Being single on Valentine's Day should not be something that you dread. In fact, in some ways it's nice not to have all the pressure of a cheesy date night. If we could all stop acting like being single on Valentine's Day was a bad thing, I think it would stop being looked at as a bad thing. Because you can still have so much fun on February 14, whether you're single or not.
But we need to get back to the basics. Let's start by banishing this idea that being single is a problem in the first place. You can have just as fulfilling of a life, if not more so, with just as many emotional attachments. Especially if you're a woman. “I think it is true that women are empowered to cultivate emotional resources that make them more able to be happy while single,” dating coach and certified matchmaker Francesca Hogi tells Bustle. “For many men, their outlets for emotional intimacy and expression are limited to romantic relationships. Generally speaking, women have emotional intimacy with their friends and their partners and most men only have it with their partners. So it makes sense that without a relationship, many men are missing out on a key emotional experience.”
Once we establish that being single can be effing amazing, we can move on to how to enjoy Valentine's Day. You've got a whole lot of options:
1Have Some Girl Time
It's a popular choice for a reason. "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.
I've done this and eaten my weight in baked goods and had an amazing day.
2Get Romantic If You Want To
If you're a hopeless romantic, that doesn't disappear just because you're single. And that doesn't need to manifest as being sad that you're not in a relationship on Valentine's Day. You can still celebrate romance — watch a rom-com, read your favorite romance novel, reminiscence with friends about great relationships you've had and what you're looking for.
You can even take the opportunity to try and set up a date on Valentine's Day or just swipe through potential partners on dating apps. Don't ignore the optimistic, romantic part of yourself — keep the dream alive.
3Or Focus On Other Kinds Of Love
Remember when your parents used to give you Valentine's Day cards? I miss the ones my mom sent me — and the 50 bucks that was normally inside. You can celebrate other kinds of love that have nothing to do with romance.
"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."
4Love Yourself — And Invest In A New Toy
Speaking of treating yourself. "If you're not in a relationship, you can practice by sharing a special gift with yourself, as loving yourself is super important," Alex says.
I say that you buy yourself a new sex toy — or just have a luxurious bath and masturbation session. After all, it's sex with someone you love.
5Make It A Volunteer Day
You can always turn Valentine's Day into something else completely. "Create and celebrate Volunteer Day, and use your energy and resources on behalf of people who need your help," Tessina tells Bustle.
Giving back is so important and doesn't take anyone else but you to make a difference.
6Do Something Completely Different
"Consider doing something different than usual — this is a great time to try something new," Tessina tells Bustle.
I'm talking about that weird Groupon class you've been eyeing, going to a movie you would never normally see, or trying a new cuisine. If you find Valentine's Day weird while you're single, trying something new is a great distraction.
7Just Ignore It
The other option is that you don't have to do a damn thing for Valentine's Day or acknowledge it at all. And that's not bitter, it's a completely valid choice — that some works for some. "Some people believe that it is a 'Hallmark holiday' — something made up to sell cards and candy," psychologist Nikki Martinez tells Bustle. So if you don't want to make a big deal out of it, just don't.
There's no need for doom and gloom around Valentine's Day, because it can be a really fun holiday when you're single. Or you can ignore it completely without bitterness. Don't feel any pressure and just do you.