Tips for a Successful Valentine’s Day, a.k.a. How to Embrace This Holiday and Make It Your Own

Valentine’s Day is the popular kid everyone loves to hate, but I’ve always loved this holiday.

It started in high school, when my friend and I decided that Valentine’s Day was a great excuse to make an amazing meal, sneak open one of my mom’s expensive bottles of wine, watch a fun movie and top the night off with decadent chocolate. We both continued this tradition throughout our lives, sometimes together, sometimes apart, always in celebration of the things we love, from friendship to food, to travel and adventure.

With the extreme exception of the year my brother’s best friend died, I’ve never not enjoyed Valentine’s Day, even when completely alone.

But I know not every has the same relationship with Valentine’s Day as I do. For that reason, I’ve decided to share:

Queerie Bradshaw’s Tips for a Successful Valentine’s Day (or life in general):

1. Redefine your idea of successful. 

As with most things the media gets ahold of, Valentine’s Day has been assigned certain ideas of how it should be played out. If, like me, you’re not really into getting red roses with baby’s breath, boxes of crap candy and giant stuffed teddy bears holding hearts with “I Love You” written on them, you may want to redefine what Valentine’s Day means to you.

This is much more my style. You can buy me this at

This is much more my style. You can buy me this at

For me, Valentine’s Day is a reminder to be appreciative of all the people things I love in my life, so I try to celebrate and surround myself with these things. I make all my loved ones my Valentines and try to take a moment to send them each love. That is success to me. The rest of the stuff below (see: funny cards, food, booze, books), is icing on the cake.

For you, success might be a great masturbation session (check out my sex toy and porn suggestions, if so), a party with friends or absolutely nothing at all.

Some Valentine's Day, this is the only teddy bear I want.

Some Valentine’s Day, this is the only teddy bear I want.

Before Valentine’s Day hits and you’re assaulted with commercials telling you what to want, think about what is success for you, and embrace it on the day. 

2. Embrace cards with puns, innuendos and other hilarities.

There are few things I love in life more than a hilarious, poignant card, and Valentine’s Day is full of them. From trains asking you to “choo-choo-choose me” to creepy teen vampire heartthrobs, you can’t go wrong with weird a weird card (well, maybe you can…).

Alex sent me this one today, a new favorite.

Alex sent me this one today, a new favorite.

As a writer dating a book fiend, I especially like Book Riot’s round-up of literary cards. My policy with great cards is to always buy extra, you can send them any time of year!

3. Write letters to people you love.

Getting a letter in the mail turns me into a child on Christmas morning. I try to spread that excitement by sending letters to people as often as I can, usually on hilarious cards like the ones above, but simple printer paper also does the trick.

This Valentine’s Day, take some time to write a quick hello, a long love poem or a heartfelt thank you to the people you love.

If you’d like to get a Valentine’s Day card from me, email me your address (info[at]queeriebradshaw[dot]com). If you’d like to send me a card, here’s mine:

Lauren Marie Fleming
7710 Hazard Center Dr. #E-139
San Diego, CA 92108

4. Prepare an amazing meal.

Don’t know how to cook? That’s ok, Food Network has how-to videos, Epicurious has Valentine’s Day menu ideas and hell, just Google it.

Need a cheap bottle of good wine with that meal? Check out this list of bottles under $30, suggested by some of the top sommeliers in the USA (or just go get some 2 buck chuck).

5. Cozy up with a classic movie or, better yet, a great book.

Best idea ever: combine tips #4 and #5 by cooking every dish from When Harry Met Sally, one of my favorite movies ever, and then eat each dish as it appears on screen.

Via Epicurious

Via Epicurious

If that’s a bit much for you, then just order take-out and make it through that list of movies you’ve always wanted to see but never get around to watching.

Some of my best movie-night suggestions include:

For those sapiosexuals out there who, like me, are more inclined to grab a book than turn on Netflix, might I suggest picking some qliterature from my list of queer must-reads and spending your Valentine’s Day like the lady in this painting (which I love and now want).
Sell Art Online

6. Appreciate your pumping heart.

Last year, I wrote a very powerful piece for VICE magazine on Valentine’s Day about watching my brother bleed out and die, and how that moment changed the way I think about the pink fluffy hearts that fill stores this time of year. I’m quite proud of it and would love for it to be reread again this year.


What are your favorite cheesy Valentine’s Day cards or date-night movies? I love finding new ones of both!


About Queerie Bradshaw

Lauren Marie Fleming is a writer, speaker and motivator known for her intimate, informative and often hilarious look at sex, relationships and body-image. Lauren runs the critically-acclaimed blog, writes for major news sources including VICE, Nerve, Huffington Post and Curve, and is the author of her memoir Losing It: My Life as a Sex Blogger. In 2013, Lauren founded Frisky Feminist Press ( as a way to enhance conversations about sexuality through educational guides, online classes and entertaining publications. A law school graduate, Lauren has spoken all over the United States and is internationally recognized for her dynamic, engaging style. In everything she does, Lauren’s goal is to educate, remove stigmas and encourage people to achieve their desires.
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