The holiday that celebrates love is met by many with apathy, and others with downright dread.
When Valentine's Day arrives Thursday, only about 60 percent of Americans will celebrate, making just about every other holiday except St. Patrick's Day more popular.
And no, not everyone who sits on the Valentine sidelines is forlornly single.
For Tracy and Karen Wilson of Apopka, married 22 years with three children, both time and the economy have taken their toll on the holiday of love.
"We'll still tell each other Happy Valentine's Day and maybe get a card," said Tracy Wilson, 42, who works for a paint-sales company. "That's usually about as far as it goes."
His wife was unemployed for a while, he said, and "we've kind of chosen to use the money for other things rather than ourselves."
The slowly recovering economy is still putting a damper on the holiday, with 55 percent of consumers in a PriceGrabber survey saying it has affected how much they spend on their sweeties.
The National Retail Federation predicts Americans will shell out an average of $130.97 on Valentine's Day in 2013, up from $126.03 last year. Total spending will reach $18.6 billion.
But for some who forgo the festivities, it can be a matter of principle rather than money.
"I think Valentine's Day has gotten sort of commercialized. The opinion we hear is, it's sort of a Hallmark holiday," said Cathy McBreen, whose Millionaire Corner investors' website found in a survey that 16 percent of married couples don't celebrate.
Valentine's Day actually started hundreds of years ago. Still, count Sheryl Kurland of Longwood among those who consider it too contrived.
"When you're in a committed relationship or married, Valentine's Day should be every day," Kurland said.
The author of a book about couples married half a century, Kurland has been wed 23 years herself. She and her husband, Steven, don't consider celebrating Valentine's Day a secret of marital bliss.
"I try to stay off the chocolate. It's bad for you. Flowers die," said Kurland, 55. " It's just not something that I need. He'll get me a card and write something real sweet on it, and we kiss each other, and that's our celebration."
Not everyone, of course, ignores Valentine's Day by choice. People who aren't married or dating often feel left out when they see all the celebrations of love surrounding them.
"It gets frustrating," said Veronica Smith, 33, of Orlando, who has been single for several years. "It's one of those holidays, if you're by yourself, you know it for sure."
But some restaurants are trying to court diners such as Smith, a high-school-attendance clerk.
Maitland-based Tijuana Flats is planning a singles' night Thursday, giving out free beers. The chain wanted to bring in business on what used to be a slow night, marketing director Ashley Montgomery said, because "it may not be the most romantic setting for a Valentine's Day."
Benihana also is encouraging groups of single friends to gather around its big teppanyaki tables and enjoy punch bowls that can serve up to four.
Dueling-pianos bar Howl at the Moon gives free admission to people who bring in mutilated pictures of their exes for its "Love Sux" night Thursday.
Lil Indies will host Speed Hating, with drink specials and "appropriately sad tunes." The bar encourages people on Facebook to "prepare yourself a list of things that you hate and cross your fingers that you can bond over grievances ... with someone of the opposite or same sex."
Smith, who used to watch the romantic movie "Sleepless in Seattle" at home alone each Feb. 14, has had a change of heart about how to spend the holiday.
This year, she's considering taking her nieces out to dinner at Ethos Vegan Kitchen, which will have dinner, drink and dessert specials.
"You have to step outside and say, How can I make this day work for me and not feel lonely on it?' "
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