The 12 Stages of Valentine's Day, By Age

I'm totally one of those low-key girls who doesn't care about Valentine's Day, so really all I need is for you to feed me chocolate from a satin pillow and rub a diamond on my face OR WE COULD JUST GET PIZZA OR WHATEVER.

Jessica Biel in a scene from "Valentine's Day"
(Image credit: New Line Cinema)

AGE 6 - 14

Why are all these men carrying around flowers? Why is Mom mad at Dad? Don't all her friends exchange Valentines today, like we did in Mrs. Henike's class? I have 26 Valentines! And a cupcake!! And DISNEY!!!

Cartoon girl kissing tortoise who's on top of a bunny

(Image credit: Marie Claire)

AGE 14 - 15

Oh, is it Valentine's Day? I didn't even realize. As if Jessica Goldkrantz and Nick Herron need another reason to make out on top of my locker. Out of my way, a**holes. Nick Herron's in all standard classes. His tongue must taste like Cool Ranch Doritos and unfulfilled potential.

AGE 16

Aw, my friend's boyfriend gave her flowers and chocolate? That's nice, I guess. I mean, now she's gonna put them on top of the cafeteria table just so everyone sees, which is kind of obnoxious, but still! Hey, Friend, can I have a chocolate? No? Okay.

Why doesn't Nick Herron ever try to put his Cool Ranch tongue in my mouth?

Woman talking to friend gif

(Image credit: Marie Claire)

AGE 17

F*** Valentine's Day. It's literally just a thing so that Hallmark can make money, and stuff. I know that because my super-metal, slightly older boyfriend from a different school told me while we were hanging out in the parking lot outside the mall. He is so metal that he wears a cape. We don't do Valentine's Day.

AGE 18

Having this V-Day girls night was such a good idea! Who cares about Valentine's Day when we have Double Stuf Oreos, and Love Actually, and Bridget Jones' Diary, and Little Women, and — Why is your boyfriend here?

AGE 19 - 21

OMGOMGOMG, he took me to a mid-priced Italian place with cloth napkins and a candle on the table!!! This must be how Kate Middleton feels, like, all the time. He is the guy I am going to spend the rest of my life with, I don't care what my best friend or my mom or BASIC LOGIC says.

AGE 22

Is he serious? We're going to that mid-priced Italian place again? He's not an intern anymore. He needs to step it up. I mean, Kelly's boyfriend is planning to scatter 1,000 rose petals in a room made of chocolate. Or at least that's what Kelly thinks he's gonna do. I'm gonna tell him it's fine but he should be able to tell by my mannerisms and facial expression that it is so not fine.

I love how Jen is like "Valentine's Day was just invented so you'd buy stuff." Only single people say that. Poor angry single Jen.

Woman hanging banner gif

(Image credit: Marie Claire)

AGE 23

Valentine's Day was just invented so you'd buy stuff. It's no big deal. I shouldn't take it so seriously. So I happen to be single on Valentine's Day! So what? I'm a grown woman and I'm focusing on my career. I have no time for a guy right now. I bet if I go right from work to home, I won't even see any happy couples or guys carrying flowers. Then I can stay in, drink a bottle of white wine, watch Bones and do a stupid-expensive body scrub with those exfoliating gloves Liv Tyler recommended on the Internet. THIS BODY SCRUB WILL MAKE ME FEEL GREAT ABOUT EVERYTHING BECAUSE THE WOMAN AT SEPHORA SAID IT WOULD.

Woman eating chocolates gif

(Image credit: Marie Claire)

AGE 24

I've only been dating this guy for a month. What am I supposed to expect? Flowers? A text? Should we not even hang out tonight because it's too much pressure? I'm gonna text him to show him how chill I am.

"hey just wanted to let you know im not one of those girls who cares about valentines day, im super chill, we can just get pizza and sit in garbage or whatever. OR you could give me a swan covered in diamonds hahaha just kidding anyway talk to you soon, or not soon, haha"

Goddamn, I'm great on text.

AGE 25 - 26

Okay, so we know we want to go away, and maybe go skiing. Let me Google "reasonably-priced skiing valentines day resorts." Um... $2,000 a night. Wow. There are a few sad heaps of yellow snow outside, maybe we could try to ski down those? I bet he could fashion some crude skis out of some 2x4s and masking tape, since he was able to hang that light fixture that time!

AGE 27

Oh, thank God, he wants to stay in too.

AGE 28 - 30

Oh, is it Valentine's Day? Let's go to our favorite restaurant that we go to every Tuesday and then just try not to fart on me later.

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Photo Credit: New Line Cinema

Anna Breslaw

Writer. Things I appreciate: Ghosts, white wine, men who look like they could protect me from predators, and a great homemade deviled egg. Also, I have a VERY ambivalent obsession with Sex and The City but I'm not like any of them, other than maybe Miranda's cat.