Building Relationships: How to Celebrate Love While Single on Valentine’s Day

Red hearts, red roses, and red candy boxes everywhere; not to mention mushy couples lost in each other’s eyes and the endless advertisements for greeting cards and other tokens of affection. The overload, in-your-face obsession with Valentine’s Day is enough to make single people cringe during the weeks leading up to February 14. Instead of cringing, consider another perspective. The following ideas can help you celebrate connections in ways that are different from the usual couple-focused Valentine’s Day traditions.

Give to Yourself

Self-respect, self-love, and recognizing your value are important all year-round, and Valentine’s Day is one more time to remind yourself of this. Practice gratitude on a daily basis and keep a mental log of the things for which you are grateful. Think about something that is special to you and create a plan to gift it to yourself. This can be an item (maybe a new computer), a healthy activity (like a membership to a yoga studio), or an experience (such as a vacation). You might also think of things that you can do immediately and in the comfort of your own home like a self-made spa night. Draw a warm bath, light candles, and listen to soothing music as you relax and reflect upon positive situations in your life.

Give to Others

You can give to others through volunteer work. Many people are alone on Valentine’s Day. I don’t mean alone as single; I mean absolutely alone without friends or family for support. Different life circumstances can result in finding one’s self in a situation like this. Providing companionship in a center for older adults or visiting a children’s hospital can brighten someone’s day more than you know (note: most facilities require registration as a volunteer to be approved for visits). If you prefer to give to others anonymously, you can send platonic valentines to these places or put together a Valentine’s Day care pack for overseas military members who are away from their families and loved ones. Remember that our furry friends also need companionship so you can look into visiting a local animal shelter and snuggle with animals in need.

Celebrate Friendships

True friendships are special connections and can often result in feelings of familial-like love. Instead of focusing on celebrating romantic love on Valentine’s Day, singles can focus on celebrating the love of friendships and the meaning you create in each other’s lives. Planning a night out on the town or planning a night in watching funny movies are both ways to spend time together while you reminisce about the great times you have had throughout the years. Another way to celebrate friendships is to try something new together. Take time to create a list of things you’ve always wanted to do like skydiving, trying out a new restaurant, or becoming a tourist in your own city. Choose an item from your list and begin to make plans to cross the chosen item off the list on or before Valentine’s Day.

Being single on Valentine’s Day can be hard so instead of focusing on not being half of a couple focus on being your whole self. Escape the conventional “couple-ism” of Valentine’s Day and take time to give to yourself, give to others, and celebrate friendships. Recognizing the healthy connections in your life and focusing on gratitude are things singles can do to feel love on Valentine’s Day. And then there’s always time to celebrate Single’s Awareness Day on February 15.

Want another faculty perspective on Valentine’s Day? Read Embracing Valentine’s Day- On Your Own Terms.