Expectations vs. Reality: Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is almost here!

But let's get real, as fun and festive as the holiday is, it isn't always all it's cracked up to be. Sure, there are typically flowers, candy grams or sweet love notes to be had, but more often than not, our expectations for the love-centric occasion end up far exceeding what actually goes down.

Don't believe us? Keep scrolling for a painfully accurate expectations vs. reality: Valentine's Day.

The Valentines

Expectation: You walk into school on Feb. 14 and your locker is filled with Valentines, chocolates, flowers and a plethora of other goodies from your significant other, or one (or more) secret admirers. If you're in a relationship, you spend the day being spoiled by your babe, and everyone can see just how loved and valued you are while jealousy eats away at them from inside.

If you're single, you spend the entire day with your head in the clouds as you (and those around you) try and figure out what perfect soul wrote the swoon-worthy note that just so happened to be attached to a box of your favorite sweet treats.

Reality: If you're in a relationship, your S.O. remembers to mark the day by handing you one valentine and a box of generic candy hearts. Sure, there may be some exceptions if your loved one is really into Valentine's Day, but that expectation of a rose petal pathway leading to your locker is a vision out of your wildest dreams.

And if you're single, maybe there's that one awesome friend who remembers to drop off a valentine in your locker, but the standout gift is really the stuffed bear you got from your parents this AM.

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The Grand Gesture

Expectation: For the single folks, your crush makes a grand gesture and confesses their love to you by standing on a cafeteria table and making their true feelings known during lunch, or they enlist the school marching band to play your favorite song—a clear indication to everyone that you two are meant to be.

If you're in a relationship, depending on how new it is, Valentine's Day is either the occasion your S.O. chooses to have your first kiss, or they tell you they love you, ideally in a picture-perfect setting straight out of a rom-com.

Reality: Your crush remains blissfully unaware that you're interested in them (or just unaware that you exist in general), so there's certainly no way they choose to voice their love for you via a big, unforgettable gesture. For those of you who might be attached, your S.O. opts not to make a bold declaration on Valentine's Day, and it's another peck on the cheek or "talk tomorrow!" for you.


Date Night

Expectation: Your S.O. pulls out all the stops and reserves the best table for dinner at a fancy, romantic restaurant you normally would never dream of going to. They let you order whatever you want (two desserts!), and they pick up the check, but not before giving you that awesome bracelet or leather jacket you had your eye on at the mall last month.

Reality: Your love waited until the last minute to arrange something special (planning isn't their strong suit), and there isn't a reservation to be had, or a movie ticket to be found anywhere in a 10-mile radius. What's more? They're also intimidated by all the pressure that comes with Valentine's Day, so any romantic evening you dreamt of morphs into popcorn and a movie on the couch. Basically, it's a glorified hangout sesh.


The Secret Admirer

Expectation: The classmate you've had your heart set on since you sat across from them in english class freshman year wakes up on Feb. 14 with a yearning desire to tell you they've been borderline obsessed with you since you read that passage from A Midsummer Night's Dream that year. A sweet note in your locker is the start of an epic scavenger hunt that ends with your crush holding an "I love you" bouquet in the crowded school gym.

Reality: You have an unsigned valentine waiting in your locker, and you spend the day gleefully anticipating who it could be from. You rack your brain all day long, thinking about every person who has given you so much as a glance in the last few months. But just as the day ends, your BFF casually asks if you received her surprise. Ugh. Sure, the gesture is sweet and all, but it's not exactly what you were looking for on this love-filled day. As for your crush? They still have no idea how you really feel, which is why they're enjoying a picture-perfect Valentine's Day with their significant other. Ya snooze, ya lose!


Galentine's Day

Expectation: You and a bunch of single friends decide to host an epic Galentine's Day celebration complete with festive decorations, sweets, facials and an awesome movie marathon. If you're all single, why not celebrate your collective awesomeness and the bond you share with each other by getting together for a fun party that's bound to make you feel great?

Reality: Your Galentine's Day plans take a turn for the worse when, one by one, your friends cancel in favor of something else. One pal was able to patch things up with an ex just before the holiday, while another bails on you because they got a last-minute invite to an amazing party their crush is throwing. You and a few pals are still left standing, but it just isn't the same.

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For more romantic advice click HERE for a list of seven signs it's time to introduce your S.O. to your parents.