“Love is not only something you feel, it is something you do.” – David Wilkerson
Valentines Day can be such a stomach ache for people. If you’re single, and you let it, it can make you feel flawed somehow for not having a hot date to share it with. If you’re paired, there’s a pressure to “get it right,” and if it’s not filled with overpriced bouquets and fancy chocolates, advertising would have you questioning your beloved’s devotion. Maybe you’re dating one person or a few people and don’t know whether to even acknowledge it or not.
Honestly, a scroll through social media on and around V-day can provide a glimpse into how personal people take V-day, poking fun at themselves for eating pudding alone watching Netflix, taking selfies with their cats and hashtagging #foreveralone.
Eating pudding (or your indulgence of choice) and watching movies alone can be fun as hell when you enjoy your own company. Own it. Revel in it. Savor your pudding. Enjoy the fact that you can watch whatever you want, and don’t have to take into account someone else’s tastes and preferences. Snuggle up with a bunch of blankets, light a candle, relax, and know that couples are not automatically guaranteed a lovely night just because they are paired up.
Even for those of us who are paired, Valentines can throw us into a tizzy. There can be so much expectation around this day being this sweep-you-off-your-feet event, and big expectations like that can lead to disappointment, or money hangovers in attempting to get it “right.” Plus, oftentimes people are just not on the same page in terms of how to celebrate.
Or, if you’re dating, maybe one person, maybe a couple people or more, you might not be ready for a high-pressure date. It’s always best to communicate your feelings and expectations, ask the other person about theirs, and perhaps enjoy an evening alone or choose a low key date with one lucky suitor. Maybe you want to avoid it altogether and wait until you know your date(s) better.
I’ve been all sides. I’ve cried on Valentines day. I admit, I’ve had Valentines days where I was single, or lonely, and felt like a loser to be alone eating cookies and drinking red wine, and the only reason I don’t regret it is because now I know in my heart of hearts that kind of thinking is a waste of time.
It can be a hard day if you’re still learning to love yourself and your own company, and to be content in your singleness. Or maybe it’s hard because you’re in a relationship you’re unsure of. It’s ok to struggle, but let’s take the pressure off this day to have such great romantic meaning and reclaim it.
It’s time to reinvent Valentines day and use it as an excuse to have a love-filled celebration in the last days of winter, when we all really need it. Then, snatch up all the half priced candy and flowers on the 15th.
Honestly, I’ve grown to have so much fun with Valentines Day, whether I’m single, paired, or somewhere in between.
Why would you let a holiday about love bring you down when you can choose to use it as a way to uplift you and others instead? You’re going to be way more appealing to potential dates with your self- respect on lock anyways, if that’s the motivation you need.
You can use it as an excuse to schedule a massage, or to buy some new crystals or cute underwear. Use it as an excuse to plan a relaxing or fun evening, revel in your own fabulousness and be your own valentine. Host a “Galentines” party with your single friends. Draw yourself a romantic bath with candles and rose petals and eat chocolate covered strawberries. You can celebrate however you’d like.
You can think of different ways to surprise your friends, take them out for a coffee, bring them a flower. You can bring your crush a sweet treat or that book you were telling them about. You can bake something delicious for your partner, or treat them to a fun date. Slow dance or twerk together in your living room. Star gaze. Surprise your coworkers with doughnuts, and give love and lift people up, feeling good in the process.
All in all, people get so hung up on this holiday, going on defense mode, saying it’s a Hallmark holiday, f*** capitalism, f*** V-day etc. etc. If that’s how you really, feel, do your thing. Maybe this post isn’t for you– But just know it doesn’t have to be this way.
Valentines is a holiday all about love, candy, flowers, and hearts– what’s not to love? Valentines day isn’t about your relationship, it’s not about you being single. It’s about love! Just soak it up and enjoy it.
In elementary school, you had to bring Valentines for everyone (at least in my school.) Everyone got a valentine and a treat, and then you got to go home with a bunch of sweet cards, new jokes, puns, and candy. What’s not to like?
We don’t have to listen to the advertisements that us Valentines has to be a certain way. We can make it as we like.
It can be really fun to be your own Valentine, because you know what you want better than anyone else. You know your favorite flowers, your favorite candy, what you want to eat, what you want as a present.
Plus, love isn’t always romantic. Think beyond dates. Think of friends, family members, coworkers, nieces and nephews. You never know who might need a little love around you, and sometimes it really helps to be reminded that people around us care.
Seriously, you can use this holiday as a reason to be bitter and cynical (boring…) or you can use it as an excuse to boost yourself and other’s spirits, and spread the freaking love in the depth of winter (if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere.) Your choice.
How to Be Your Own Valentine and Have a Fabulous Time Whether You’re Single or Paired
It’s a wise move to be your own valentine whether you’re single or paired, because you should show yourself appreciation even if you’re in a relationship. You can’t ever rely on another person to fill your cup, and lift you up, and you don’t need the approval/desire/love of another to love yourself.
In other words, even if you’re in a relationship with someone else, you are still in a relationship with yourself, and it’s important to nurture, cherish, and give to that relationship because it’s the only one you’re guaranteed, and it’s for LIFE. I get it, I get it, you’re in a partnership, or a marriage, and that’s for life, too, and that’s great.
It’s just not guaranteed. You can divorce a partner, you might split up, and maybe you might even lose that person (God forbid), but you are along side YOU for this ride until the end no matter what. Your relationship with yourself is forever, so it’s up to you to make it a healthy and happy one.
Tips On Being Your Own Valentine
<3 Buy yourself flowers. You can have them delivered to yourself if you like. I usually prefer to pick them up at a grocery store or farmers market to save some money.
<3 Indulge a little. Good chocolate is easily my favorite dessert, and actually makes us happy. You can make chocolate covered strawberries, buy yourself a doughnut, some fancy truffles, or a whole freaking cake if you want. You can even get some raw chocolate and take the superfood route- or check out Honey Mama’s if you haven’t already- they are absolutely DECADENT, so rich and satisfying, and you will feel delightful after eating some.
<3 Treat Yo Self!!! This could be a day off, a new book, some jewelry, a vacation, a delicious dinner, new pajamas. Buy yourself a present or get your nails done. Spend a whole evening reading in bed. Make the time to see your best friend. We hear it a lot, but what better time to do something nice for yourself than on the day of love? If you’re single, why not choose to throw yourself a little love instead of looking out the window or swiping through an app, and wondering when your next love will knock on your door looking for you.
<3 Pamper. I know this one gets thrown out there a lot, but I also know many of us don’t take the time to pamper ourselves in favor of hoodies and jeans, and taking care of others, even though we feel awesome when we have a luxurious bath, or take the time to do a face mask (I love honey lemon avocado) or a hair mask (coconut oil or avocado oil are my favorites) or go get a massage, do our nails, exfoliate our skin (lemon, honey, brown sugar and a dash of apple cider vinegar works wonders.) Make the time.
<3 Avoid first dates and dating apps. Valentines day should be about people you KNOW you like and love, including yourself. A first date on V-day spells too much pressure, desperation, and if it sucks, which let’s face it, is a very real possibility, it’s going to suck extra because it’s on Valentines day.
<3 Make or buy yourself a delicious dinner. Light candles! Put on the twinkle lights! Play music. You don’t need someone else to do it, you are a fully capable adult. Eat whatever you want, make some mac n cheese, buy yourself a pizza, make a delicious salad, cook yourself a steak or vegan lasagna. Whatever sounds delicious, make it happen.
<3 Dress Up! Do your hair if it feels good, paint your nails if you want to, wear a dress, wear pink, wear red. Step it up a little so you feel confident and uplifted. Again, you don’t need someone else to dress up for, you can dress up for yourself. Don’t give a crap what other people think of what you’re wearing– it doesn’t matter. Wear what makes YOU feel good.
Show Others Some Love
You definitely don’t have to be in a romantic relationship to show others some love this V-day, and when you make people feel good, that mood spreads, and when they feel good, they’re more likely to make others feel good.
Love isn’t only romantic. You can show love to your friends, your family, your neighbor, or even the gas station attendant.
<3 Buy a bouquet of roses and hand individual stems out, or leave them on random parked cars. You can give them to gas station attendants, strangers, grocery store clerks, coworkers, or even on a public bench with a card addressed to “You.” Or you could leave them in a bucket of water on a street corner with a sign that says “Free.”
<3 Send a text to a friend you haven’t talked to in a while and remind them of a happy memory. Bonus points if there’s photographic evidence.
<3 Tell your friends how much you appreciate them, and why you’re grateful to have them in your life. Romance your friends!
<3 Make or buy some valentines and leave them in a public park (or library, train station, etc.) In the “to” section, write, “You.”
<3 Pay it forward. If you go to a drive through and get a coffee, pay for the person behind you and leave before they can find out.
<3 Buy your friends flowers or bake them treats.
<3 Bring doughnuts to work
<3 Pay sincere compliments
How to be Someone Else’s Valentine
Most of us probably think we make pretty stellar Valentines, but it’s always good to think about what the other person might want or need before assuming.
<3 Ask! Ask your love what they want or need for Valentines day. Maybe they need some “me” time, maybe they’ve wanted to try something new with you, maybe they have a gift in mind. Maybe they want to eat something special, or stay in and cook at home.
<3 Give a massage. Get some lotion or coconut oil and bust out your best moves. You can also make them a “coupon” for a massage, redeemable at their chosen time. Or, buy them an appointment with a professional massage therapist.
<3 Make a Valentine! Use a Cardboard, construction paper, fabric, markers, acrylic paint, crayon, colored pencils, posca paint pens, magazine clippings. You got this. You can cut out a paper heart, write someone’s name on it, glue on some glitter and write them a sincere note about the reasons you love them. Tell them all what you’re grateful for about them. Sometimes we forget to say these things and our loves really appreciate hearing it.
<3 Dress up like it was a second or third date. You don’t have to be fancy, but put in a little extra effort. Do your hair, wear earrings, wear sexy underwear or thigh high socks. Spice it up a little.
<3 Buy them a present, or bake them something, maybe both.
<3 Plan a date. Wing it. Have a romantic dinner at home or watch stand up comedy, eat pizza, and get busy.
<3 Write them a list of what you love about them, or a gratitude list for all the adventures you’ve had together.
<3 Spice it up. Google new positions, try something new. Tell them ahead of time so you can talk about it and there can be some build up.
<3 Be present. Put your phone away. Be right there with your sweetie, look them in the eyes, and give them your full attention.
<3 Watch the sunset together
<3 Take care of yourself in the days leading up to V-day so you have more to give.
You can choose to buy into the misery story of V-day, or sit around expecting and gambling on others to sweep you off your feet, or you can take the reigns and choose to devote a week to love– giving to and lifting up yourself in others in the deepest part of winter.