As we’ve stressed and sweated our way through Holiday Season Fever, and are Vitamin C-ing our way through the flu season, it’s time to gather our home remedies and survive the last of the holiday colds; The Love Bug. Just as we’re coming off the New Year’s Eve high (or hangover), we are greeted by walls of red, pinks, and purple hearts all leading up to a giant stuffed bear holding an oversized “You’re Beary Cute” heart strategically sewn into its palm. For those of us lucky enough to have someone to spend Valentine’s Day with, the Love Bug nestles its way into our hearts, infecting us with kindergarten crushes, and in extreme cases, full blown love. For those of us who skipped relationship season, and possibly their flu shot, the Love Bug leaves us nauseated and haunted by the Valentine’s Day decor. Inevitably, each and every one of us will get hit but a Love Bug this season and it’s important to understand the symptoms, dangers, and remedies to surviving Love Bug Season:
The Love bug – Targets those romantically involved
- Individual is completely head over heels in love with someone, so much so everyone else in the room seems to disappear.
- Seems to be falling too fast. Cannot control thoughts, feelings, and actions when significant other is not present.
- Has entire future planned out with one person, including entire wedding and baby names.
- High hopes for Valentine’s day similar to those of a hopeless romantic. Sometimes phrases such as “I think he’s the one” or “This may be the day” are excessively uttered.
- Extreme cases: Eyes may turn into hearts.
- Falling too fast or over-romanticizing Valentine’s Day can lead to getting caught up in the euphoria which opens the door for huge letdowns or big mistakes.
- Planning for the future indicates the individual is more into the relationship than the person they’re in the relationship with.
- Don’t abandon reality; keep your expectations in check. It’s okay to feel caught up in passion, but be in control of your own thoughts and feelings. Don’t get so caught up in the other person you lose sight of both your own feelings and your reality. Keeps those baby names and wedding plans in your head, and wait for the bond to become genuine with time.
- Take things slow. Spend time with your friends, but don’t bore them with a rerun of True Life: I’m in a Relationship and I’m so in Love. Time apart is necessary for a healthy relationship.
- Avoid jumping into a relationship or proposal simply because you’ve been bitten by the Love Bug which has caused impulsive or irrational decision making. Valentine’s Day can sometimes lead to saying or doing things you don’t really mean. Wait to say “I love you” until you’re absolutely ready and comfortable.
- Similarly, don’t be upset if your little blue box is a necklace and not a Diamond ring. Remember, the morning after will always be February 15th, and on this day your significant other will love you just as much as the day before.
The Love Bug – Targets those NOT romantically involved
- Bitter or jealous of those who are not single.
- Experiences waves of nausea when entering department stores loaded with Valentine’s day decor and/or presents.
- Seems to have gone into hiding or avoids any contact with the outside world because they, “Don’t wanna catch a cold”.
- Cancels on Girls Nights because of “work related issues”, but is found in a queen size bed, crying hysterically through the credits of Water for Elephants with an empty pint of fudge brownie ice cream and a mountain of used, double quilted tissues beside her.
- Breakup playlists found on shared Spotify accounts.
- Extreme cases: May wear all black and throw an “I Hate Valentine’s Day” party.
- Because you’re single, it may be tempting to cave with the pressure and jump into an unnecessary relationship. The stakes are higher due to Love Bug Season and can lead to greater disappointment, inevitably causing one minor Love Bug bump to become a full blown rash.
- If you’re recently single, spend Valentine’s day with friends and family you love. Don’t get jealous of other people’s relationships. Instead, admire their love while focusing on yourself or your time with friends.
- Buy some of those Valentine’s Day candies or that giant “You’re Beary Cute” stuffed bear. Science explains that both the bear and the chocolate heart may be enough to suppress the loneliness. Chocolate has a number of compounds (about 380) that affect our brain chemistry eliciting the same feelings as love. And the giant stuffed bear can help fill the insecurity void many people experience when they’re single.
- Use Valentine’s Day to find another partner. Many places have single’s night which can be a fun experience. If you’re not looking to enter the dating scene right now, try volunteering activities to spread love to those less fortunate. They too have to suffer through Love Bug Season.
- Don’t feel sorry for yourself or compare your relationship status to those around you. Even if you choose to stay in for the night watching sappy movies and eating frosting by the spoonful, remember not to dwell on your single status. Being single doesn’t have to be bad. It’s the perfect time for self-reflection. Perhaps you’re holding back and haven’t realized it yet. Use this time to expand your perspective on life and open doors to new relationships and experiences.
- Don’t waste the day because you want to avoid it. Make this day about loving you. Pamper yourself; buy that expensive dress you’ve been eyeing. You love yourself, so why not make February 14th, the day of love, a day to celebrate your self-love.
Written by Hana Gilbert