The Valentine’s Day paraphernalia that floods stores in the beginning of February gives underachievers a stigma. In other words, it puts pressure on couples to go out of their way to do something nice for their significant other and it makes everyone else anxious.

Forget about the overly emotional single guys and gals, the recently broken-hearted or the unrequited-love-sick puppies.

Valentine’s Day can be the most awkward holiday for people who are not quite tied down, but still want to show their hook-up buddy/main squeeze/one-night stand that they enjoy their company.

There is no reason to hold back just because you think the other person won’t reciprocate affection. Valentine’s Day doesn’t need to be the mushy holiday that it’s made out to be. The heart-shaped chocolate boxes and pre-written Hallmark cards were invented for people who don’t want to put too much effort into expressing their heart-felt commitment. But there are more casual ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day for people in love limbo.

Everyone loves food, and your confection need not be sweet. Grab some mozzarella sticks from the grill in the dining hall and write “HVD” in marinara sauce. If your lover is lactose intolerant, get a hamburger instead and draw a heart with ketchup. Then get some french fries and broccoli heads, hollow out the stems and place them on top of your French fries to make an edible and silly bouquet of flowers.

But the broccoli-french-fry flowers don’t have to be a substitute for real flowers.

Timothy Campbell, a junior majoring in psychology, thinks that flowers are not just for people in love.

“Flowers are a beautiful and expensive gift, but the number of flowers can change their symbolism,” Campbell said.

Giving a single flower (anything but a rose) rather than an entire bouquet is a much less scary way to say “Thanks for the great sex” or “I appreciate our drunken rendezvous.”

If you want to acknowledge the holiday, but do not want to give a material item, writing a note on lined paper is personal yet casual.

Lauren Kiesel, a sophomore majoring in integrative neuroscience, thought of a cute and easy way to show your appreciation.

“Whip out your elementary school creativity and doodle a card during one of your boring classes,” Kiesel said. “If you want to get really creative, send your message in a clean bottle from a nearby recycling bin.”

Writing a card on notebook paper is a much more fun use of time than listening to your professor drone on about the Napoleonic wars. Plus, it’s convenient and effortless. Just keep your words casual and humorous. If you have no sense of humor, then skip it.

Even if you’re just keeping it casual, there are still ways to celebrate V-Day without pushing the relationship boundary.