Do you cringe when hearts and cherubs appear in shop windows? There’s no need. Remember to love thyself.
Valentine’s Day is tough for singles. Whether you’re licking the wounds from a recent break-up or just lonely, a celebration of romantic love seems designed purposely to cause pain.
It doesn’t have to hurt. Here are some ideas for making it through a romantic holiday unscathed.
1. BE PROACTIVE
There’s no use hiding from Valentine’s day and hoping it will go away. You know it’s coming. Make plans to keep you from sitting at home watching romantic movies on the couch all evening.
2. GET SMUG
Think of all your friends paying double for chocolates in a heart-shaped box, falling for a cynical consumerist holiday. They’re not feeling romantic because of their relationships, but because they’ve been conditioned to think of this as a romantic day – just like Pavlov’s dog. Poor things. It’s hard not to pity them, isn’t it?
3. CELEBRATE FREEDOM
Make a list of all the things you couldn’t do if you had a partner – and revel in them! You can sleep late, binge-watch your embarrassing favorite shows, have popcorn for dinner, whatever you like. All your friends are having dinner in fancy restaurants, stuffed into uncomfortable clothes and paying way too much. You are free to enjoy yourself.
4. TAKE YOURSELF ON A DATE
This is the perfect time to head to the cinema for a documentary none of your friends would appreciate. Tour a museum and have a nice lunch out. You are your own perfect partner, so why not show yourself a little love?
5. HAVE A PARTY
Surely you are not the only single you know. This is a great opportunity to have a pot-luck or a slumber party. Buy some wine and fire up your Netflix account – you can have an impromptu Brat Pack film festival if you want, and there’s no one there to judge you. Make it a night to remember.
6. TREAT YOURSELF
It’s an excellent time to get an appointment at a salon or spa. Treat yourself to a pedicure, a haircut, or a massage. Everyone else is out on a date, so you’ll have the salon to yourself. New shoes? Why not!
7. SHARE THE LOVE
Why not share your heart with others today? Volunteer at a soup kitchen or a retirement home. Call your mother. Send email to a high school friend you’ve neglected. You may not be in a relationship but you have loads of love to share. Reach out to the people you care about, or to strangers who need love.
8. AVOID COUPLES
Friends may take pity on you and invite you to join their romantic evenings. This is a bad night for it – the whole focus will be on you and your single status. They’ll exchange gifts in front of you and display a lot of affection, and that’s not good for you. And while you’re at it, don’t talk to your friends – you know who they are – who are always bragging about how great their relationships are. That’s a character defect that you are usually happy to overlook, but not on Valentine’s Day.
9. WINE AND PIZZA
Treat yourself to a nice bottle of wine and your favorite delivery food to enjoy at home. Indulge yourself a little. No one will judge you.
10. REMEMBER THE LITTLE THINGS
Set aside a few dollars to do good with today. It doesn’t cost a lot to spread cheer and it sure feels good. Drop a buck or two into the jar at your coffee take-out place. Leave a double tip and a note for the waitress who serves you lunch at the diner near your office. Surprise co-workers with little gifts. There’s more to love than romance.
11. SEIZE THE MOMENT
Everyone’s spending the day getting ready for a date, so you’ve got the gym to yourself. Spend some extra time. Sign up for a class. Take a few laps in the pool or indulge yourself in the sauna. Why not?
12. BE A FRIEND
If you really want to do some good, offer to babysit for friends who are planning a romantic evening. You can shower love on their kids. Or on their dog, if they don’t have children. You’ll get a lot of love back in return, and your friends will owe you a favor.
With all these great ideas, you’ll be sorry Valentine’s Day comes just once a year!