Love in Bloom?

5 Valentines myths debunked to help you actually enjoy the day

Valentine's day expectations

Photo: Noam Ash from My Gay Roommate

More than any other holiday, Valentine’s Day pushes people’s buttons. Some find it blatantly commercial, a lot of single folks think it’s a cruel reminder of their solo status while some lovebirds raise expectations and go wild over the romance it inspires only to come away disappointed.

Whatever your position on the big day of love hoopla, February 14, there are some definite myths that need debunking.

Feel free to add your own ideas in the comments section.

Love and chocolate kisses, Queerty.

1. If you’re a couple, a night of flowers and dinner will equal instant happiness and amazing sex
Kind of like New Year’s Eve, too many people assume the evening will be perfect. You can’t force romance, and many times the night falls at a bad time. You’re both in a separate emotional place, one of you is having a horrible time at work, the restaurant sucks. If you’re certain Valentine’s Day is going to be the most romantic 24 hours of the year, you’re headed into uncertain territory. Relax and see what blooms.

2. All single guys hate Valentine’s Day
Boy, erase that thought. A lot of single people are indifferent to the holiday and forget it exists until someone gives them a pity look. (And some gym bunnies are just happy they won’t be getting a box of sweets.) Others use it as a great excuse to get together with friends or find fun rituals to counter the romantic vibe—a night of horror flicks, anyone? Many single people I know (even couples) have transformed the holiday to a day about celebrating friendship. This can mean calls, texts, or good old-fashioned cards—yep, it’s a thing.

Related: Valentine’s have no color: Interracial same-sex couples who overcame hate to find love

3. A romantic dinner out is the perfect Valentine’s idea for that new guy you’re dating
This can work if you’re both nuts for each other’s, but if you’ve just met Joe Tinder, use caution. That romantic dinner is a statement, and you’ll be surrounded by couples fawning over each other and a wait staff that treats you like royalty. Holidays stir up emotions, good and bad, and one or both of you might find that the immediate pressure to be a couple backfires. Go for something simpler, like a rose or just a sweet phone call. Lots of new couples discuss the holiday ahead of time and make an agreement on how things should play out. This can save you both a lot of stress. Seize the love day on the date you’re actually ready to make the move.

4. A big blowout Valentine’s celebration will undo strains in your relationship

Just the opposite: If you’ve been a jerk for the past few months and think those dozen roses are going to smooth things over, you’re about to feel the prick of fresh thorns. Gifts and tokens of appreciation are great, but they don’t make up for bad behavior. It can almost be seen as a bribe, like those absent parents who give their kids extra fabulous presents on Christmas. Instead, use the holiday to apologize, ask for forgiveness, open yourself up to a conversation, anything to make things better. It sounds about as corny as those greeting cards, but the holiday really is about love.

5. Everyone but you is having a wonderful time
Nope. Lots of people, not just your single friends, dislike the holiday and don’t celebrate. Many think that every day should be romantic and it shouldn’t take a holiday to certify one’s love. Others find it too commercial and resent the money involved. And some couples even think it’s unfair to create a holiday that, er, singles out those not in relationships. So if you’re having a ho-hum evening at home, don’t despair: At least you’re not going to wake up with an empty wallet hangover.

Happy Valentine’s Day, folks. I plan to enjoy it, and I hope you do too.

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