Alone Doesn’t Have to Mean Lonely: 4 Valentine’s Tips for Singles

Relaxing in NatureAround Valentine’s Day, many people frantically try to figure out how they can express their love for their significant other, while others are trying to find a way to avoid the hearts- and love-filled holiday altogether. Valentine’s Day on every level is about love, and so often when we are single on such a holiday, we begin to feel depressed, as though there must be something wrong with us or we would have someone to share the day with.

While feeling depressed and lonely is an understandable way to react, there are ways to combat those feelings and embrace the single life, even on a romantic night such as Valentine’s Day.

Embrace your independence. So often, we look at the holidays—not just Valentine’s Day—as days not only of celebration, but also of expectations. I am a romantic, and have been since I was 7 years old and wrote my first love poem (yes, it rhymed). That said, I am not the biggest fan of Valentine’s Day for one simple reason: It is a day where the whole world wants to know “What did you get for/from your partner?” If it isn’t something big, or what others perceive as romantic, you might get that look and head shake, perhaps you’ll feel judged. I don’t think all the romance of a year should be placed on one day. I have always preferred to be surprised with a gift for no reason at all. I also much prefer giving someone flowers or making dinner for no reason other than because I wanted to, or because I know my partner had a hard day. Being single on holidays may be hard, and can be lonely if you let it be, but there are advantages. For instance: “I don’t have to buy diamond earrings; I can get myself something instead.” I am in no way saying relationships or romance are bad. I am simply saying, embrace the single life, if that is the life you lead.

Don’t try to avoid the holiday. As someone who has been single more Valentine’s Days than not, I can tell you the desire to not see ads for flowers, not see giant, red plastic hearts hung from store ceilings, or not see bowls of cheap, chalk-like candy hearts that say “Be Mine” everywhere won’t keep you from seeing them. Just as every year I get tired of Christmas music two days after Thanksgiving (if not sooner), I have learned to embrace it. Just because I don’t want to hear it doesn’t mean that every time I walk in a store, turn on the TV, or even listen to the radio I am not going to hear at least part of a song. Instead of loathing those hearts (or Christmas songs), embrace them. When I hear Christmas songs, what I do is think of the spirit of the song. This does not mean I love every song, but I listen with the heart of a child or from the point of view of the person who composed the song and what led to writing it. The same can be true of Valentine’s Day. I loved taking shoe boxes to school as a child, making places for all the cards, then picking the perfect card for each person in my class. In other words, perhaps, rather than viewing the symbols of Valentine’s Day as reminders you are alone, you can see them as reminders of childhood.

Transform your expectations. Valentine’s Day may have a romantic origin based on the love between two people, but you can make a date with yourself. Enjoy a nice bottle of wine, take a bubble bath, make yourself dinner, or watch your favorite movie. Some of the best dates can be those in which your date is you. Take yourself out for a night on the town and do all the things you enjoy. Remember, in or out of a relationship, we must love ourselves and be comfortable being alone. If a relationship ends, it is ourselves that we are left with, and for that reason, we have to learn to enjoy our own company. After all, we like all the same things and enjoy all the same places—what is there to not like about you?

Make a date with a friend. While Valentine’s Day is often seen as related to romantic love, make it about not just self-love, but platonic love. This is easy to do. Regardless of gender, age, or orientation, we all have single friends, and chances are when Valentine’s Day rolls around a number of them feel the same desire to avoid the holiday like the plague. This being the case, why not spend that day or evening together? While yes, misery loves company, that is not what this is about. The idea is not to sit around and dwell on the loneliness or lament your lack of relationship, but to embrace being single. Instead of giving or getting flowers or candy, give each other some white-elephant-type gift, some goofy thing that no one needs but makes you think of each other. Go out and paint the town, or (if you are like me) hang with a buddy at your favorite dive bar. Make the day not about the lack of a love you can’t imagine being without, but the presence of a friend whose friendship you can’t imagine being without.

Single or coupled up, the fact is no one day should control your happiness or your romance. You will be the same you, have the same value, the same appreciation for things on February 15 as you did on February 13, so why should February 14 be different? Give yourself the break you deserve and judge yourself not on the one day of the year the calendar says “today is for lovers”—instead, remember that every day you need to love yourself.

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  • Alice

    Alice

    February 12th, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    You talk about all of these great ways to not feel so alone on Valentine’s Day, but it sure is hard to celebrate being single when every other person around you is celebrating being in love :(

  • Ann

    Ann

    February 14th, 2017 at 4:33 PM

    Even though I was widowed last May and this is my first Valentine’s day “alone” in 35 years (since I was 15), I am still choosing to embrace the exact same spirit the author expresses – love isn’t about red roses delivered, rings on fingers or fantastic dates with a significant other. We have to love ourselves, ALL the wonderful people in our lives, the fact that we are alive. I miss my honey with every fiber of my being, every minute of every day. And even though I have so much heartache because he is not here, I choose to embrace and acknowledge everyone else who IS here for me this Valentines Day.

  • Royce carol

    Royce carol

    February 12th, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    I have tried both ways- totally avoiding the whole Valentine’s day trap and totally giving in to it. You know what? I have finally come to terms with being ok with it being just me so I have learned to embrace Val Day and take that day to give back to me. I buy myself something that I have wanted, I make a great dinner and dessert and just enjoy spending some much needed quality time alone. It doesn’t have to be about sadness, you can actually take that little bit of time and appreciate YOU.

  • barton j

    barton j

    February 13th, 2013 at 3:46 AM

    Who cares about it if you aren’t dating someone?
    It’s such a non big deal
    Why make it into something that you think that it has to be?
    It’s just another day of the year to me

  • Octavia

    Octavia

    February 13th, 2013 at 7:53 AM

    I have a significant other and have for 23 years now. But, I’m not that big a fan of Valentine’s Day. My husband thinks it is just a big sham so he won’t celebrate it. He thinks the greeting card companies are the ones responsible for it and he won’t buy into it. So, yeah, I have a significant other. But isn’t a significant other who won’t acknowledge you on Valentine’s Day just as bad as not having a Valentine at all? Or, maybe it’s worse…

  • Peggy M

    Peggy M

    February 13th, 2013 at 7:55 AM

    Octavia, I feel your pain! My husband is basically exactly the same. We just moved out of the country and my daughter was asking if they celebrate Mother’s Day here. His response? “I sure hope not.” Well, if that doesn’t make you feel loved and appreciated, I don’t know what will.

  • Q Swanson

    Q Swanson

    February 13th, 2013 at 7:58 AM

    My friends and I did number 4 a couple years back. We had a big Valentine’s Day ball and got all dressed up. A few of us even went out together and got a limo for the night. We had the best time ever. And, none of us was worrying about making anyone else happy or wondering if what we gave somebody was good enough. Best idea ever!

  • Terrance

    Terrance

    February 13th, 2013 at 8:00 AM

    I can really appreciate suggestion number 2. Being comfortable with yourself is something you have to do before you can be in a relationship with someone else.

  • Salea T.

    Salea T.

    February 13th, 2013 at 8:01 AM

    I HATE VALENTINE’S DAY! There, I said it! Moving on…

  • gerri

    gerri

    February 13th, 2013 at 3:18 PM

    Just having a piece like this is exactly why those of us who are single are made to feel like there is something wrong with us. Most of us could have someone in our lives if that’ what we wanted, but I think that there are a lot of us out here who are blissfully and happily single for a reason. Please don’t place and force your own expectations of what it means to be happy on those of us who have found a different way to be happy.

  • Justin Nutt

    Justin Nutt

    February 13th, 2013 at 4:36 PM

    The last thing I’m trying to imply is it’s not okay to be single. What I am very much saying it is totally okay to be single on Valentine’s Day or any other day of the year. However, for many who are single, Valentines Day it is a very difficult holiday due to the fact that it is connected with romance. This article isn’t saying those who are single are somehow less valuable than
    others, but is intended to help those who may feel lonely not feel that way, by giving suggestions of things they can do to avoid that lonely feeling.

  • glenna

    glenna

    February 13th, 2013 at 11:57 PM

    Whenever I’m single on a valentines day I just go out and spoil myself,wheether it’s the spa just going out shopping till I drop I make sure I’m not missing out on the fun. But the one time I did try to spend the day with a few single friends it went horribly wrong with one of them just wallowing about how she didn’t want to be single on valentines day. That’s just so immature. Made up my mind to continue the SINGLE valentines day ritual ever since that day.

  • Justin Nutt

    Justin Nutt

    February 14th, 2013 at 7:41 AM

    Gerri I am not at all implying that there is anything wrong with being single on this or any other day of the year. In fact I am saying the opposite, that it is very much ok to be single. The simple fact though is that for many, who are single, Valentine’s Day is a hard day of the year due to its connection with romance and a loving relationship. When I wrote these I thought of how I felt many of the years which I was single and the things that I did to help me get through a day which was hard for me. So these tips and suggestions aren’t meant so much for those who have chosen to be single and are happy with it, but those who have a difficult time with today.

  • Q S D

    Q S D

    February 14th, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    Never spent a valentines day alone since my teen years until today..and surprisingly I feel alright.I am going to go about my work and hopefully there will be no negative feelings.Happy valentines day all, if you’re single celebrate yourself! :D

  • deb

    deb

    February 14th, 2013 at 11:27 PM

    Just hate all the crazy stuff on this day. I try to cut myself off from it all. Not because I’m hurt or because I had a bad experience but because it doesn’t really mean anything to me. You don’t need a DAY to say you love someone. Or to blow half your month’s salary for the PERFECT gift.

  • LollyGag

    LollyGag

    February 15th, 2013 at 3:57 AM

    at this point I am just glad it’s over for another year

  • r p

    r p

    February 15th, 2013 at 11:33 PM

    I dread being alone on Valentines Day.SO much so that there have been many years when I have gone ahead and asked someone out just so I am not single on Valentines Day.Call me selfish or whatever but its too much to remain single in this season.

  • marco

    marco

    February 17th, 2013 at 5:51 AM

    Pretty sad that we allow this one day to make us feel so bad about something that the other 364 days of the year really doesn’t bother us all that much. . . we have been sucked in to the dark side people. . . if you are happy with where you are in your life, then you are happy with it no matter what the date on the calendar says, right? All of these tips for being single, well, they are good ones to follow no matter the season. It’s always important to take care of yourself and to find things about you that you love. It’s always a good time to remember the friends that you have and take special care to nourish those friendships. And it’s always important to face the reality of any given situation and know that you are indeed strong enough to get through it. This isn’t just for one day of the year, this is about being a stronger and more self confident person all year round.

  • Emily

    Emily

    February 14th, 2014 at 5:44 AM

    Best advice I have seen. If you are single and still want to enjoy the holiday I love these ideas. Will be doing all of these today, thanks Justin Nutt.

  • Jo-Ann V

    Jo-Ann V

    February 13th, 2015 at 9:51 PM

    thankyou for these words. I was having a really bad day today and feeling like a loser. Now I am going to take myself to the movies if it doesn’t snow, and I am going to buy alp stet at the grocery store and enjoy it. Thank you

  • Christmas Around the World

    Christmas Around the World

    December 21st, 2015 at 9:30 PM

    In Germany, the holidays are all about the decorations. In fact,
    LEDs have a longevity exceeding 30 times the Christmas
    lights glowing. Chocolate coins are among the most popular
    items of wholesale sweets at Christmas, so it is recommended that orders be placed very early.

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