Single on Valentine’s Day? Here are Ideas for Those Flying Solo

February 14 is about celebrating love, but what does that look like when you're single on Valentine's Day? Well, it turns out, it doesn't have to be a bad day at all...
Single on Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is known as the day when starry-eyed lovers express their affection with special gifts, while others consider it a Hallmark holiday, created just to make more profit from the expectation of elaborate shows of affection. No matter what camp you’re in, one thing everyone agrees on is that it stinks to be single on Valentine’s Day. I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to. We have all kinds of ideas to make this holiday happier for everyone, including singles and widows. Let’s make this day less about couples and more about just feeling the love, even if it’s self-love. 

No Shame in Being Single on Valentine’s Day

African american woman hugging herself being happy and positive, smiling confident

First, it’s important to state that there’s no shame in being single on Valentine’s Day—or any other day, for that matter. You may be single but are far from alone. In fact, these days, the number of single people now outnumbers married people. That’s right; more than half of the adult population in the U.S. is single. It’s a slim margin—about 46 percent—but there’s clearly a slow but steady shift toward being “happily single.”

After all, many of us have realized through much heartache that it’s better to be alone than with the wrong person, right? Especially when you’ve had the good fortune of finding the right person but lost them way too soon, which is the case with many widows. You definitely don’t want to follow that relationship up by spending time with someone who isn’t right for you. So, let’s focus on enjoying the time we have with the one we should love most anyway: ourselves. 

Write Yourself a Love Letter

Many therapists recommend writing yourself a love letter, but it’s more challenging than you’d think. After all, so many of us are filled with negative self-talk. Why not flip the switch and talk to yourself like you talk to your best friends?

Grab a nice cup of warm tea and your favorite journal, and get comfy. Pour out the words to yourself about all the things that make you fabulous. Get the emotions out on paper. Whether you need to hear you’re pretty, smart, or the best chef in the universe, tell yourself what you need to hear. Pile on the compliments, just as you would for a friend. Be your own cheerleader and list positive affirmations that you know will fill your heart and soul. You know how hard you’ve worked to become who you are. It’s time to give yourself a little praise. 

Spend the Day with Friends

Three Woman Toasting With A Glass Of Wine During A Dinner Preparation; Single on Valentine's Day

Maybe you’re not thrilled to be alone on this holiday for lovers. So change it up. Don’t be alone! Odds are you have other friends who also would prefer not to spend the holiday by themselves. Round up a group for lunch, dinner, or just drinks. No one says a date has to be defined by your one true love. Hanging out with some of your favorite people is just as good for the soul, if not better. And being with other people may help you feel less alone if being single wasn’t your first choice at this point in life.

Buy Yourself a Valentine’s Day Gift 

Single on Valentine's Day

Odds are, even if you were coupled up, you would be secretly wishing for a special something from your partner and may have ended up disappointed when they didn’t magically buy what you were dreaming of. For example, not every woman wants a bouquet of flowers. I would be one of those women. They die too soon, and I would much prefer an orchid plant that I could keep year after year, which would remind me of the time we shared.

Well, I’ve come to realize if I want an orchid plant for Valentine’s Day, it’s on me to buy it for myself. And there’s no shame in that! So, being single, there’s no reason you can’t buy the chocolate that you know you love or the plant, as I do. If you’ve been dying to try a special dessert at a new restaurant, nothing is stopping you from going to get that dessert and savoring every bite. Life is too short to not make your own dreams come true.

Create a New Tradition

Lots of couples have favorite restaurants or other locations they like to visit for Valentine’s Day. Maybe they always make the same breakfast together. Well, they don’t own exclusive rights to rituals. You can make your own traditions to do something fun and memorable for Valentine’s Day. Want to sit by the river and have a picnic? Do it! Then do it again next year. And the year after that. Wish you could go see the latest rom-com at the theater? Then go! And make it an annual tradition to watch that same movie or to always see a new one. Whatever tickles your fancy.

Honor Your Past

If you’re a widow and no longer have the love of your life by your side, don’t be afraid to think about that person on Valentine’s Day. They were a huge part of your life, and pretending otherwise does a disservice to your relationship. It doesn’t mean you have to wallow in your sadness—quite the opposite.

Be glad you had the experience of knowing that kind of love at least once in your life. Many people don’t. Honor that love and then move on to any of the suggestions above. Celebrate what you had and choose to honor their memory by making the most of the life you have yet to live.

Avoid Social Media

With all of those suggestions for being single on Valentine’s Day, here’s one suggestion of what NOT to do. Do not go on social media today. Whether you’re single by choice or by circumstance, you don’t need to subject yourself to the public displays of love found on Facebook and Instagram.

Let them have your fun, but no need to spend even five minutes playing eyewitness to it. Social media will still be there the next day. And you’ll be a lot happier by giving it a 24-hour hiatus. 

No matter how you choose to spend the day, do remember you are loved. You make life better for someone out there, whether you realize it or not, so keep it up. And keep doing what makes your heart and soul happy each and every day, not just on Valentine’s Day.

Read More:

Self-Love: What Does It Really Look Like?

10 Steps to Survive the Holidays Single

Suddenly Single: Dealing With Your Emotions


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