Dr. Venus Nicolino Gets You Ready To Enjoy — or Simply Survive — Valentine’s Day

Here comes Valentine’s Day again, unstoppable as a runaway love train. Depending on your current relationship status, you may find yourself facing the red-and-pink-hued holiday with anxious anticipation or debilitating dread. Either way, relationship expert Dr. Venus Nicolino has some advice: Relax and focus on what’s important.


If you have a significant other, Nicolino says to put the emphasis on actual love, not recreating a scene from a jewelry commercial in your living room. And if you’re without a partner this Valentine’s Day, accept it and practice self-care. Do something special for yourself.


Affectionately known as “Dr. V,” Nicolino frequently talks about Valentine’s Day because it’s inextricably tied to relationships and romance. However, it also can be a day many people have difficulty enjoying in that way. If you’re in a relationship, the pressure is on to make everything perfect. If you’re not in a relationship, you may feel terrible for the obvious reason — alone again, naturally.


Dr. Venus Nicolino, known for her straightforward and often quite funny on-brand guidance, is the bestselling author of Bad Advice: How to Survive and Thrive in an Age of Bulls–t. She hosts “The Tea With Dr. V” podcast and offers informative videos on her TikTok channel. 


She also holds a master’s in counseling psychology and a master’s and Ph.D. in clinical psychology — so you might want to pay attention to what Dr. V has to say. And what she has to say about Valentine’s Day is this: Don’t get caught up in the marketing hype.


Of course, she puts this in her own memorable way. “Well, Valentine’s Day is bulls–t,” Nicolino declared on the “Unpause Your Life” podcast. “So let’s just start from there, that baseline. We’re pushed to feel things by society. I mean, Christmas is a very depressing time for people because they think they should be happy, very much like Valentine’s Day.”


Dr. Venus Nicolino Says To Remember Love Is Like Magic


Dr. Venus Nicolino doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t celebrate love on Valentine’s Day. She’s just not keen on the marketing that comes along with all the hoopla. People need to understand that buying someone an expensive gift, while certainly a nice gesture, isn’t what creates love.


“Love is a co-occurring process. It’s something that we create together. That has been scientifically and biologically proven,” she shared on the podcast. “On the flip side of that, we don’t really know how. So, it’s this unique process that, I mean, it’s like magic. We want to think of it as a very straightforward process, that it’s one way, but it’s not. You’re creating something together.”


Dr. Venus Nicolino also takes up the topic of Valentine’s Day in a video posted to her popular TikTok channel. She starts by pointing out why many people might find Valentine’s Day less than thrilling.


“Did you know that the first printed Valentine’s Day card came in 1797 featuring these beautiful words: ‘Since on this happy day, all nature is full of love and play’? Blah blah blah,” Dr. V said. “Since then, Valentine’s Day seems like just another commercialized holiday, no?” 


However, she said that while “I used to think that, too,” she’s changed her mind. “If it takes a holiday to remind us to celebrate loving each other, I’ll take it,” Nicolino admitted. “And you don’t have to spend a dime to make someone aware of what’s in your heart. Pour it out in a love letter. Take a day off work and spend your time with them. Enhance that thing they like best in bed or the kitchen.”


She then added, smiling, “Could be dinner, too.”


She advised that by focusing on love rather than the commercial aspect, people can “create a future where the people we care about are the only reminder we need to celebrate love every day.”


What if You’re Not in a Relationship on Valentine’s Day?


As Valentine’s Day draws closer, some singletons can feel down about themselves. Dr. Venus Nicolino emphasizes that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being solo. It can actually lead to personal growth. It’s certainly better than being with the wrong person just for the sake of being with someone.


Asked on the “Unpause Your Life” podcast what she would tell single folks who feel bad about themselves as Valentine’s Day approaches, Nicolino offered another memorable morsel of encouragement.


“You’re pushed to feel that you should be with someone. Should, should, should. And f–k the ‘shoulds,’” Dr. Venus Nicolino declared. “If you’re alone, take that day and that time to honor yourself and take really good care of you and know that you are lovable. And that special someone is out there for you; it’s just a matter of time. And it’s a number game, for sure.”


If solo flyers want to change their relationship status, she counseled them to take more risks, set aside the phone, and get out more. She said you can even go as far as letting friends know you’re on the market.


“If you’re not ready for that, that’s OK, too. There’s something to be said about being by yourself. I don’t think as a society we value that the way we should,” she said. “Being alone and being by yourself can bring about enormous changes and growth and education and knowledge within yourself.”


She added that biologically, we’re all “pushed to coupling.” However, she added, “If you find yourself alone, my advice to you would be to accept that, accept where you are in your life. Because that is self-care, real self-care: acceptance.”


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Pamela is a television journalist, humor writer and novelist. Her first novel, Allegedly, was released in 2015 by St. Martin’s Press. The book is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. She and her husband, Daniel, have a 3-year-old son, Carter.

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