It’s Valentine’s Day! —or Singles Awareness Day for all the cynics—no doubt one of the most polarizing semi-holidays of the year.

It’s like either you love celebrating love, or you’re totally disgusted by the idea that love needs to be proved through blatant commercialism. I understand both points of view.

But if I had to pick a side, I’m going with the former. #lovewins

No, I don’t need a reason or special occasion to tell someone that I love them, but I also can’t see a reason to ignore that a day dedicated to such expression exists— barring its pagan beginnings, of course. If you love a person, why willingly pass up any opportunity to acknowledge them?

I come from a family where we look for reasons to celebrate each other. I was taught to show my love and appreciation for the ones I care about.

It’s not about material things. I don’t need to be showered with gifts or be on the receiving end of some over the top gesture to enjoy this day. I just love love.

“I don’t do Valentine’s Day because I believe in showing love every day” is a pretentious cop out, and by that thinking you might as well write off every other holiday too. Why celebrate Thanksgiving when you should be thankful all year round?… Or Birthdays, when you should show people that their lives are important to you all year round?… Or Black History Month, when we should honor black excellence all year round?

It’s less about relegating your love to one day of the year and more an excuse to punctuate it with a bit of extra reveling and flaunting. I’m all here for that.

So go ahead, be extra mushy and expressive with your man, woman or whoever you choose to celebrate. Tell them that you love them, how much you love them and why you love them in whatever way you feel is appropriate. And don’t let anyone make you feel inferior for “buying into” it all. There is nothing inferior about being able to openly express love for another person.

There’s also nothing inferior about being single on today. Single status doesn’t mean you can’t take part. I know sometimes it may feel like it, but you’re not being sent off to a corner to think about what you’ve done wrong until tomorrow. Being single is not a sentence or an illness. Love is not just for those who are coupled up. All love is worth celebrating. So celebrate!

Happy Valentine’s Day. 💋

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