9 Ideas To Embrace Being Single On Valentine's Day
I'd like to consider myself a romantic person in every aspect of life. I'm constantly coming up with stories, putting ribbons in my hair, and literally stopping to smell the roses (what can I say, when you see a flower in New York City, you might as well savor it). Needless to say, Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays. Aside from the fact that it provides a brief burst of color in the bleak midwinter, it is also a reminder that no matter how tough life gets, love is always worth celebrating. There's just one catch: I have been single my whole life, which makes the constant stream of date night ideas and partner gift inspo that flood the internet this time of year feel like they're a touch out of reach.
Valentine's Day can be less than thrilling if you feel like you don't have anyone to spend it with, but take it from me: there are more than enough ways to have a great time riding solo. If you've recently gone through a breakup or you're the only single friend left in your group, here's my best advice on tackling the upcoming love season if you're single on Valentine's Day (with a little help from Dr. Jenny Taitz, author of How To Be Single And Happy).
Whether or not we admit it, there's definitely still a stigma around singleness. "Despite the fact that these days we may not need a partner to fulfill our hopes, being single remains so stigmatized, with shows depicting the need to compete to win love and headlines depicting women who are single as in an unfortunate situation," Dr. Taitz says. "It’s key to be mindful of these unhelpful messages to [keep them] from impacting how we view ourselves."
I've been on a couple dates as an adult, but I often feel like I've missed out on a lot of the foundational experiences that come with being a young woman. Not to mention that it's easier than I'd like to admit to feel like there's something wrong with me if I'm the common thread through every dead-end romantic situation.
Even if comments from your friends like "They're just not good enough for you" or "You're so independent" have good intentions, not feeling desired is hard. Sometimes you just need to process those emotions in whatever way works best for your wellbeing because singleness is incredibly complex — one day I'm enjoying eating at a restaurant alone, the next a rom-com makes me cry — and as easy as it is to swing between the extremes of total happiness to bitterness, the reality is that I'm usually somewhere in between.
"Days like Valentine’s Day can be incredible opportunities to practice self-validation and self-compassion," Taitz says. "Being single on a day that can pull you to compare or feel less than is a good time to be especially kind to yourself [and act] in ways that remind you that you are enough and don’t need a plus one to feel whole."
Activities that engage your soul will help you feel good *and* romanticize self-care at the same time. I love creating a vision board in my bullet journal to see my dreams on paper, or reminding myself of where my true worth lies. If you're really struggling with feeling lonely, Taitz recommends listing out the areas of your life that matter to you, then writing down the value you want to add to each and mapping out how and why those values matter.
"There’s no way a relationship can be your full sense of worth — that’s not fair to you or the relationship and that’s not accurate in terms of what we know about happiness," she says. "Happiness hinges on being present and engaging in positive actions and having fulfilling relationships — and coupling isn’t the only source of connection (assuming it is almost like limiting your diet to strawberries — it’s not going to fill you and will deplete you)."
There is so much more to my worth than whether I have a romantic partner: I love movies and books, I love talking to my little sister on the phone, and I can spend hours happily in the kitchen listening to music and making a nourishing dinner. There's much more to your worth, too.
My mother constantly reminds me to wait for Mr. Right, not Mr. Right Now. There are pros and cons to every phase of life, and I'm very content with the pros right now. Eventually, however, I'm hoping my Valentine's Day charcuterie board for one will become a board for two.
Valentine's Day Ideas For Single People
Make A Romantic Dinner For One
Who says you have to save the steak dinner or Spicy Pesto Pasta Alla Vodka for a date night? Make yourself a giant bowl of delicious food, light some candles, and spend an entire evening enjoying the fruits of your labor. Finish the meal with one of our 50+ Best Chocolate Recipes for good measure.
Wear Your Favorite Outfit
Get all glammed up for your workday, whether you prefer Emily in Paris-level fashion or casual work outfits. Don't forget some Valentine's Day nails to add the perfect finishing touch.
Spend A Whole Day On Yourself
On your next day off, put on your aforementioned cute outfit to explore a local bookstore, go shopping, or make a killer martini. You can buy yourself flowers, call your mom or your best friend, and just have a wonderful day celebrating love in all its forms. Being single on Valentine's Day means you don't have to compromise on what your ideal day looks like, so layer in all of our favorite things to make it extra special.
"Set It Up" image via Netflix
Have A Rom-Com Night
You don't have to swear off romantic films in honor of being single — it can be just as fun to watch them with your galentines or on your own! Some of my go-to's are Set It Up, Crazy Rich Asians, and The Proposal.
Go Crazy With The Pink
Valentine's Day is a big day for people who love pink. Make a pink cocktail, whip up a batch of some celebrity crush cookies, or make your own conversation heart care packagefilled with pink treats. I will be dressed in head-to-toe pink, with a rosy makeup look to boot.
All dressed up but not sure where to go? Here are some ideas for your V-Day.
Is It Weird To Go To A Bar Alone?
Going to a bar on your own is definitely not weird. Just sit back and enjoy your favorite drink while you people watch. Plus, you never know who you might meet ;).
Is It Weird To Go To A Concert Alone?
Concerts might feel like one place you could never go by yourself, but you can actually make some really great friends with the people around you! I've made some awesome relationships waiting in line by myself, and I hope to make more when I go to Taylor Swift's Eras Tour by myself later this year.
Is It Weird To Go To A Restaurant Alone?
It's definitely not weird to go to a restaurant alone. I look at it like taking myself on a date. Well, myself and my favorite book!
Is It Weird To Go To The Movies Alone?
If you love seeing a movie on the big screen, then you should definitely consider going to the theater on your own. You can enjoy the movie without worrying about anyone else, plus you don't have to share the popcorn.
Check out our Valentine's Day and Relationships pages for more inspiration and let us know how you're spending a solo V-Day on Twitter.
This post has been updated.
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B+C Editorial Assistant, Swiftie | Chloe is originally from the Outer Banks (yes, like the Netflix show!). When she isn't writing or updating her blog Pastels and Pop Culture, Chloe enjoys watching Marvel movies or texting her sister about the latest celebrity news. Say hi at @thechloewilliams on Insta and @popculturechlo on Twitter!