We needed the winter holidays. They were different for most of us this year, but we celebrated because, quite frankly, we needed to, and Valentine’s Day is no different—even if you don’t have a romantic partner. 

Right now, we need all the love we can get, and even if you’ve been a bit of an anti-Valentine’s person in the past, this year you may want to check out the multitude of activities (mostly) online for singles as well as couples.

If you aren’t in a loving relationship, you may want to ignore it completely, but that’s nearly impossible. Valentine’s Day has gone viral—they even celebrate it in Bhutan—and if you want to be in a relationship and you’re alone, this day can be emotionally challenging. 

I suggest checking out the “Quirky Alone” crowd to see what they are up to. Given all the promotion that goes on, it’s wise to find some way of making the day at least tolerable, if you can, and this group will help with that.

I love romance, but I hate the commercialization of this holiday. Roses triple in price, and back when they could, most nice restaurants went with prix-fixe menus and multiple dinner seatings. It felt a bit like being on a heart-shaped conveyer belt—they got you in and out in time for the next group. Not very romantic. It isn’t happening much this year, and maybe that’s a good thing.

For us, there will be flowers—orchids delivered from Costco or Trader Joe’s. My wife will cook something lovely, and she will really enjoy doing that as much as I’ll enjoy eating it. The house will be nicely lit by candlelight, and we will watch a rom-com or maybe some sci-fi, and we will keep the celebration vibe going. It’s not about what we eat, drink, or do—it’s about celebrating our love and togetherness. 

Honoring your loving relationship, if you are fortunate to have one, is a very important part of nurturing it, so you can continue to enjoy being together, building on what you have, and making your union stronger. Relationships are like any other living thing: they need to grow. This year especially, it’s okay to turn down the heat on Valentine’s Day, but you can’t turn it off completely, unless as a couple you both agree. 

If you want do your Cupid thing differently, that’s great. How you do it is completely up to you, but do remember that we are in the darkest days of a pandemic, and hosting a party or even going out to dinner is just not safe to do. Valentine’s Day is a couple’s thing anyway. You don’t need all those extra people. 

A homemade pandemic Valentine’s celebration may be just what the doctor ordered. Right now, I am very grateful that I have someone in my life who looks out for me and who does her best to always show me that I am loved. Who could ask for anything more?