For some, Valentine's Day is a breeze—you know exactly what to give your other half and have likely been planning the occasion for months. For others...well, let's just say love isn't like a love song, baby. If you feel that you're flying blind into the holiday, don't worry, because you're not alone. (Although if you are spending Valentine's Day alone, at least you know exactly how to treat yourself.) Avoid breaking any hearts or scaring off your crush by using the following guidelines to decide on the best gesture, big and small, to show your appreciation for that special someone.

For those ready to settle down and have legacy babies:

Your friends would describe you two as basically married. Valentine’s Day may just be another day for you, as the many birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays you’ve celebrated together have exhausted your gift and date ideas. Show your partner how much you appreciate them after all this time with a gift custom–made for them. They don’t have to be grand: a funny pair of personalized boxers or a stack of hand–written “Open when…” letters say even more than spending a lavish amount of money on them. Check out websites like Etsy that offer customized products that’ll embody the saying, “It’s the thought that counts.” Or check out Street's DIY gift ideas.

For the honeymooners:

This is for those who would be perfectly content, even ecstatic about the idea of sitting in a dim–lit room goggling at each other for hours. It’s cheesy, it’s mushy, it’s every rom–com you’ve ever seen while telling yourself you’d never stoop so low. You can be like every other couple and indulge in a romantic dinner for two, whether it be home–cooked or at your favorite restaurant, complete with chocolate and wine. Or you could surprise yourselves and put a spin on things, from having a spa day for two to giving the quirky gift of an easy–to–care–for bonsai tree instead of traditional roses.

For the “Not exclusive but not hooking up with other people”:

So…are we dating, are we not dating? That is the question. Why don’t you take your mind off such pressing issues by spending the day indulging in a fun activity. Jump around and fall head over heels at Sky Zone. Go ice–skating and get cozy with hot cocoa afterwards. Play a love game and hit up the arcade. Order nachos and pretend it's any other Wednesday.

For the friends–with–benefits:

Commitment? Don’t know her. You’re happy with the no–strings–attached lifestyle, when you’re not obligated to text or see each other every day. Maybe you’ve never spent time together sober, or maybe you’re perfectly comfortable hanging out on a casual Tuesday afternoon. Either way, a Netflix and chill session with a bottle of wine and a platter of your favorite foods is a cute way to spend time with each other without getting overly romantic. You both know how it is; don't overthink it.

For the three–time DFMO:

You’ve seen each other for a few weekends straight and survived a few awkward conversations on Locust. If you’re still into it, grant each other the gift of taking less than five minutes to text back and see where the conversation goes from there. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find love in a hopeless place.


All comments eligible for publication in Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. publications.