6 ways to thrive on Valentine’s Day as a single person
Because romancing yourself is just as important
Written by Zoe Kors
Real talk. Valentine’s Day is complicated. It’s often fraught with expectation and therefore, disappointment. If you are in a relationship, it’s hard to live up to the hype of extravagant dinners, premium-priced roses, blingy gifts, and over-the-top declarations of love. If you’re single, well, it’s hard not to feel invalidated and left out. Materialistic rituals aside, there is one thing we could all agree on is worth celebrating: LOVE. I’m not talking about knight-in-shining-armor “you complete me” kind of love. I’m talking about the kind of love that forms the basis of a healthy and compassionate world. The kind we find in our friendships, family, and the kindness of strangers. The kind of love that can help us see commonalities and feel connection in spite of our differences. This version of love is worth celebrating.
Here are 6 ways to thrive on Valentine’s Day as a single person:
Take a one-day sabbatical from social media
Social media is a great way to keep in touch with friends, family, and your curated community of associations. But it can also be a major source of suffering in the form of FOMO (fear of missing out) when it comes to holidays and events that inspire a non-stop stream of selfies portraying culturally expected behaviors. Staying off social media on Valentine’s Day is an act of self-care in these three ways: a) It helps you avoid a skewed perspective that everyone is having a better time than you are, which is both unhelpful and inaccurate. b) It gives you time back in your day to spend more intentionally. c) It supports you in staying present to yourself and focus on what you are creating for yourself.
If you are a fan of the TV sitcom, Parks and Rec, you know exactly what happens when Donna Meagle and Tom Haverford celebrate their annual ritual, “Treat yo’self!” Valentine’s Day might be the opportunity to treat yourself to something you don’t necessarily need but would love to have. Perhaps it’s a spa day or a weekend away. It might be a piece of jewelry or a special new tea pot. Whatever you decide to gift yourself, make the process part of it. Think of how you would celebrate a loved one in this way. What would you say to them? How would you make them feel deserving of such recognition? Do the same for yourself on both the giving and receiving end.
Self-pleasure is an important part of our wellness routine, whether we are in relationship or not. Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to revitalize your connection with your own sexuality in this way. Spend a day slowly seducing yourself in the same way you like a lover to do. Start the day with the kind of self-care you would do before a date. Wear sexy underwear under your clothes. Plan to cook your favorite meal. Tease yourself during the day with thoughts of sexy time with yourself. Set the scene with candles, incense, and sexy playlist. Set up a pleasure nest on the floor or bed with pillows and blankets. Have some massage oil and lube handy and any toys you want to play with. Take your time with yourself, letting the sexual energy build. For added novelty, try Coral’s guided exercise, “Shift your self-pleasure script.”
Celebrate your Palentine
Chances are you have a pal who’s had your back through thick and thin, the one who deserves you at your best because they love you at your worst, the one who helps you figure out where to hide the body. It’s a genius move to make February 14th Palentine’s Day and celebrate the undying love of your ride-or-die bestie. Organize a socially-distant hang. Buy each other gifts. Take the opportunity to articulate all the things you appreciate about each other.
Dodged a bullet ritual
If being single right now really stings, it might be helpful to remember that Valentine’s Day is most miserable when you are in a relationship that isn’t happy or healthy. It’s easy to remember past relationships through rose-colored glasses, especially through the filter of a day marketed as romantic. A well-executed ritual in which you celebrate all the ways in which you dodged a bullet by not being in past relationships can provide a nourishing perspective shift and emotional completion of the past. Make a list of any number of past lovers. For each one, write a list of things you are grateful to no longer be dealing with. When you are done, tear up each list into small pieces of paper and (carefully) burn them in a fireplace or outside where it’s safe to do so. Imagine you are letting go of the old to make way for a new, wonderful relationship.
Write yourself a love letter
It may sound a little contrived but stay with me here. The way we talk to ourselves has a profound impact on our self-perception, self-esteem, and overall mood. Chances are, there are people in your life you admire and respect. Perhaps they have risen to a certain level of academic or professional success. You might appreciate the way they manage their relationships and communicate with others. Perhaps they display a certain kind of discipline and pursuit of excellence. The thing that makes people excel at life is a belief in themselves, a deep knowing that they are worthy of love and belonging. Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to make a big deposit in the “bank of you” by writing yourself a love note. Make it specific. Take yourself back to your childhood and think about some of the major events in your life. What were your accomplishments? How did you cope with challenging situations? What were your strengths? In what ways were you resilient, compassionate, generous, strong, sensitive, or any other notable qualities? Where else in your life have you noticed those qualities showing up? If you are struggling to love yourself up, just try writing to yourself as if you were a friend of yours… because actually, you should be your own best friend.