There is this idea that being single on Valentine’s Day totally sucks, especially for women. The entire premise of the movie Valentine’s Day (hey, it was free on HBO once) was based on this theory: in the movie, Jessica Biel’s high-powered, sexy-but-solo exec hates Valentine’s Day so much that she throws an anti-Valentine’s party with other single ladies. My thought on seeing that? Way to go, Hollywood, for making even successful, beautiful women look silly (and not in a cute way).
The truth is that it can be sort of isolating to be single on Valentine’s Day. I do remember especially that all throughout middle school and high school, there was this flower delivery service just like in Mean Girls (ostensibly for charity…hmph). And my heart pretty much did back flips whenever they came in to deliver roses, and felt soooo sad when my name didn’t get called. (I might have received a rose or two over the whole course of high school but I really can’t remember due to blocking that out).
But devastating though it is when you’re still young, the older we get, the more we are freed from those conventions that society expects us to want. Who says you really *want* to celebrate Valentine’s Day the typical way? I’m not saying don’t care about love, because as you all know I love love–but being single on Valentine’s Day can be genuinely amazing.
1. You don’t have to worry about the other person’s expectations.
Valentine’s Day is like a lovely wreath concealing a grenade for people in relationships, at all different stages. Just started seeing one another? Good luck trying to figure out the appropriate way to last the 24 hours. Should you text “Happy Valentine’s Day” or call? Should you see each other? Should you get gifts?! What if I get him a gift and he doesn’t get me any–or vice versa?
If you’ve been dating longer, you still have to figure out how much to invest in this holiday because unlike Christmas or birthday or Thanksgiving, there are far less universally-understood terms over Valentine’s Day. When you’re single, you’re freed from all disappointments or anxieties–ah, la liberte.
2. You can celebrate loving yourself.
Spend the day indulging yourself. I’ve always had this longing to be the kind of mysterious, self-possessed woman who can sit by herself in a cafe with a glass of wine, lost in thoughts…The following ideas are definitely DO’s.
– Go to the farmer’s market or flower shop and buy yourself your favorite blooms–bonus points if you take some time talking to the florist and finding the meaning of the flowers, and picking the ones that appeal to your imagination. For instance, ranunculus means “radiant with charm,” and gardenia means “you’re lovely.”
– Treat yourself to a nice restaurant you’ve always passed by but haven’t tried, either alone or with a girl friend. Order wine too–you deserve it.
– Alternatively, stay in and make yourself a delicious, lovely dinner, with a glass of wine, of course. Light some candles, turn on soft music, and throw on your prettiest lounge wear for dinner. So comfortable yet so chic.
3. You can participate as much or little as you want, with zero drama.
As a single, texting your best girl and guy friends, Mom and Dad “Happy Valentine’s Day! Lots of love” is oh so cute. Making DIY Valentines for your galentines is even cuter. But you don’t have to worry about buying a new dress, finding the perfect hairstyle and makeup, making reservations (or checking to make sure your bf made them), arguing about why said reservation was never made, wearing heels and nylons in snowy 20* F weather….you get the idea.
4. When you go out on Valentine’s Day, you’re bound to meet some singles.
Especially applicable this year, because it falls on a Saturday–if you want to meet someone, go out to a hot bar/club after 11 p.m. and boom! All you will meet is eligible single, after single.
5. You can get in touch with your body and focus on your sensuality.
Being in touch with your body and finding pleasure solo is important for your self-fulfillment…not to mention way less pressure and more pay-off than buying expensive French lingerie or “trying something new” to please your partner. On your own means no anxieties, so you can focus on what feels good to you. Whether that’s fantasizing about your celebrity crush or that cute barista, taking a decadent bath, or reading a steamy book, you can knock yourself out.
What do you look forward to doing on Valentine’s Day?
Also on Love: 3 Ways to Recommit to Their Relationship
3 Steps to Making DIY Valentines
Valentine’s Day Beauty: Vintage Hollywood
How to Embrace Your Sexuality in a Healthy Way
Photo: Nadya Andreenko via Flickr; uneduex via Flickr