For many singles, February 14 means facing down the longest 24 hours of the year. It’s easy to confuse ‘single’ with ‘alone,’ but single can really just mean open to new love. And alone doesn’t have to mean ‘lonely.’ Even if you’re not paired up this Valentine’s Day, you can still celebrate. Who says a day of love is only for couples? Besides, as many of them will tell you, the holiday is never quite what it’s cracked up to be. Singles have every right to enjoy Valentine’s Day — in their own special way. Here are five ideas:
1. Get Together With Other Singles
You’re hardly the only one on your own today, so why not form a united front? Host a gathering for your single friends, and if you’re feeling disinclined towards winged cherubs, keep the night free of reds and pinks. If you’d rather let someone else do the work, hit a singles bar. This doesn’t mean you’re desperate, it just means you want to have fun. Don’t get wrapped up in the idea of meeting someone special, and you won’t be disappointed. No pity parties either! Pretend it’s any other night.
2. Go on a Date… With Friends
Have dinner with close friends, and think about what you’d be missing if you were elsewhere. Many a Valentine’s have been wasted with transient sweethearts, and even long-term significant others aren’t likely to outlast your best buds. Even if you can’t be with your nearest and dearest, spend a night with people you enjoy. If that includes a couple or two, and you’re feeling generous, let them crash your intimate evening. They deserve to have a little fun, too. Just make sure they’re not the ‘lovey-dovey’ types, and that there’s at least one other single around.
3. Treat Yourself
Do something for yourself you wouldn’t normally do. Get thee to the spa for a facial and a massage — and don’t even think about feeling guilty about it. Your relationship with yourself is important, and you’re worth a splurge now and then. Pick up some flowers on the way home to help make your living space soothing and welcoming. If you can’t swing the spa today (they can get a little crowded this time of year), create your own. Invest in some sumptuous skincare products, and don’t forget the candlelit bath and the music. It can also be as simple as watching a marathon of your favorite TV shows on Tivo or indulging in your favorite meal — calories be damned!
4. Share the Love
It doesn’t have to be about sappiness and coupling at all. Let Valentine’s Day be an excuse to connect with the people you care about. When you send cards to your friends and family, you’re going to get more than a few smiles. Call an old friend out of the blue — in fact, call anyone you like (except exes — definitely no exes!). Simply expressing love can be tremendously fulfilling. It can also help strengthen those bonds, so don’t be surprised if you see a little love coming back your way. While you’re at it, use this day to send cards to casual acquaintances as well. There’s no harm in a little Valentine’s networking.
5. Make it Yours
Since retailers and couples seem to be bent on making this day crucial, go with it. Make Valentine’s a day you use for yourself, in whatever way you need it. Go to a bookstore and collect books on things you’ve always wanted to know, or just a little something to curl up with tonight. Treat yourself to some you-time at the gym, or get yourself that sweater you’ve been admiring. It’s a holiday. Why shouldn’t it be dedicated to you? Do something that you like so much it puts you right in the moment, where you are actually enjoying your own life.
Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to trigger pressure, disappointment, or sadness. Look at it as a blessing, and no matter how you spend it, it’s only 24 hours long. Take it as you take all the days of your life — with love for yourself and others. Take it with gratitude. Happy Valentine’s Day to you!
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