Do you know what you’re doing for Valentine’s Day? Or, are you scrambling to make plans so you don’t have to spend it alone? Are you freaking out because it’s already January and you’re still single? Take a deep breath and relax; you’ve got this. Though you probably already know that there’s nothing wrong with being single on Valentine’s Day, you certainly might not feel that way, especially if Valentine’s Day is really important to you. If you’re concerned about spending Valentine’s Day on your own, you may benefit from reframing the way you look at spending Valentine’s Day.
It’s a Holiday
Valentine’s Day is a holiday, just like St.Patrick’s Day, or Halloween. Many people still celebrate and enjoy St. Patrick’s Day even if they don’t consume alcohol, just like many people still enjoy Halloween after they’re too old to go trick-or-treating. The same applies to Valentine’s Day; you can still celebrate even if you don’t have a significant other to celebrate it with. You can celebrate Valentine’s Day by bringing strawberry-flavored desserts to work, or doing something nice for your friends or family. You don’t have to be in a relationship to celebrate Valentine’s Day, just like you don’t have to drink a bunch of beer to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
It’s an Excuse for Consumerism
Though it may feel like Valentine’s Day exists solely to celebrate romantic love and relationships, the holiday has likely stuck around for consummerist purposes. Go to stores like Target or Walmart and you’ll notice entire aisles full of items made specifically for Valentine’s Day. Advertisements on billboards, television, internet, and radio pressure everyone to “get that special someone something special.” There’s a good reason that many people believe that Valentine’s Day in the United States is nothing more than a commercialized holiday. Though that may not change how you feel about Valentine’s Day, knowing that Valentine’s Day doesn’t have a deeper meaning may help you feel a little bit better about spending it alone.
It’s a Good Reason to Party
Believe it or not, a lot of couples think Valentine’s Day is a pretty lame holiday. If you can’t stand the thought of being alone on Valentine’s Day, you may choose to invite your friends over for a party. Even if your friends are in a relationship, it’s possible that they’d rather be hanging out with you, playing board games or watching movies, instead of going out to expensive dinners at overpriced restaurants. In fact, with restaurants and movie theaters being full on Valentine’s Day, many couples choose to spend the holiday at home. And, many couples don’t even celebrate the holiday.
Anyone Can Be Your Valentine
Just like there are no rules about how you need to celebrate Valentine’s Day, there are no rules about who you can have as your valentine. You can be your own valentine and turn Valentine’s Day into a self-care day. You can make your dog your valentine by buying them one of the fancy treats and taking them on a walk. You can do a chore for your mom or dad. If you’re dead set on having a valentine this year, there are many people you can show your love and appreciation to—and it doesn’t have to be romantic. If the idea of spending the day—or evening—alone is unbearable, you could always volunteer at an animal shelter or soup kitchen. There are endless ways to show love and appreciation on Valentine’s Day.
Go on a First Date
Valentine’s Day should not be the reason that you step into a relationship—especially if you aren’t ready, or you’ve noticed multiple red flags in the person you’re dating. Simply put, fear of being alone on Valentine’s Day isn’t a reason to settle for a significant other that doesn’t meet your standards. According to data from the Pew Research Center, there are a lot of fish in the sea; nearly two out of every five adults are single. If you absolutely can’t stand the idea of not going on a date on Valentine’s Day, you can always meet someone online. Though there’s lots of conflicting data, many studies have found that more people start signing up for dating websites after Christmas. So, if you absolutely must spend Valentine’s Day on a date, you can always go on a first date.
The Couples on Valentine’s Day Aren’t Necessarily Happy
It’s also probably good to remember that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Sure there are lots of happy couples on Valentine’s Day. However, there are likely just as many unhappy couples on Valentine’s Day. Just like there are miserable singles on Valentine’s Day, there will be singles who are just happy there’s an excuse to eat those delicious, chalky candy hearts. Happiness has very little to do with who you’re dating. Instead, happiness has a lot to do with how you see the world. If you make Valentine’s Day a dreaded holiday to avoid, you are likely going to have a very hard time on that day. But, if you reframe your ideas about Valentine’s Day into something positive, it can be just another festivity; it can even be a very fun day.