It’s Friday, February 12, and in case you’ve been living on Mars, Valentine’s Day is in two days. Once again (or perhaps for the first time in a while), you don’t have a special someone to share the occasion with. Maybe you don’t even have a date. (A girlfriend of mine describes this situation as being “rotic”—E.g., romantic without the “man.”)
If this describes you, you’re probably miserably sulking in a corner somewhere, just trying to endure until next Monday (imagine looking forward to a Monday!) when the whole deal will be over and romance can be ignored until next February.
Shame on you! You’ve surrendered your pride and your self-esteem to Hallmark. Just because you aren’t currently in some sort of relationship, you aren’t a second-class person. Dump the pity party. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Being unattached on Valentine’s Day has some advantages.
Just think—you don’t have to somehow deduce and then fulfill anyone else’s expectations! No need to shell out three times the normal price for a dozen red roses that will have wilted by the end of the week. You aren’t tempted to sacrifice your diet to those mostly insipid (See’s, Godiva, etc. excepted) chocolates in the red heart boxes. And you don’t have to lie awake agonizing over whether your sweetie will be thrilled or appalled at your choice of gift.
One more thing… as someone who has been married for over 30 years, let me reassure you that Valentine’s Day never lives up to the hype. Whatever you’re imagining you’re missing out on, it probably isn’t actually like that. There’s really very little feet-sweeping-off-of going on out there.
Instead of moping, why not decide to enjoy your day. Be proactive—intentionally set out to have some fun. Find some other single people and have your own celebration. Take a “me” day and pamper yourself. Fuss over someone less fortunate than you. Nothing kills a good funk like finding out someone is worse off than you are. Here are my suggestions:
- Try a new restaurant (non-romantic eateries, such as ethnic “hole-in-the-wall” places, are best for such as busy day as this).
- Host a potluck. Tell everyone it’s a “singles party”—no pairs allowed. Including shoes, socks, earrings… Get creative!
- Rent the most ridiculous romantic comedy you can find and make loud smooching noises during all the kissing scenes.
- Host a games night.
- Treat yourself to a massage, a haircut, a manicure… something where they will fuss over you.
- Read a cheesy novel in a bathtub full of bubbles, surrounded by candles.
- Make sugar cookies. Cut out hearts and decorate them with black frosting and lurid piles of colored sprinkles.
- Take out your frustrations on the equipment at the gym. This might be your best workout ever.
- Buy one of those school packs of valentines and send one to all your friends.
- Pick up some modeling clay at your local craft store. Make effigies of all your exes and stick pins into them.
- Know any single moms, especially one with young kids? Try bringing her some chocolates and/or flowers. Odds are no one else will.
- How about elderly people or those whose spouses have died? Take them out for a meal, a drive, or just go visit. You can bring something or not—they’ll be delighted for the company.
- Bring some joy to your local homeless community. Warm red socks, a bag of nourishing food, plus a sweet treat will remind them that someone cares.
- Offer to babysit for a needy family so the parents can have some uninterrupted together time. Help the kids make Valentines to give their mom and dad when they return.
Now that you’re inspired, you’ll probably think of lots of things to do. Share your ideas—what’s worked for you? How have you handled being single on a day devoted to couples?