Ah, February 14. The day of true love. Spicy romance. Happily-ever-afters.
About that. It’s totally understandable if you’re single and find Valentines’ Day a little anxiety-inducing.
“There’s this big, giant spotlight on it for people,” Tess Brigham, a licensed psychotherapist and life coach says.
But let’s be real. It’s not the end of the world to be single on Valentine’s Day, and anyone who says otherwise is beyond-dramatic. “This one day shouldn’t define how you see yourself as a person,” Brigham says.
Sure, it’s just a day out of the year’s 365, but it’s also an opportunity to reflect on all the different types of love in your life, from friends to passions. So as the day nears, cast aside the pressure to throw the best Galentine’s Day celebration, scrounge up a last-minute date, or burrow in a bunker for 24 hours. Here’s some ideas on how to celebrate Valentine’s Day if you’re single—and enjoy it.
1. Drink the good bottle of wine.
Pick a Pinot noir from the top shelf or the Sauvignon blanc with the most aesthetically pleasing label. There’s no real need to have a partner to share a bottle of wine. Try not to be like Kelsey from The Bachelor, who saved a bottle of pricey bubbly for the perfect occasion (and person) to pop it open, only to have the moment ruined. Enjoy the good stuff for yourself. And if you don’t drink, use the same philosophy as an excuse to splurge on a luxe skin cream, or delivery order. You deserve it!
2. Go on a friend date.
“Our society is so focused on pairing up and having these defined roles,” Brigham says. “Make the conscious choice of ‘I’m going to love my friends and appreciate who they are.’” Reserve a table for two at the ultra-trendy restaurant on your wishlist, and embrace the everlasting love of good friendship.
3. Treat yourself to a new sex toy.
You don’t need a hot date to get lucky on Valentine’s Day. Take self-love to the hot and heavy side with a new toy, like a clit vibrator. After all, you know all the right spots.
4. Write a letter to your ex—and burn it.
Dealing with some leftover rage or heartbreak? Write that sh*t out. If there’s unfinished business stewing in your mind, getting it onto paper can be incredibly therapeutic. Love isn’t all rainbows and butterflies, and sometimes you have to let it burn.
5. Take a pottery class.
A crafty activity like pottery is a great way to learn a new skill and focus on making something useful out of a mound of wet clay. It’s satisfying to watch the project come together in front of your eyes, with your own hands. Besides, your baby succulent could use a new pot.
6. Binge reality TV.
Hear me out on this one. If you consider your love life a dumpster fire, you haven’t seen anything yet. Turn on a juicy reality show like Ex on the Beach or Temptation Island to watch flings crash and burn from afar.
7. Head to a karaoke bar.
Grab the girls and dance all night long to each other’s pitch-perfect renditions of iconic breakup songs and empowering anthems like Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn” and “Before He Cheats” by country queen Carrie Underwood. Oh, and and a group performance to Bey’s “Single Ladies” is obligatory, because it’d be a crime not to.
8. Treat yourself.
Why not shower yourself with gifts? Even if you’re not into the traditional chocolate and roses hubbub, a bit of retail therapy won’t hurt. “Just do the nice thing for yourself, whatever that looks like to you,” Brigham says.
9. Get your tarot cards read.
If the future of your love life is hella cloudy (same), tap into a little divination. Visit a tarot card reader slash best friend with a deck, or get your palm or tea leaves read. Now is the time to ask yourself burning relationship questions. Who knows, you might pick up what your heart line or higher self is putting down.
10. Buy yourself flowers.
Hey, you can’t deny those cheap sunflower bouquets from Trader Joe’s would look bomb on your windowsill.
11. Send valentines to your friends.
Remember in grade school when you exchanged valentines with every classmate? Let’s bring that back for our girlfriends. Brigham says the holiday is a perfect time to share your gratitude and love for your friends. “I know it’s hard and it feels weird, but we don’t do it enough,” she says.
12. Hide your phone.
While you might be tempted to see what the Hinge boys are saying or what your hot coworker is up to, you’ll survive not knowing. They say out of sight, out of mind, so throw your phone on airplane mode and just be with yourself for the evening.
13. Go on a movie date with yourself.
Trust me, going to the movies alone is underrated. You won’t bump hands in the popcorn bucket or have to answer a date’s questions during the quiet scenes. There’s something romantic about seeing a flick solo, and Greta Gerwig’s take on Little Women is ideal for this season. I mean, you get to stare at Timothée Chalamet and Florence Pugh for two hours.
14. Wear the sexy lingerie.
Happy Valentine’s Day to you, and you only, the person who knows very well what lacy number is hidden underneath your jeans.
15. Go on a day trip.
Brigham says we often wait until we have a partner to go on certain travels with. But a romantic getaway alone can bring just as much love and adventure. “Your life is happening now. This is it, so do the things you want to do,” she says.
16. Cook yourself a romantic dinner.
Whether you’re gunning for a spot on Top Chef or live off of almond butter sandwiches, tie up that floral Anthropologie apron you impulsively bought and pick a recipe that’s both elevated and nutritious. Sure, it’s cute when someone makes you dinner, but it’s satisfying to chef it up for yourself too. To really go in, dine by candlelight and turn up the Ed Sheeran, or something.
17. Make a love list.
You might be a diehard gratitude journal-er or cringe at it, but writing out what love means to you can be an enlightening exercise. Create a list of people you love, and feel love from, and be sure to include the little things that make your heart swell, like the office pup who says hi to you every morning.
18. Host a cookie party.
Gather your friends for a sweet evening and challenge each person to bring a decadent, homemade dessert. Don’t forget to dig out the heart-shaped cookie cutter for your batch. It might end in a stomachache, but it’ll be totally worth it.
19. Sweat it out.
Don your favorite Outside Voices set, and get your sweat on. If you need to work through a lot of feels, pedal away from them in a spin class. If you want to calm your mind, a candlelit (so romantic!) yoga class will do the trick.
20. Play babysitter for the night.
So you don’t have a partner to go all googly-eyed over, but you definitely know someone who does. Offer to babysit the kiddos for your real-life OTP, so they can sneak away for an intimate dinner. I’m ready to play good aunt for my sister and brother-in-law, especially with the promise they’ll bring me a chocolate cupcake at the end of the night.
21. Go out to dinner alone.
“The day is about love,” Brigham says. “Focus on loving you.” If you’d rather go out solo on VDay, treat yourself to a nice meal, dessert all to yourself, and a second glass of wine. It’ll be a tasty step outside your comfort zone. Cheers to your badass self, girl.
22. Recite positive affirmations.
Self-love reigns supreme for the singles on Valentine’s Day. Brigham says it can help to shift your perspective away from what you’re lacking, and towards your abundance. Repeat mantras like “Today, I choose me,” and “I am loving and loved by many.” Go ahead, harness your inner goddess.
23. Throw an anti-Valentine’s Day party.
As in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, “Today is a holiday invented by greeting card companies to make people feel like crap.” For all my cynics out there, throw on some feisty breakup tunes, don your hottest all-black outfit, and commiserate with your friends about how love sucks, man.
24. Have the ultimate self-care night.
Pull out all the stops, like that CBD oil-infused candle you only burn for a few minutes at a time, your most luxe face mask, and a mug of Earl Grey tea to set the relaxing mood. It’s just important to create the space to breathe.
25. Treat it like any other day.
In the end, Valentine’s Day is just another square on the calendar, and it’s okay to treat it as such. “You have a right to put your head down if you don’t buy into any of it or think the day is silly,” Brigham says. Just keep on keeping on—tomorrow is another day.
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