By Erin McCarty
We are bombarded with Valentine’s Day marketing the moment Christmas Day passes and television constantly tells us that we should be in a relationship. My neighbour rings her hands and asks me how I deal with the hardship of being in my mid-twenties, approaching a romantic holiday, and being alone. Like it’s some sort of tragedy. I dispel the myth that singles are miserable on V-Day and offer some of my favourite ways to spend the day of love solo.
Take a fitness class. Not only is this a positive healthy choice, but you can also take advantage of more space at the gym while everyone else is out doing their couple-things. Sweat it out and celebrate strength and self-confidence. You don’t need to sit on the couch and stuff yourself with chocolate just because you don’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend. Embrace your strong sense of self.
Bond with your friends. One of my favourite Valentine’s Day memories was in my early twenties when I had a Pride and Prejudice movie marathon with three girlfriends. We appreciated good wine and five hours of Colin Firth. What more could a girl ask for? I have other friends who engage in anti-valentine’s day movie nights. Whatever floats your boat – do it!
Go to the spa. Why wait for someone to give you something you can give yourself? A girl (or guy) could always use some extra pampering. Take some “me-time” and focus on yourself for the day.
Express gratitude to the people that matter in your life. Let’s face it, Valentine’s Day is really just any other day. I have a real problem with couples who use this day to try and make up for the bleak stuff they’ve done to one another on the other 364 days of the year. Why not tell people you love and appreciate them every day? Make someone’s day and tell them what they mean to you.
It goes both ways – If you aren’t single, make sure that other person enjoys and appreciates you. I can’t express how many times I’ve made dinner for someone who didn’t appreciate it, and I felt more alone on V-Day than I would have if I had sat at home with popcorn and a movie.
Singledom shouldn’t feel like a place to which you’ve been banished. It also isn’t population – you. Many people have very satisfying, fulfilling lives without a significant other, and Valentine’s Day is one more day to be happy that you’re alive.