Valentine’s Day: A guide for the chronically single

Is there such a thing as the Grinch but for Valentine’s Day? I think I can speak for lots of singles who are tired of the constant barrage of Valentine’s Day marketing and the general pressure of finding the “right” plans. Even if you’re perfectly content in your single status, Valentine’s Day can trigger complex feelings and be a reminder of societal expectations. Almost 50% of adults in America are single, so you are not alone. If you’re in this boat, this guide is for you! Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be stressful or a day that you have to miss out on. Here are some ways to celebrate this year:

1. Galentine’s celebration

Galentine’s Day is a celebration of friendship that can take place on Valentine’s Day or any time of the year! There are so many fun ideas for hosting a Galentine’s party, such as getting crafty with DIY projects, eating themed snacks like heart-shaped pizzas, or hosting a romcom movie night. Galentine’s Day is all about celebrating platonic love and the people that are important in your life, which is a unique kind of love that fulfills many needs that romantic love cannot.

2. Self-care night

If you’re going solo on Valentine’s Day, you might as well make a night of it! Get your favorite takeout, turn on a movie of your choice and indulge in a sweet treat of your choice. If you’re of age, maybe have a glass of wine — or two. Put on a face mask and enjoy your own company. There’s no shame in having a night in for yourself and prioritizing your self-care. On a more serious note, it’s important to take care of your mental health when practicing self-care. If you are working through difficult emotions, there are campus resources that can help you work through your experiences.

3. Treat yourself 

Going hand-in-hand with the theme of self-care, treat yourself to something that you would want a hypothetical partner to do for you. If you love flowers, go buy yourself flowers! Or you could even take yourself out to a nice dinner at your favorite restaurant. Maybe you want to see the new romcom movie, “Anyone But You,” but haven’t had the time. Valentine’s Day could be the perfect opportunity. It might sound a bit silly, but treating yourself is an act of self-love and doesn’t require another person.

4. Hit the town

On the other hand, if you’d rather spend Valentine’s Day out and not at home, that’s perfectly understandable. Go to a fun dinner, event, or bar with your single friends to make a night of it. Maybe you’ll find your Valentine after all if that’s what you are looking for, or you could play matchmaker for your friends. 

5. Hit the gym or take a fitness class

If you’re like me, sometimes having a good sweat session can be therapeutic. If Valentine’s Day has got you in the dumps, hit the gym and have a good workout to distract yourself. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to try pilates or kickboxing. This could be an opportunity to try a new challenge. Getting in a good workout will raise your endorphins and make your day better knowing you are working on becoming a better version of yourself. 

6. Spend time with family

If your family members or loved ones are welcoming to the idea, you could crash their Valentine’s Day plans. Maybe go out to brunch or lunch with your family to surround yourself with your people to celebrate this day that’s devoted to love. Spending time with family or loved ones can be a good reminder that you have people in your life who love you unconditionally, regardless of what period of life you’re in.

7. Do something kind for someone else

Gratitude and good deeds definitely lift spirits. They can help remove us from negative thought patterns and remind us of the most important things in our lives. Even showing a small act of kindness to a friend or acquaintance who may be going through a hard time can help brighten both of your days. If you’re interested, you could spend Valentine’s Day volunteering and giving back to your community.

Regardless of how you decide to spend Valentine’s Day, have fun with it and do something that will bring you joy. There’s no reason to forgo celebrations if you don’t have a partner.  Own it and celebrate in your own way!

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