It’s a pretty safe bet that if a poll were taken asking whether or not to keep Valentine’s Day on the calendar, the majority - whether single or in a relationship might agree to scrap it! The celebration of love is fantastic but it doesn't deserve its own specific day. If it's not worth getting a bank holiday over (like Christmas or Halloween) then it's not worth talking about!
The whole day is choc-a-bloc with overblown expectations creating unnecessary pressure, overthinking and avoidable stress. OK, there’s the much advertised crowd that choose to get engaged on the day or go on a fancy trip to celebrate and let’s not forget florists, chocolate manufacturers and retailers and Hallmark but these are in the big minority - for most the whole affair causes far more problems than it solves.
Even if you’re in a happy relationship, whose responsibility is it to organise the romantic trip, the flowers, the dinner out or whatever? Tradition dictates it’s the man but surely this view is outdated now? And what happens if one of you sorts a surprise weekend and the other can’t make it? Spending quality time together is always good but only if it’s what both of you really want on the day and can both manage time-wise.
As is almost always the case, the best bet is to manage expectations and talk it out. And do it early February. Agree as a team to go flowers or cards only or perhaps even start your own (manageable) tradition as a couple like a particular restaurant you book for every Feb 14 or alternatively go anti-valentines and plan a day that has nothing to do with hearts, chocolate, romcoms or flowers - maybe a horror movie? And if you both decide not to do anything then you can always stay in and treat yourself to self-care night.
A good rule of thumb is to work less on the gift than the thought behind it. If the last few years have taught us anything it’s that the world changes fast and this gives us the chance to re-prioritise and redefine what we want. All of us can buy whatever stuff we want anytime of year but a special gesture/thought/word never really fails.