When hearing the words “Valentine’s Day”, most people think of chocolates, roses and fancy dinner dates. This commercialized holiday romanticizes the idea of spending money to show love and affection for another person.
However, you don’t have to buy a dozen roses once a year to show someone that you care: It’s the little things that should matter most.
According to research done by the National Retail Foundation, Valentine’s Day spending in the U.S. is expected to total $27.4 billion this year. Individuals plan to spend an average of $196.31. Both of these numbers have increased from last year.
Why do we feel the need to spend so much when there are other ways to show that we love someone? Here are some little ways you can show someone that you care:
Ask them how they’re doing
This one is more effective when you genuinely want to know the answer. It’s always nice to know that someone is checking in on you.
Hold the door for them
Simple, but often overlooked. It’s just a friendly gesture, even if you don’t know the person. Besides, letting the door slam in their face probably won’t go over well.
Check to make sure they got home safely
Again, it’s nice to know that someone cares, even if it might seem trivial.
Send a meme that reminds you of them
When you get a meme in your messages or get tagged in one, it’s a good indicator that the person knows you well. This trumps a heart-shaped box of chocolates any day.
“Good morning” and “goodnight” texts
These simple texts are always a good way to brighten someone’s day (or night). Even random texts throughout the day can be nice. If you know the person has been going through a stressful time, give them a little motivation or encouragement!
Be interested in the conversation
This one seems obvious, but we’re often more occupied with our phones. Try putting the phone down and listening to them speak. Let them know that you value their ideas. It’s nice to be heard.
Features reporter Kelley Holland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.