Love is in the air, candy hearts are at every register, and I’m over here wondering, wait a minute, are feminists even supposed to like Valentine’s Day? Better yet, are there feminist ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day? My journey to feminism hasn’t always been a straight path. In fact, I consider myself a student of feminism. I’m continually learning ways to be more inclusive, accepting, and empowering. That includes learning how to celebrate holidays that, generally, make women wish they had someone special to share their lives with. I mean, am I wrong? That’s the vibe that I get when it comes to Valentine’s Day. So back to my question. Are feminists even supposed to like Valentine’s Day?

The answer is this: Feminists are supposed to like whatever they want to like. Personally? I’ve never had an amazing Valentine’s Day. Most of them wind up with me downing chocolate while watching a romantic comedy. But I'm also not a hater. I like wearing red and pink together, I like heart-shaped lollipops, and I like having an excuse to spread joy around the office.

This year, I’m going to be proactive. Rather than waiting for the impending RomCom carb doom, I’m creating myself a list. A glorious list of ways to spend the holiday that go beyond the traditional dinner and a movie, beyond the wine and wallow, beyond the trying to ignore it completely. Because Valentine’s Day should be a celebration of love for everyone. And what’s more empowering than spreading love throughout your day? Not much. Whether you’re in a relationship, or you’re single as hell, this list has a way to spend the day for everyone.

1. Spend Time With Your Family


Spend time with the lady that birthed you, your sister, even your brothers. Love isn't limited to romantic relationships. Spreading the love on Valentine's Day can be as easy as spending quality time with your family.

2. Make Feminist Valentines


You can do this with a group, or on your own. Break out the craft supplies and make your very own feminist Valentine's Day cards. You can do some major mood lifting with construction paper and crayons.

3. Read A Feminist Book


Curl up with an awesome feminist book to transport you to a world of empowerment, badassery, and equality.

4. You Celebrate V-Day Instead


Perhaps the lesser known V-Day, V-Day celebrates the global movement to end violence against women and girls.

5. Surprise Your Partner


Valentine's Day is usually seen as a holiday where men spoil their ladies with flowers and chocolates and declarations of love. Why not level the playing field and surprise your partner with an equally as awesome gift?

6. Volunteer


Consider volunteering your time on the big day. Helping others not only empowers them, but you as well. Bonus? You can do this whether you're single, or in a relationship.

7. Hang With Your Girl Gang


What better way to spend your Valentine's Day than with you favorite women? make a plan with your Girl Gang to get together, whether it's board games or cocktails. Single or coupled, your ladies will appreciate the quality time.

8. Create An Empowering Playlist


Browse your music library for some empowering tunes and compile them into a playlist to keep you rocking all day long. This will ensure you don't wind up drunk and belting sappy love songs like Bridget up there.

9. Watch A Feminist Flick


Tune in to one of your favorite feminist flicks. Laugh, cry, feel empowered, get down with your bad self and your Netflix account.

10. Give A Gift


Specifically, a feel good gift that empowers women. Might I suggest Zana Africa? For $10, you can supply a young woman in Kenya with reproductive health education, and sanitary pads for an entire year. An entire year. Giving the gift of education and recognizing menstrual health as a human right? That's feminist as hell.

11. Treat Yo Self


Loving yourself should come before loving anyone else. What better way to do that than by treating yourself to something amazing? Whether it's a self-affirmation in the mirror, dressing exactly how you want, taking a luxurious bubble bath, or hitting the spa, treating yourself is one of the easiest, and best ways, to spend the day.

Images: Quinn Dombrowski/Flickr; Giphy (11)