7 Ways to make Valentine’s Day meaningful

Feb 12, 2014 at 7:16 p.m. ET

Whether you're romantically involved, or enjoying singlehood, here are some tips to make Valentine's Day meaningful.

happy couple during valentines day

Photo credit: Bellurget Jean Louis/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Stay away from the obvious

Call me crazy, but I think that picking up red roses or candy hearts (unless they are for your children) requires no thought whatsoever. Anyone can do that; it’s always funny to see the line of men (yes, and women, too) who are waiting outside the local delis in NYC to pick up a last minute gift of flowers. Besides, a good relationship isn’t measured by how many candy hearts you consume in 24 hours.

Celebrate love

That love isn’t limited to the romantic type. Friends, family and children deserve a little recognition too. In our greeting-card-driven world, we tend to forget that V-Day is for everyone (not just the person you may be sleeping with).

Step outside of your comfort zone

I’m big on experiences rather than gifts. (I will be celebrating Valentine’s Day at my eight year old’s basketball game.) Go somewhere that pushes you out of your comfort zone. Take a class, go on a tour, jump out of a plane (you get the point).

Have sex before or right after Valentine’s Day ends

That may sound silly, but I have always been troubled by the notion that you have to be intimate on a particular day just because that’s what people are supposed to do. I say, buck tradition!

If you're single, celebrate it.

Gather your friends and celebrate the freedom of singlehood. (You know that old saying about the grass always being greener?) But it’s more than that; Valentine’s Day can easily make us feel badly about our relationship status (or lack thereof). However, this day is a good opportunity for us to recognize that it is better to be single than in a relationship that isn’t right for us.

Be protected

I don’t make assumptions about anyone’s relationships. Some of you may be monogamous, some not so much. Some of you may run out and have a no-strings-attached one night stand. Doesn’t matter to me. You are entitled to make your own decisions. The only thing I will say is this: Use protection. Use condoms and other barriers. Valentine’s is one day; it shouldn’t last longer than that, if you know what I mean.

Don't jump the gun

Don’t tell someone that you love them for the first time, just because it's Valentine’s Day.