The Valentine's Day Guide for Millennials

"Seasonal affective disorder is a real mental disorder, particularly in areas that are still in the grip of winter around Valentine’s Day", according to Brian Moore, staff writer for the Sovereign Health Group. Experts say the reason behind this disorder has to do with the lack of sunlight we have during winter months which throws off an individual's circadian rhythm. People who live further away from the equator are at a greater risk because they have fewer hours of daylight during the winter time.

Keeping this in mind, the people who suffer even slightly from this disorder are at even greater risk of depression and suicide during times like Valentine's Day when the pressure from social media, family, and friends becomes overwhelming for singles - especially those who just recently ended a relationship. Just how serious is it? Very serious. Moore goes on to say that the "Missouri Suicide Crisis hotline told their local CBS affiliate they reported more than 200 more calls than usual on Valentine’s Day".

As an advocate for healthy relationships, I know that before you get into a relationship you have to be comfortable in deep relationship with yourself. As a single woman, I also know social media is going to be feeding us images of what Valentine's Day should look like and make those of us not in relationships feel isolated.

For that reason, I've created an amazing article by asking 6 questions to 20 millennials in 6 different stages of dating to help give all of us perspective for tomorrow. From the early 20s to the early 30s, and from dating around to married for 7+ years I talked to these people to get their secret on how they made it through Valentine's Day and how they still survive it today.

1. Do you celebrate Valentine's Day?

Their collective answer: it depends. Majority of the men and half of the women I spoke to said they think it is too commercialized. Very few go all out, and most will celebrate it if their significant other wants to. I didn't even consider that many of us are super busy and may not even have time to celebrate, so if that's you no worries!

"Depends. If time permits, but as a law student I don't always have time."

- Paulette, 24, Single

"I celebrate but not to the [same] extent as others because what I do on [Valentine's Day] I still do on any other day. Dinner, flowers, appreciation, etc all take place every other day of the 365 included."

- George, 31, Engaged

"This is one of my favorite holidays. Not because of the gifts I receive, I just love love and making people happy."

- Melony, 27, Married since October 2016

2. What do you do for Valentine's Day as a single man/woman? If you're not single, what did you do?

If you're single this year, you've got options. Although the responses I received from women and men were vastly different, and some were downright hilarious. Almost all of the women I interviewed said they took the opportunity to spend time with other single friends. Most of the men, on the other hand, stay home and do nothing or almost always have Valentine's dates, single or not!

"I saved money."

- Sean*, 27, In a Relationship

"Celebrate with my family or friends. My Dad buys my sisters and I chocolate covered strawberries every year no matter if we are single or not."

- Alexa*, 24, In a Relationship

"Lived it as another day in my life"

- Greg, 33, Married since April 2010

3. Do you consider the holidays a stressful time in your relationship?

Most of the people I interviewed said the holidays were not stressful because they always made sure to plan and communicate. So if you find the holidays stressful, it may be a good idea to focus on communicating with your family and significant others to make it seamless and a great time to connect with the ones you love.

"Nope 90% of the holidays are made up and we talk about what we are going to do before the holiday gets here"

- Shanelle, 31, Married since April 2010

"It depends on the person, not necessarily the holidays. I don't take holidays that serious. They're not that important to me."

- Chase, 24, Single

"Ehhh not really. Only thing that may stress me a bit would be the money aspect, but that's about it. In the past it stressed the relationship a bit, but not anymore. Holidays are a big set up."

- Sheldon, 28, Married since September 2016

4. How do you handle the cost of the gift? How much is too much?

This one is split down the middle, but as a collective, they all agreed that it's important to focus on making the person happy and not how much the gift costs. If you're worried about the gift this year, just go with what feels best for you without breaking your budget.

"We discuss what price range we want to spend and we make an agreement upon that. Sometimes will I spend more? Yes, but it's something that may have been mentioned during the year in an earlier conversation."

- George, 31, Engaged

"I see a lot of things I want to get him, but I have to find a happy medium with my pockets. I go for special vs. costly. And sometimes that's still costly. I don't think the expectation should be costly, however."

- Melony, 27, Married since October 2016

"When you break it down if you truly care for the person it really matters that you put thought and effort into whatever it is that you get for that person."

- Jennifer, 27, Currently Dating

5. Have you ever been disappointed by a gift?

Do you have gift-giving anxiety? Relax. According to my interviews, the only reason most people don't like their gift is that they felt it wasn't thoughtful. The old adage is true here: it really is the thought that counts. Give with love, and most likely they'll appreciate it. Also - ladies - get your man a gift! Several men said they don't get anything, and you all know that is not fair.

"No, not really but men should get gifts too."

- Willae*, 29, Currently Dating

"I have. Only because the gift was not thoughtful. When somebody puts an effort into something it is noticeable and means more, no matter the cost."

- Bree, 28, Currently Engaged

"If I was disappointed, I can't remember. Valentine's Day has never been about me, it's about the other person. I'm also not hard to please."

- Melony, 27, Married since October 2016

For my last question, I asked what was one thing everyone should know about Valentine's Day. I hope you enjoy these gems and I wish you a very Happy Valentine's Day and Feliz Dia de Amistad.

"For both parties everyday should be Valentine's Day for someone that you're with. Don't wait until Valentine's Day to show someone that you care about them. If the day comes and you're busy, you shouldn't even worry about it."

- Chase

"One thing I believe is the holiday is what you make it. I try to make it creative way to show my love. Sometimes you need money for that, sometimes you don't. What you do need though is genuine love for that person and your gift will be priceless." - Bree

"I would say the one thing is appreciate if you have a good man. Let him know you appreciate him and provide him that feeling of appreciation. Some men just like to hear they're appreciated. "

- George

"The one thing men/women should know is.....listen and be creative, today is just like any other day. Love is not shown by dollar signs either."

- Melony

"You are loved"

- Willae*

"As long as you both have that deep love for each other, it shouldn't matter what you do for Valentine's Day. Just do the best you can. Putting forth effort is better than nothing at all."

- Sheldon

"Do it with love, or don’t do it at all."

- Greg

*By request, some names were changed

Gabriella Payne builds teams and communities through inspiration and strategic confidence development. She works with universities, athletic groups, and corporations to help students and recent graduates transform their mental thought patterns by teaching new, healthier habits. She is also an advocate for healthy relationships and teaches a series called "See It Coming".

Recent Posts

See All

Get Social:

  • Twitter - White Circle
  • Facebook - White Circle
  • Instagram - White Circle