So rather than sit in our doldrums, let’s try some new approaches to making February 14th your own V-day, regardless of your circumstances.
Adopt a Valentine. If you are feeling left out of the love, chances are other people are, too. Check around among your friends and social circles. Ask your co-workers. Who else doesn’t have Valentine plans? Agree to exchange cards, or flowers – or even chocolates – that day, and perhaps treat yourselves to a nice dinner. Do something special for your adopted Valentine that they won’t expect. It will get you out of your own feelings, and pay you back with pleasure when your adopted Valentine feels extra special.
Practice acceptance. If you’ve recently gone through a breakup, the pain doesn’t go away overnight. While others move on with their lives, you may feel like you are stuck in yours. Mental health writer Therese J. Borchard reminds us that sometimes we must “go through it, not around it.” Going out with friends, treating yourself to some movie nights with a box of tissues, or throwing yourself into another interest might be the key to pushing through. Whatever you need to do, as long as it isn’t detrimental to you, go for it.
Focus on what you have. We can get caught up in the negatives, and we forget to remember that we have many blessings around us. Particularly when we are alone on a traditional “couples” holiday, you may find yourself giving the hairy eyeball to romantic duos. Resist! One of the wonderful benefits of being single is getting to choose what you want to do, when you want to do it, without anyone else’s opinion involved. You don’t have any relationship drama going on in your life. You have no in-law issues to address.
Embrace the moment. You will never be at this exact place in life again. And while not everything is perfect, there are some pretty amazing things happening in your life right now. It is tough to be alone over the holidays, but you won’t always be. So enjoy the freedom and peace that comes with being single, knowing that when you are no longer so, you will – at times – wish for a few solitary moments! So appreciate where you are right now, with all its bumps and wrinkles.
Write yourself a Valentine. It sounds corny, but when was the last time you focused on all the things you love about yourself? Life coach Debra Smouse suggests crafting a Valentine card to your present self, from your pre-school self. It might feel awkward, but remembering back to the days before we placed so many judgments on ourselves can help us break out of some negative mindsets. List in detail what is lovable and wonderful about you. What are your best talents? If you don’t think you have any, think back to when you were little – what were you drawn to? What did others say you were good at? Write a love letter to yourself, complete with a rose or romantic token. For this year, romance yourself. You might be surprised how it changes your perspective and improves your self-image.
Being single when there’s so much couple-focused romantic advertising isn’t easy, but with some mindset shifting, you can own and enjoy this Valentine’s Day. So much so, I hope you start to call it your own V-Day, where you celebrate being single and special in your own right.
What things do you do to celebrate Valentine’s Day as a singleton? What’s been your best experience so far? How have you owned V-day? (And check out 50 Ways to Love and Pamper Yourself on Valentine’s & Every Day for some other ideas!)