Valentine’s Day is approaching fast on feathery pink, rose-scented wings, carrying bags of heart-shaped chocolates. If you happen to be currently self-partnered, to quote Emma Watson, then you might be dreading February 14th. After all, what’s a single person supposed to do on a day that celebrates happy couples?
Don’t despair, friend. Here’s how to get through V-Day without being bummed out about your lack of a partner.
Being Single Has Benefits
Being in love is great! But it’s not necessarily good for you. For one thing, being single means that you get to be the captain of your own life. You choose what to eat, where to go for fun, how to sleep… and nobody gets to have a say in it but you. If you’ve ever been a relationship where you said “I don’t know, what do you want for dinner?” on a daily basis, then you know that freedom has its appeal.
That’s especially true in the bedroom. Specifically, the part where you’ll sleep better without having someone else stealing the blankets or snoring. Not only will you sleep better, but you’ll also have better health overall. Single people visit the doctor less often than married ones. Single women also outlive married women–although married men tend to live longer.
Researchers studied happiness in different demographics and, in a 2008 study, concluded that single women without kids are some of the happiest folks on the planet. In fact, pretty much every study comparing singletons with married people has found that singles have longer, healthier, happier lives.
That is the opposite of what ever rom-com told me, and I, for one, feel betrayed.
Romantic Love Isn’t the Only Game in Town
Western culture prizes romantic love above all else–and that’s not necessarily a good thing. Loving relationships with family and friends are just as valid as having a romantic partner. Close friendships, in particular, can be more fulfilling in the long term. Researchers studied happiness in different demographics and, in a 2008 study, concluded that single women without kids are some of the happiest folks on the planet.
The Ancient Greeks–who were major philosophy geeks–distinguished eight different types of love. That includes philia, the deep love between friends, and philautia, the love that you have for yourself. Agape is empathy and care for all people, and it was considered to be the highest form of love.
The love you have for your family, your friends, your pets… that’s totally valid and not worth any less than romantic love. When you’re single, whether it’s by choice or circumstance, you’re not alone or unloved.
Galentine’s Day started off as a bit on an episode of Parks and Recreation, but it has developed into a real-life holiday. Celebrate your friendships on February 13th with a virtual happy hour or send cards to the people you care about.
Self-Care Is Self-Love
I’m not saying that you can’t devour an entire box of Valentine’s Chocolates by yourself. But it’s not necessarily going to make you feel better on Valentine’s Day. If the holiday is tough for you, focus on positive forms of self-care.
Showing love for yourself can be challenging, particularly if you’ve bought into the idea that being single means that you’ve failed in some fundamental way. Self-care might look like different things to different people. Here are a few ideas if you’re looking for ways to celebrate your own personal Valentine’s Day:
Buy Yourself Something Nice
We all know that Valentine’s is a commercial holiday. Not here to argue whether that’s a bad thing, but if you feel left out because you don’t have an SO to buy you a present–get one yourself! We’ve put together an awesome list of gifts ideas for Valentine’s Day for inspiration.
Have a Spa Day
While I don’t believe that bubble baths and candles constitute self-care on a daily basis, there’s something to be said for an at-home spa day when you’re feeling down. Pamper yourself with a mani/pedi, a massage, a soak in Epsom salts, or whatever else makes you feel relaxed and beautiful.
Do Some Introspection
This isn’t necessarily fun, but it’s a healthy and productive way to spend your solo V-Day. Journal, make a mood board, or daydream about the life you’d like to lead. Leave room in those dreams for a partner, but don’t build your whole future around the idea that you’ll eventually find “the one.” It can also help to try a gratitude journal to focus your attention on the good things in your life instead of what you might be missing.