I have a love-hate relationship with Valentine's Day.
There were some years when I despised all the pink and red decorations, and there were other years when I looked forward to telling the people important to me how much I cared for them.
Some years, I called it the "Hallmark holiday," and other years, I was just excited for all of the discounted chocolate on February 15.
But one thing that still stands true: Valentine's Day comes around every year.
In the holiday's nature, as with anything that repeats, clichés are easily made and easy to come by.
If you mix any combination of these eye-rolling clichés with just a little bit of pink and red mushiness, Valentine's Day can quickly get a cheesy reputation.
However, I still believe the root of Valentine's Day is something good, and it truly does deserve to be celebrated.
While acknowledging your significant other is something that should happen anyway, it's important to devote a day to making him or her feel extra special.
What better way to do so than with a little bit of actual romance?
No, this is not "liking" every one of your crush's Instagram pictures as a form of flirtation or putting a smiley face emoji in every text to hint your feelings.
I'm talking about a bonafide romance that makes your knees buckle and your chest slightly cave in.
If there's any day to do something a little grander, it's very possible to accomplish a loving gesture on February 14 without being clichéd.
So, in honor of vowing to bring back legitimate, not-so-cheesy romance this Valentine's Day, here are four clichés to avoid:
1. Table For Two At That Place You Can't Pronounce
Instead of trying to make reservations at a white-tablecloth restaurant where you can hardly see your date, let alone your own food, try cooking dinner for your significant other in your own home.
Or better yet, make it part of the evening by cooking together.
Since you can control the menu, you can make his or her favorite foods, or you can try your hand at a more exotic, fancy recipe.
Set your own table to match the mood you're going for, or make a picnic on your living room floor with throw pillows and a candle or two.
Not only could this you save you a fortune, but you will have created an intimate environment that feels comfortable, not stuffy.
2. Heart-Shaped Box Of Assorted Chocolates
Was it just me, or did we all just make New Year's resolutions to eat healthy like a month and a half ago?
Skip the overpriced box of chocolates that you will both eat out of for three days.
It's called Valentine's Day, people, not Valentine's Week.
Consider trading the assorted chocolates for one really wonderful dessert that you both have been craving at a favorite spot downtown.
Combine it with a leisurely walk there and back, and all of the sudden, you've made chocolate romantic again.
3. Professing Your Love Via Social Media
As much as we all enjoy scrolling through Facebook or Instagram to find that you love your boyfriend "so so much," try a different route this year.
Write your profession to your valentine personally, not to your Facebook friends.
By "write personally," I mean physically write it.
There should be no typing, folks.
Begin the letter with "Dear so-and-so," and end the letter by signing your name.
I guarantee that a handwritten letter expressing your love will mean much more to the person you're writing to than a two-paragraph Instagram caption.
Your valentine will have a keepsake to hold on to for years to come.
4. Thinking That Asking Someone To Be Your Valentine Is Clichéd
Being in a relationship with someone shouldn't mean you have a automatic date for Valentine's Day.
Remember the days of early grade school where you would pass a "Will you be my Valentine?" note in class to your crush?
Go back to the basics.
There's something kind of cute and quirky about doing a grown-up version of this.
Send flowers to your significant other at work, draw a little graphic or even play a few chords on the guitar.
Use your strengths, whatever they are.
I promise they won't go unnoticed.