Ah, February 14. The day of true love. Spicy romance. Happily-ever-afters.
About that. If you’re single on Valentine’s Day, you might find the holiday a little anxiety-inducing, or at least yawn-worthy.
“There’s this big, giant spotlight on it for people,” says Tess Brigham, a licensed psychotherapist and life coach.
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 are some ideas on how to celebrate Valentine’s Day if you’re single—and enjoy it.
1. Drink the best 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 takeout order. You deserve it!
2. Call a friend.
“Our society is so focused on pairing up and having these defined roles,” Brigham says. Call another single friend and enjoy catching up together. “Make the conscious choice of ‘I’m going to love my friends and appreciate who they are.’”
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 virtual art class.
A crafty activity like painting is a great way to learn a new skill and focus on making something useful. It’s satisfying to watch the project come together in front of your eyes, with your own hands. And it’s a gift for you!
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. Learn a new love language.
Take a French class. Brush up on your high school Spanish. Use the day to work on your personal goals.
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 virtually. 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. Have an at-home movie date with yourself.
Go ahead, splurge on that Amazon Prime release you’ve been eyeing. Bonus: You won’t bump hands in the popcorn bucket or need to answer a date’s questions during the quiet scenes!
14. Wear some 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.
18. Bake some cookies.
V-day chocolate isn’t cliche, it’s classic. 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 on your bike. If you want to calm your mind, light some candles for an at-home yoga sesh.
20. Go for a hike.
You call it cold, I call it refreshing. There’s nothing like a peaceful winter hike to help clear your mind.
21. Cook your favorite comfort food.
“The day is about love,” Brigham says. “Focus on loving you.” 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.
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 Zoom 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.
26. Stage your own photoshoot.
Remember this day is all about *you* now.
27. Take a bubble bath.
28. Call your parents.
Did your mom use to buy you chocolate and teddy bears when you were a kiddo? Pay those good vibes forward with a phone call.
29. Buy yourself some bling.
I mean, there’s no need to totally blow your budget, but there are some super-cute, affordable options out there! A delicate band will remind you to make yourself a prio every time you look at your hand.
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