Brace yourself — Valentine’s Day is approaching.
If you’re in a committed relationship, this holiday carries different connotations for you than for single people. You’re likely stressing about where to take your partner for a romantic evening date or where to get the prettiest flowers to give them. There’s a lot to consider when you’re a happy couple on Valentine’s Day.
However, what about those of us who aren’t in a happy and committed relationship?
Maybe you’ve got a case of the Valentine’s Day blues and are feeling lonely and wishing you had a significant other to share this holiday with. Maybe you’re just not a fan of the holiday in general and plan to wear black in protest. No matter how you’re feeling about the approaching holiday, it’s important to check in with yourself and prepare to have the greatest Valentine’s Day ever — without a special someone.
Let’s begin on this note — it is entirely normal to be alone on Valentine’s Day, and it is within reason that you may feel lonely without a significant other on a day that is broadly advertised as a lover’s holiday. But even if you are feeling the pressure of the holiday, keep in mind that being in a relationship is something that should come naturally and should never be pursued just to alleviate the loneliness you may feel as a single person on this day.
Don’t be hard on yourself! Instead, you could look at this holiday as a day to treat yourself to your favorite things and enjoy your own company instead of stressing about pleasing a significant other.
If you’re single and want to find something solo to do on Valentine’s Day, we’ve got something incredible in store for you. In this article, you’ll find nine uplifting ways to spend Valentine’s Day as a single person. Let’s jump in!
The Origins of ‘The Lover’s Holiday’
If you’ve ever wondered where Valentine’s Day came from, you’re not alone. In actuality, February 14 is not a particularly significant date. It’s not clear where Valentine’s Day got its start as a holiday in the first place, but some historians point to mid-February celebrations in ancient Rome as evidence of a culture eager to welcome the longer days and promise of spring.
Starting in the fifth century, the Roman Catholic Church began celebrating various martyred saints named Valentine on February 14. Legend has it that the Roman priest Valentine secretly married soldiers who were forbidden to wed by Emperor Claudius, who believed that single men made for more effective soldiers. This priest was given the title of Saint Valentine and eventually became the patron saint of lovers.
The meaning of “valentine” shifted to “lover” in the 1400s, during a time when courtly love and partnerships were widely celebrated. Midway through the 1800s, Valentine’s Day cards were created. Currently, businesses flood the airwaves with Valentine’s Day advertisements promoting the myriad of ways in which couples can spend money on one another. Cards, flowers, chocolate, jewelry, and restaurant experiences are all popular options for gifts.
As a single person, this history may give you a sense of comfort. Valentine’s Day is not an old tradition of celebrating partnerships but rather an inflated advertising strategy. Businesses scramble at the opportunity to entice consumers with promises of the perfect gift for their lovers.
Not only are you going to pamper yourself on this holiday, but you’re not going to give in to businesses’ marketing ploy for you to spend money!
9 Uplifting Ways to Spend Valentine’s Day as a Single Person
Now that you understand the origins of Valentine’s Day, we can move on to tips on how you can spend this holiday as a single person. Keep in mind you should spend time alone in whatever ways feel most comfortable to you, so don’t feel like you have to do any of these things if you don’t want to. They are merely suggestions for you to alleviate the loneliness you may be feeling.
1. Ignore the Holiday Altogether
Let’s start with the most obvious solution — simply don’t celebrate! Sure, it may be challenging to completely avoid all of the advertising for Valentine’s Day on social media and the internet, but that may work to your advantage too. It may do your mental health a bit of good to stay off of social media for one day, especially if you’re avoiding looking at an ex-partner’s photos of their new boo.
Go camping, go see a movie, or turn your phone off for the evening and focus on doing things you enjoy doing. Even if the rest of the world spends excessive amounts of money and time sharing how happy they are in their relationship with the world, you don’t have to pay attention.
2. Spend Time with a Friend
Technically speaking, Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love, right? Who’s to say you can’t celebrate the love you have for your closest friends? Go on a date with a friend and enjoy their company! If you don’t live near your dearest friends, call or FaceTime them and tell them how much they mean to you.
Rather than treating this time spent with a friend as just another hang-out, be intentional and let them know why they mean so much to you. Tell them how special the time they spend with you is, and remind them that you love them.
Surrounding yourself with loved ones is also an excellent idea if you’re feeling sad or lonely about the holiday. What better way to mend a broken heart than by spending time with the people you love most?
3. Write a Letter and Burn It
We’ve all likely experienced a Valentine’s Day where the wound of a breakup is still fresh. Just when you felt like you were sorting things out and getting back to normal, this holiday arrives and reopens all the hurt you felt when the relationship ended. If this is your case, it can be beneficial to write out a letter to your former partner — and then burn it.
Journaling is an excellent way to work through your emotions and feelings, so it may help to put all your feelings on paper and acknowledge them. Let your ex know how they hurt you and what you could’ve done differently. Write about how the breakup affected you and how you pulled yourself out of that place and decided to move forward.
Once you’ve got it all out there, light that letter on fire and watch it burn. This is a symbolic way of letting your old wounds go and closing this chapter for good. You can’t erase memories, but you can come to terms with the ending of a relationship by writing out your feelings. You may find it easier to move on once this is done.
4. Have a Pamper Day
Arguably the best option on this list is this one — treat yourself. This will look different for everyone, so don’t take this to mean you have to buy yourself an expensive dinner or a fancy set of jewelry.
Simply do what you like to do. Love taking long walks in the park listening to your favorite music? Get out there and walk! Love soaking in a warm bath with your favorite book? Run that faucet and grab a novel! Whatever brings you happiness and makes you feel good about yourself is perfectly fine, so long as you’re putting the focus on yourself.
5. Cook Yourself a Beautiful Dinner for One
If you love cooking, you may be feeling additionally down because you have no partner to share your meals with. Everyone has their own way of expressing love, so if yours is preparing a nice meal for loved ones, it’s understandable that you may feel disappointed by the fact that you have no one to cook for.
Think again! Not only do you have someone to cook for — yourself — but you get to cook your absolute favorite meal without any say-so from another party. Or you can dust off the family cookbook and take a crack at cooking something entirely new for the holiday if that brings you joy. You don’t need anyone but yourself to cook a nice meal for, so turn on the stove and whip up your favorite dish.
Books, cards, flowers, and chocolates are all popular gift ideas on Valentine’s Day, but you can include an anonymous note with any of these gifts telling your recipient to “pay it forward” and do the same for someone else. You’d be surprised how much such a simple act can brighten someone’s day.
9. Get Dressed Up
If you’re single this Valentine’s day but love dressing up, don’t let that stop you.
You don’t need a date to dress up in your Sunday best, you just need yourself. Put on something you feel fancy and cute in, and take a few selfies that show off just how good you look. Feel free to share them on your social media if you like, but you certainly don’t need to. All that matters is that you’re feeling like a million bucks.
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6. Get Outdoors
Who said the love holiday can’t be devoted to your love of nature? Nothing fixes a gloomy mood quite like sunshine does. If you’re able, go on a hike or a walk outside and get some precious vitamin D in your system.
You could even go camping for a night if you have the proper equipment, and that can be done solo or with friends. The outdoors has a way of calming the mind and spirit, so we recommend spending time outside, especially if you’re feeling particularly sad.
7. Incorporate Affirmations
We’ve talked about it before, but affirmations are a powerful tool you can use to start your day on a positive note. This is especially true if you’re a single person dreading Valentine’s Day.
Write out some positive affirmations you can repeat in the mirror in the mornings leading up to Valentine’s Day to boost your mood and remind yourself that you are loved. You may find that affirmations have a profound positive effect and can incorporate them into your daily routine.
8. Be a Secret Admirer
We see it all the time in movies and on television, but rarely does it happen to people in real life. In fact, most people have never received a nice note from a secret admirer, but it doesn’t have to stay that way this Valentine’s Day.
Consider anonymously sending a gift to someone who may be in the same position as you. It doesn’t have to be a secret profession of undying love! Rather, you can simply choose someone who you wish to see smile.
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Choose to Have a Valentine’s Day Built for You
There are many positive aspects to celebrating Valentine’s Day alone. This setup provides the liberty to make your own plans and invest in self-care at your own pace and budget. Self-care is essential, of course, and the means by which it is accomplished can be inherently romantic.
Who says Valentine’s Day essentials like wine, chocolate, and intimacy are reserved for the coupled up? If you’re single, not planning to mingle, and looking to partake in the fun, romantic vibes that Valentine’s Day can provide, there’s no reason to wait until you’re in a committed relationship to do so.
Don’t let anything stop you from having the greatest Valentine’s Day ever!