Valentine’s Day can be a challenge: For some, the art of romance comes naturally, and the day is a holiday some look forward to all year.
However, a recent study indicated that about 51% of Americans celebrate Cupid’s holiday each year.
That means for many, Valentine’s Day is perhaps the best opportunity they have to show off their skills in wooing. But for the other half, as the saying goes: The struggle is real.
In addition to sharing a few stories from those who celebrate the holiday, we have some tips for those who find themselves in the 49% each year.
And to them, we can also say: Hope springs eternal.
As at least one of these stories from the community demonstrates, true love can even survive the occasional miss on Valentine’s Day.
Ring symbolizing forever
In addition to receiving a gift wrapped in a bow on Valentine’s Day, Cherish Washington received a promise.
After dating her long-time boyfriend, Washington was gifted a promise ring as a token of their forever love. Prior to being gifted the ring, Washington had been hinting at rings she liked. Out of all the rings, she showed him, there was one she was particularly obsessed with.
To celebrate their anniversary, they went out to eat. Throughout dinner, her boyfriend hinted that he got her something that she really wanted.
After dinner, they decided to go see a movie, but not before her boyfriend returned to the car to retrieve something. When they reunited, he handed her a card.
“I read the card and got teary-eyed,” said Washington. “When I looked up, he was holding a promise ring.”
He followed the reveal with a speech.
“He gave me a speech about how no matter what, we’d be together,” said Washington. “…the ring was only temporary until he’d finally eventually give me an engagement ring.”
Modern day love story
In a relationship, no story is more fun to tell than the one where they first met. Every relationship starts somewhere, and for Toni Alexis Galang, it started in her university’s Filipino club.
When she walked into the club, she locked eyes with a club member who would later become her long-time boyfriend Toby. After the meeting, the president invited members to a hangout.
At the hangout, Toby introduced himself to Galang and her friends. Galang couldn’t help but notice that their names rhymed.
As the night went on, modern day flirting commenced by asking for one another’s social media handles. Following the hangout, they headed to Denny’s for a late-night dinner.
After a long night of laughs, Toby handed his phone to Galang to ask for her number. At this moment, Galang was jumping inside, yet she remained calm on the outside.
“Our relationship is filled with so many memories and stories,” said Galang, “but the story of how we found each other is by far the best one.”
The last Valentine’s Day dinner
In 1999, Claudia Totten was celebrating her first Valentine’s Day with her husband as a married couple, or so she thought.
On the morning of Valentine’s Day, Totten began planning a romantic dinner. Once her husband, Drew, woke up, he let her know that he would be going to Murphy’s, his brother-in-law, to help repair his boat. At the time, Totten thought nothing of it, since he said he would be back soon.
“I headed to the grocery store to pick ingredients to make beer broccoli and chocolate cake for dessert,” said Totten.
A few hours later, Totten received a call from Drew saying that he and Murphy are heading to Castaic Lake to make sure the boat was running smoothly.
“I continued to work on our first married Valentine’s Day by decorating the house with hearts, displaying our wedding album and putting flowers out,” said Totten.
Drew was nowhere in sight and dinner was set and food quickly became cold. Not until 9:45 p.m. did Drew tell her that he was heading home. Totten was frustrated and swiftly packed the food away, placed the wedding album back on the shelf and shoved the flowers down the garbage disposal.
Once Drew made his way back home around 10:45 p.m., Totten could not stand to look at him.
“After 22 years of marriage,” Totten said jokingly, “I can now look back and laugh about it.”