Even if you don’t identify as someone who cares much about Valentine’s Day, many singles find that as the holiday approaches it begins to get to them, and that’s perfectly natural.
In fact, as silly as it might seem to some people, there is such a thing as “Valentine’s Day stress” and it’s associated with increased anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Although, I’d never heard of this until a couple of years ago, I wasn’t surprised to find out it existed. Valentine’s Day is loaded with romantic expectations that can distort our logical thinking and emotional well-being. Simply being aware that Valentine’s Day can have this effect can help you not take it to heart.
Over the years, I have tried all of the suggestions myself. One year a girlfriend and I had a great night drinking cheap beer at a heartbreak karaoke event, and then another year I picked up a nice dinner and binge watched Being Erika with a glass (ok, a couple) glasses of one of my favourite wines.
The most important thing is choose to do something that genuinely feels good. Forcing yourself to do something you think you ought to do may only make you feel worse - that was definitely my experience!
Also, I want to remind you that being alone on Valentine’s Day (even if you are heartbroken) is far better than being with the wrong person or in an unhealthy relationship. You’re already a few steps ahead of this group!
Here are some of my top suggestions, followed by a great list of recommendations from other singles (and former-singles ;-)
Have a read and come up with a plan that feels just right for you!
Spending quality time with your single friends is one of the most obvious alternatives on Valentine’s Day. Whether you decide to make it a night out (for drinks, live music, or even bowling) or plan on a night in with great food and wine and perhaps a board game, it’s hard to go wrong with this option.
Most cities host events specifically for people who don’t have plans, and the hidden benefit of this option is that the majority of the people out that night will be single! It will also serve to remind you that you are not alone, and that there are a lot of other people are also in the same boat as you. Perspective is everything.
HAVE A DATE NIGHT WITH YOURSELF
Why not have a great night with yourself? I’m often surprised at how many single people are not in the habit of having regular “date nights” with themselves. It’s as though they’re waiting to be in a relationship to enjoy certain “couple pleasures” such as trying out a great recipe or restaurant, seeing a particular movie, opening up that special bottle of wine, etc. The truth is you don't have to wait for someone else to give you the love you want.
In addition to it feeling great, being good to yourself can also serve to increase your sense of self-worth because you are subconsciously communicating to yourself that you are worthy of love.
If doing nice things just for yourself seems unnatural, then this is a really great practice for you to develop. It will also help you in your dating life because people who take great care of themselves are naturally more attractive. So its win-win!
There are so many wonderful ways to spend an evening with yourself, but here are some ideas (more are listed below)
- Have a special meal, candles and all
- Check out an art museum
- Watch a favourite romantic movie that makes you feel good
- Cuddle up with a great book
- Do some journaling
- Take a long bath or have an at-home spa evening
START YOUR “DATING PLAN”
If this Valentine’s Day has made you realize that you are ready for love - embrace that desire! Instead of feeling down about your status, get excited about the process!
I often compare looking for a relationship to looking for your dream job - you wouldn’t just expect it to just magically just happen someday! And yet, this is the approach so many people take when looking for a relationship. If you wanted to find a great job you would actively network, work on your resume, optimize your LinkedIn profile, skill up and most importantly getting clear on who you are and what you really, really want. The same principles apply to finding love.
A couple years ago, I started helping singles develop what I call a “dating plan” (much like a business plan) which includes gaining clarity on your core values, dating and relationship objectives, and coming up with a concrete plan that includes both online and offline dating strategies. Creating a personalized dating plan is essential if you’re serious about finding a fulfilling relationship.
You can start by picking up a great book on relationships or dating (here's one I often recommend,) journal about what really matters to you in a relationship, and/or start looking into getting a coach, therapist or matchmaker to guide you. The important thing is to start investing in this area of your life.
WHAT OTHER SINGLES ARE SAYING ...
Over the years, I have reached out to my online community for suggestions for singles on Valentine’s Day and here are some of my favourites (including wearing your favourite underwear!)
- Spread love in any event and share the love you'd like to have!
- Love yourself ... I'll let y'all interpret that however you like!
- For me it would be to have a kick ass work out, followed by a hot shower, and then cozy up with a bottle of red wine and a good chick flick.
- Bubble bath, metta meditation and favourite underwear day.
- My best Valentine’s Day ever my girls and I went bowling, drank cheap beer and pigged out on greasy pub food!
- Well, the most obvious thing to do is to go to the opening weekend of “Fifty Shades” in style - get VIP tickets and drink wine in the theatre!
- Get together with friends, celebrate "anti-valentine's" day by watching slasher or action movies lol
- Celebrate as the Latinos do! In Latin America, Valentine's Day is known as "The Love and Friendship Day." Indulge in the other great loves of your life.
- Go on a date with yourself. ... spend the day at a art museum Or do a paint class Or go to the movies ... a meditation retreat.
- I have a friend that fosters her "inner man". She kisses her hand, gives herself a hug when needed. Sees herself as already whole, yin-yang is already within you. Romance yourself by making a lovely dinner at home, eating mindfully by candlelight and with music, doing self-abhyanga (ayurvedic oil massage) also by candlelight, or even bubble bath, candlelight meditation to sit alone and enjoy the company of your Self. . . practice of self-love is very powerful.
- Go see a movie, or have an at home spa day!
- I am using it to honour all of the healing work I've done to connect to myself more. I'm subbing a class for someone in a super sweet relationship because I'm ecstatic to be where I am, not because I'm running (like I used to). I'm so much more present now, so that I know what I want as opposed to being caught up in codependency and hence reactive, mismatched love...
- Show love and kindness to everyone you interact with.
- “WINE!! No no....go out with your girlfriend's and make it your intention to meet at least one interesting guy. Make it fun like a scavenger hunt...it's a fun distraction and who knows what may happen....
- Collect your single girlfriends, host a 'singles only' dinner - followed by a night of dancing!
- Pamper yourself and do "you" thing.
However you choose to spend your day, I wish you a happy Valentine’s Day!
ps. If you have any other suggestions please comment below and I may add them to this running list!