Relationships 101:
How to Survive Valentine's Day

by Bonnie Burton

Pink teddy bears, red roses and heart-shaped boxes full of candy can only mean one thing - Valentine's Day. Depending on how you look at things, there can only be one of two outcomes. You'll either dance the jig of complete happiness or you'll wallow in bitter disappointment.

Of course, even if your boyfriend conveniently forgets the holiday where he's suppose to celebrate that he has a girlfriend, you can still have an amazing day. Take this advice, and stop staring at the sky for a glimpse of Cupid.

Don't have huge expectations.
There's something every girl needs to learn when it comes to Valentine's Day and boyfriends. Unless your boy is a hopeless romantic, don't plan on any big productions or lavish gifts. Most fellas get kinda sqeamish when it comes to matters of the heart so it's no surprise that this holiday leaves them feeling confused as to how to make us happy. The best thing you can do for your beloved is to make sure your expectations are realistic.

Plan a low-key event.
Just because it's Valentine's Day doesn't mean you have to go on a date to some fancy-schmancy restaurant and spend a lot of money. You could have a casual indoor picnic, or perhaps go to your local planetarium and have a romantic night under the stars no matter what the weather.

Do something special for yourself.
Whether you have a beau or not, you should still take some time out for yourself on Valentine's Day. Treat yourself to a day at the zoo, or buy a brand new journal and fill it with artistic doodles. Take some time out for yourself and remember that you're pretty cool with or without a Valentine.

Hang with pals.
If you don't want to bother doing the whole couple thing, you can always hang out with a group of friends too. This means the pressure is off both of you to be super-romantic, and you can just be yourselves with each other and your friends. Anyone for a love-filled night of bowling?

Don't freak out over gifts.
This isn't Christmas or Hanukkah, so there's really no reason to buy him a bunch of stuff, or to expect a basket full of goodies from him. A simple, thoughtful gift should do the trick. He might like some homemade cookies or the latest issue of his favorite comic. But don't get out of control by using all your savings to buy him a scooter.

Make a Valentine for someone who needs it.
Remember how Charlie Brown felt when no one gave him a Valentine? Do your part to save someone's mood by making them a card. It doesn't have to be elaborate, but a cute card with a train that says "I choo-choose you to be my Valentine" is bound to make the grumpiest pal giggle.

Hug your mom.
Okay, I realize this is hokey and has zero to do with boys, but when was the last time you hugged your mom for no reason other than you love her? Valentine's Day isn't just about showing how much you care about your boyfriend, but also your friends and family. Your folks might get a little suspicious of all those unprovoked hugs, but once they see it's not because you want a raise in your allowance, they'll appreciate the gesture.

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