relationship to calling each other at 4 a.m. for a cuddle session. Unfortunately Valentine’s Day is the least opportune time to be caught in the limbo of not quite single but far from committed. V-Day may be the opportune time to turn your on-again-off-again into a steady thing. It is not, however, the time to break things off to avoid buying a present. Bad form fellas, bad form. As a general rule, if you’ve gone on real dates, see each other during the daylight hours, or have met each other’s parents, it’s at least safe to say that you should at least buy some shitty candy and carnations. If your involvement primarily includes late light EST and pillow talk, it’s probably safe to say that no gift is expected.

No matter your status, Valentine’s day can be fun! It’s a chance to tell the people you love that you love them, get some sweet gifts, and do sickeningly romantic things without fear of social isolation. Whoever you are, I wish you luck in your V-day endeavors, and hope that your Feb. 14 is filled with candy, cuddling and coitus.