Valentine’s Day is meant to celebrate love but for those that are single it can bring about many different emotions. It can be hard to treat February 14th the same as any other day, especially because everywhere you look something is promoting the holiday. This day might make you feel unworthy, unlovable or lonely but it is important to remember that your relationship status does not define you. There are actually many benefits to being single on Valentine’s Day and there are ways to limit these undesirable emotions so you can enjoy being single.
Society has glorified this holiday to a point that puts an absurd amount of pressure on relationships. Between movies, advertisements, and social media, couples feel like they have to make the day special, memorable, and romantic. By being single you will avoid all of the unnecessary stress that comes with Valentine’s Day, and you will be able to spend the day however you want.
Not only is there pressure on couples to make extravagant plans but there is also the pressure of having to live up to their partner’s expectations. Naturally, when people anticipate something they form some sort of expectation in their head. While some are much better at setting realistic expectations, others are not and inevitably end up disappointed. If anything, you should at least find comfort in knowing you will not be let down, or be the one letting someone down this holiday.
How to keep yourself busy on Valentine’s Day
Although millions of people are single, not all single people will have the same feelings towards Valentine’s Day. Some may not be impacted at all while others can become extremely triggered and this wide range of emotions means everyone will cope with this holiday differently. While there is not one definitive solution to handling Valentine’s Day, there are many ways to distract yourself to limit unwanted feelings.
Spend time with people that make you feel loved
Back in elementary school, we would give Valentine’s Day cards to all of our classmates, that’s because Valentine’s Day is not exclusively for romantic lovers. Call your single friends and see if they want to go to dinner, drink some wine, watch a movie or just hangout. Chances are they have feelings about this holiday too because it is normal!
Spending time with people that you love and that make you feel loved can help remind you that there is more to life than a relationship. If you can’t be with someone you love this Valentine’s Day, try talking to someone about how you are feeling. If someone knows you are struggling to deal with this holiday they can check in on you and send you words of love. Being supported by friends and family that want the best for you is a great way to help you manage the pain and emotions this holiday can bring.
It is the perfect time to meet someone new
Valentine’s Day can be a great day to recognize your feelings and decide to take action. If this day frustrates you simply because you wish you were in a relationship, take some time to reflect on what is stopping you. If it seems as though you are always ending up in the wrong relationship, know it is something personal, or emotions from a past relationship, meeting with a therapist can be incredibly helpful. Therapy is a great tool for growth and development and will help you learn about yourself and your relationship with relationships.
Maybe the reason you are single is because you are not putting yourself in a position to meet someone. Chances are if you visit your favorite dive bar, coffee shop, or workout class on February 14th, there will be more singles there than just yourself. It can take some courage, but going somewhere you enjoy spending time and just talking to people will help you get back into dating. One way to take the pressure off of this situation is to remember to talk to someone like they’re just another friend and not a potential relationship.
Give love to others
While it may seem selfish, doing something special for someone else will make you feel good. Whether you send your grandma a thoughtful card or volunteer your time helping the less fortunate, you will be happier knowing you spent your time making someone’s day a little brighter. Love is a two-way street and we often forget that we have to give love to get love.
Learn to be happy with yourself
Embrace your independence! It can be hard to not compare yourself to others but so many relationships that seem perfect are far from it. Be open to celebrating self-love this Valentine’s Day and focus on realizing that you are complete on your own. When you are happy and confident in yourself, you will attract the right people into your life.
About the author
Aimee Kauffman, LPC is a therapist in East Lansing, Michigan specializing in individual therapy. She has a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Michigan State University and has been in practice for more than a decade.