Celebrating Valentine's Day single — or not celebrating it— has gotten almost mythical. Our culture tends to think of it as this big scary night that can only spent crying into a pint of ice cream if you're single. But that's nonsense, because Valentine's Day, though obviously focused on romantic love, can also acknowledge and celebrate love in general. "I think loving V-Day is based on your desire for love," Rob Alex, who created Sexy Challenges and Mission Date Night with his wife, tells Bustle. "Send your parents a card, draw hearts in the snow on a friend's car and see their reaction, take some heart-shaped dog treats to the humane society, or just treat yourself special on this day."
So if you're single this Valentine's Day, think about spending it with people you love. Of course, if you'd rather spend it alone, there's no shame in that — but not everyone wants to be alone on the holiday. A recent survey by digital savings destination, RetailMeNot, looked at 1,037 Americans 18+ to find out how singles would be celebrating this Valentine's Day — and of course, it doesn't involve tears and cats. In fact, while 29 percent said they would spend the day alone (pampering themselves, that is), a whole lot of people said they would seek out other people they care about. So if you're looking for ideas, here's how singles across the country will be spending Valentine's Day:
130% Of Singles Said They Would Celebrate With Friends
The number one way was to celebrate with friends, which totally makes sense. They're people you love and, if you have a lot of single friends, they may be feeling at a bit of a loose end. So instead of feeling weird about it, just get together.
How To Do It: "Gather your best friends around you and make some special plans to have a wonderful day," Tina B. Tessina, aka Dr. Romance, psychotherapist and author of Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences, tells Bustle. Do a potluck of your favorite junk foods or just get some delivery and watch your favorite film.
228% Said They Would Celebrate With Family
Remember when your parents used to give you little Valentine's treats? Maybe that was just my parents (because I definitely could never get a date and they wanted to soften the blow), but there's something sweet about celebrating with family. That's probably why it came in at number two.
How To Do It: Go home and cook dinner for a parent or relative, it'll feel good to be doing something nice for someone else and you'll be celebrating a close relationship in your life, even if it's not a romantic one.
319% Said They Would Go On A Date With Someone New
Single but looking? Going on a date is a totally legitimate option — that almost one in five said they would go for.
How To Do It: My advice? Just avoid romantic restaurants where you might feel too much pressure with all the celebrations happening around you. Instead, stick to a movie or even a late-night museum visit.
411% Would Host A Party
Why not just make a whole party of it? 11 percent of people said they'd be down.
How To Do It: Just get your friends together and use the holiday as an excuse to party. Or, if you're all looking for relationships, use Tinder on Apple TV to swipe and judge together. It's way too much fun.
There's no reason this has to be a sad or uncomfortable day. Instead, follow what the survey participants are saying — find someone you love and spend time with them. It's that easy.