A single person’s guide to Valentine’s Day: No longer just for lovers
Valentine’s Day seems to elicit many reactions from many different people. A common reaction from single people when dealing with Valentine’s Day tends to involve this thought or belief that “Valentine’s Day is the day I avoid,” or “Because I’m single, Valentine’s Day is not for me.” Valentine’s Day is no longer just for lovers, it is a day to show your love for those in your life. On Valentine’s Day you show thanks and appreciation to the actual people in your life; friends, family, co-workers, roommates, etc. It doesn’t have to be the day you go into hiding, or the day you cringe at restaurant specials having serving sizes only for couples. You can create your own meaning of Valentine’s Day, and in turn finding your inner strength and empowerment by you controlling Valentine’s Day, and not letting Valentine’s Day control you.
The best example of an alternative celebration to Valentine’s Day is found in the current television show, “Parks and Recreation.” The main character, played by Amy Poehler has a long standing tradition on Valentine’s Day, which she has creatively dubbed “Galentine’s Day.” She takes all of her female friends (single or non) out to lunch, where they catch up, give and receive Valentine’s Day related gifts, and simply connect and celebrate the day in their own way, showing appreciation to each other and to themselves. Regardless of gender, perhaps this coming Valentine’s Day you can develop your own “Galentine’s Day.” Here’s a few ideas to get you started.
If you can find a platonic plus one..
You can always go the more social route and traditional: If you dare to enter the “belly of the beast,” find a platonic friend and go have a fun dinner out, full of the Valentine’s Day festivities, and all of the couples related specials and desserts for 2 people. Use the dinner to reminisce about your friendship, how it all began, maybe plan some trips or events for the upcoming year together. Valentine’s Day is about love, whether it’s the love you have for your good friend or someone else, it doesn’t have to be about getting laid.
More alternative activities to do with a friend or group of friends:
Movie marathon: pick a theme. It could be all romance films, horror films, etc.
Go find a local sports event: Ice Hockey, Basketball, professional or college. Most likely, you will run into other single people in attendance.
Grab your friends for a day of pampering. Celebrate the fact that because you are single, your time, energy, and resources can go 100% to you. This could mean treating yourself to shopping, a pedicure, massage, etc. This can be your chance to be kind and loving to yourself and celebrating the fact that you can do these things, because not everyone can.
Celebrate with one of your biggest fans: Family is always a great option when looking to be with someone you love, and visa versa. Siblings can give you that peer/friend like support, or if you have any nieces or nephews, treat them to a special day, and you’ll get the gift experiencing Valentine’s Day through their eyes. Bonus, you will be modeling for them that Valentine’s Day isn’t just about expressing your feelings to a crush, or someone of interest, you will be teaching them that Valentine’s Day can take many forms and means celebrating love all around. If you are the lucky one who still has a grandparent around and nearby, take time out of your day and make them your Valentine. Most likely they’ll be thrilled to be thought of and celebrated again on Valentine’s Day, and you may walk away some fantastic stories about their past Valentine’s Days as part of a couple, as a single person, and as a parent.
If you can’t find a platonic plus one.. This is the day you celebrate you. This is the day you are extra kind to yourself. It’s not out of pity, it’s because your life is currently set up in a way that allows all of your hard earned free time and money to be spent on you. You don’t have to deny yourself of a great meal, or a new experience because you are saving up to take someone out on Valentine’s Day. You are your own date on Valentine’s Day. This is the day to give back to yourself. Expression of love doesn’t have to be about expressing it to everybody else, you can be included too. Have a party on or around Valentine’s Day. You don’t have to call it Valentine’s Day if you prefer not to. This is a chance to invite all of your favorite and supportive people to celebrate together, single or non. This is a great example of you owning your Valentine’s Day and making the day mean whatever it is you want. You may even end up playing matchmaker to yourself or a friends. Volunteer. This will bring you a new perspective in an instant. Giving back to your community will be fulfilling, a great distraction from what’s going on around you on Valentine’s Day, and will redirect your thinking and focus back on to what’s really important in life.
Find an event to attend: Every year there’s more Valentine’s Day events popping up for singles. From local 5k runs with cocktails after, to speed dating events, to Valentine’s Day themed storytelling events. Get on your computer, get out in your neighborhood, keep a look out for advertised events. This could be your opportunity to do something different, and again find a new relationship with Valentine’s Day. It’s doesn’t have to be just about dinner and desserts and gifts. Explore your city and learn about other ways people celebrate and spend their time, with potentially meeting new friends in the process.
Avoid the Negative Thinking
It may feel like by the time Valentine’s Day hits, everyone is suddenly a part of a pair. It’s just an illusion. Whether people are actually pairing up and going on dates just in time for Valentine’s Day, or the hyper focus of pairs intensifies how many people seem to be with someone. Either way, just because someone has a date on this day means nothing more than just that. It doesn’t mean they’re in love and together forever in a perfect relationship, it doesn’t mean every other aspect of their life is fulfilling to them, it doesn’t mean they are even in a long term relationship. Any thinking beyond they’re on a date, you’re making assumptions, and assumption making is a slippery slope of unhealthy and negative thinking. Remember. Valentine’s Day is just one day. Once it passes, its not thought of or spoken of until the following year. So remind yourself that the day, and the thoughts that come with this day are all passing.
These are just a few ideas on how to reclaim your Valentine’s Day and celebrate in a way that’s more authentic to your single self. If these ideas don’t really apply to you that’s okay, they are also intended to serve as a guide to help inspire you and find your own way to embrace the day. Happy Valentine’s Day!