There’s no avoiding it, like a heart-shaped balloon it rises, unavoidable and garish; Valentine’s Day. Every year the red roses and the teddy bears holding signs saying “I love you” appear in the shops. Bright pink and red hearts cover every inch of every restaurant you go into. Except for this year of course, oddly lockdown provides a sanctuary to engage with Valentine’s Day as much or as little as you care to. That is until you check your emails and find every company there, frantically reminding you the big day is coming up…
For those of you finding yourself newly single this Valentine’s thanks to this little old pandemic we’ve been living through or even for those who are hardened members of the permanently single club, it can be hard to not feel a bit lonely on the year’s most romantic day. Last year I was swept off on a romantic first date complete with aquarium visit and fried chicken. This year I’m at home, with my mum, single once again.
However, this is not a sob story, this is a guide to surviving a single Valentine’s Day.
Take Care Of Your Mind
Let’s be honest, when you’re single on Valentine’s Day there are only two ways you’ve been taught to feel: miserable and crying constantly or angry and anti-love (à la Jessica Biel in Valentine’s Day). However, these aren’t the only options, despite what romantic comedies would have you believe. Shockingly you can feel indifferent or even excited for valentines day without a relationship.
Acknowledge how certain films or actitivies make you feel and decide how you want to feel. You could lean into the love fest with the view of setting unattainable goals and embracing the good feelings. Or decide just to simply not care, go about your day as you would normally. At least this year it’s on a Sunday so pretty easy to avoid the whole charade.
Ignore what you think you should or shouldn’t be doing, this is your official free pass to skip the day altogether if you need to. For many people, this might be the first time in years they’ve been single for the big day so just consider what’s best for you right now and go with that. Unless that’s breaking into your ex’s apartment and stealing your shorts back… that’s frowned upon and not advisable. If you want to have a big cry though that’s okay too. Put on some music and have a dance around the kitchen, whatever your heart desires.
Reach out to your friends
In the great tradition of Galentine’s Day reach out to family and friends and remind them that love is not just romantic. Platonic love is in abundance and we often throw it aside for the far more glitzy and idealised romantic love. Particularly this year when social interaction is in short supply and we’re all feeling a bit alone, let your friends know you’re thinking of them.
Sending your single friends flowers or hosting a Netflix viewing party can be simple ways to show your love and appreciation for them. Don’t get so wrapped up in the romance you forget that love comes in many forms and your friends probably need a little boost right now too.
Who doesn’t love an excuse to pamper yourself? What better excuse than a day dedicated to chocolate, bubble baths and alcohol? I’ll admit it’s hard to shake the pitying look my mother gave me as I excitedly told her I’d bought myself a Valentine’s Limited Edition Chewbacca Pop Vinyl Figure. And I completely understand her questioning look. I agree it’s maybe not your traditional gift and possibly not the most obvious choice. However, treating yourself to something daft that simply makes you happy is a brilliant way to get through the single blues.
I’m not saying you have to go on a massive spending spree either, spoiling yourself could be buying some flowers or chocolates or just going for a nice bath. Possibly both if you’re feeling luxurious. Never underestimate the regenerative qualities of a face pack, a bubble bath and your favourite podcast. Slow down for the evening and treat yourself to a relaxing evening of self-care, in whatever form that takes for you.
Don’t take your single Valentine’s Day too seriously
The biggest way to brush aside the impact of love being thrown in your single face is to not take it too seriously. It’s only one day after all. Just think, the next day there will be discounted chocolate! Everyone will return to normal life, by midday the buzz will have died down as everyone continues with their lives as if it never happened. Until next year of course.
Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing or compare it to Valentine’s Days of previous years. Enjoy this Single Valentines Day for what it is … a chance to focus on yourself and your needs. In the immortal words of Donna Meagle “treat yo’ self”.
Words by Danni Scott
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