Being single on Valentine’s Day is hard. Even if you’re perfectly at peace with your unattached status, all the noise around love, romance and happily-ever-after can sting. Wherever you turn, from social media to shopping malls and even your immediate circle of friends, the entire world seems to be flush with ideas of celebrating eternal bonds of love.
What makes it harder to get through Valentine’s Day single is the reactions of people around you. From unsolicited advice to ‘well-meaning’ friends trying to set you up, there is an underlying tone of pity in the way singles are looked at amid Valentine’s Day fervor.
But your relationship status doesn’t have to be an impediment to indulging in a celebration of love, much less scorn it.
5 Emotions You Experience On Being Single On Valentine’s Day
Now, with all this hullabaloo around the idea of celebrating love can leave you feeling a little sapped out of happy, upbeat emotions. When the finest things you have your heart set on are available only in pairs. When your favorite restaurant is all pre-booked and there is no table available for singles on Valentine’s Day. And when even the smartest algorithms end up misdirecting ads targeting couples your way… spending another Valentine’s Day alone can seem like a nightmare made in hell.
We spoke to 5 singles to understand the emotions you go through if you don’t have a Valentine. Here’s how they summed it up:
What with just about everyone around you saying things like ‘I don’t understand why you can’t find someone’ or ‘You have to lower your standards or you’ll end up alone’, it’s only natural to find yourself seething with anger as Valentine’s Day nears.
Aditi Ghai, who is 35 and single by choice, says about being single on Valentine’s Day, “I swear, I’m at the precipice with all the good-intentioned people rallying up to counsel me on the importance of love and companionship, year after year. It’s not so much the fact that one has to get through to another Valentine’s Day alone that fuels anger but people’s reaction to it. Especially, when these reactions come from loved ones.”
She wishes that people would just leave her alone, and not make being single on Valentine’s Day into such a big deal.
Akshay Tomar, a software engineer in his late thirties, says the question of how to spend Valentine’s Day as a single evokes feelings of self-pity in him. It’s not that he’s always felt this way. In his younger days, he’d comfortably scoff at the ‘commercialized holiday’ and get on with his life without worrying much about being single on Valentine’s Day.
“All my friends are married now. This time of the year, everyone is busy making plans with their significant others. I, too, coveted and wanted a companion to share my life with. However, my marriage was short-lived. My wife decided to walk out after just 3 months of being married and without any significant issues that, at least, I can pin down. The future of our relationship has been in limbo since. I have spent three Valentine’s Days as a married yet single man. I think that has taken its toll.
Even if you’re content being alone and living life as per your whims and fancies, there is something about this time of the year that turns this sense of independence into pangs of loneliness.
You can, perhaps, blame it on Valentine’s Day anxiety that comes from being made to feel like the odd one out. “All my friends are suddenly dating or in relationships. While I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything by not having a partner, this is the first Valentine’s Day where everyone from my gang has plans with their romantic interests and that is making me feel a tad bit lonely,” says Shreyal, a 23-year-old media professional, who is fresh out of college and in her first job.
‘Sticking out like a sore thumb’ is how she describes herself when all the discussions between her friends, on group chats and in person, are centered on Valentine’s Day plans.
“I had a good thing going with my boyfriend until COVID hit. Offices shut, and we both moved back to our respective hometowns given the indefinite work-from-home situation. The stress of living through a pandemic, the isolation, distance, and no end-date for when we’d see each other again took a toll on our relationship. After five months of trying, we mutually decided to call it quits.”
“Now, with Valentine’s Day around the corner, I can’t help thinking back to the amazing time we had together on our last. I’m consumed by an unshakable sense of remorse over not trying hard enough. I don’t know if he feels the same way,” says Aman.
While spending another Valentine’s Day alone sure brings a mix of unpleasant emotions in its wake, there is also a light at the end of the tunnel. Of hope. Sagarika Seymour says, “I have been single by choice for many years now because I was done wasting my time on losers who couldn’t decide what they wanted in life or creeps who wanted just one thing out of dating – sex. Now, I’m waiting for love to blossom organically when the right person comes along.
“That’s why I don’t let Valentine’s Day anxiety consume me. Instead, I bank on the hope that when I do find that special someone, it’d have been worth the wait.”
How To Spend Valentine’s Day As A Single? Plan These 5 Unique Dates
We get it, all the pop culture pressure can make being single on Valentine’s Day feel unbearable. Except it doesn’t have to be that way. Remember, this is a day that celebrates love, and not lovers.
One of the best tips for being single on Valentine’s Day is to nurture the best kind of love – self-love. Meet people who truly make you happy, spend time in your own awesome company, indulge in some pampering. Basically, do whatever makes your heart swell with joy and gratitude.
To help you do that, here’s our suggestion on the 5 kinds of dates you can plan as a single person on Valentine’s Day.
- A date with nature
No matter how distressed, low or forlorn you’re feeling by the prospect of another Valentine’s Day alone, there is no negative emotion a retreat to nature cannot fix. Besides, it’s the perfect way to distance yourself from the scene of the world being painted with a gazillion red hearts.
It is among the most refreshing and wholesome single Valentine’s Day ideas. You can book a stay at a nature retreat, go on a wildlife safari, or plan a day-long hike. If you’re a camping aficionado, you could bring out your gear and hit the road.
2. A date with your gang
Wondering what singles do on Valentine’s Day? Well, if you have a bunch of single friends, why not turn it into a celebration of your love and friendship by making special plans with them.
From a barbeque night in one of your backyards to a fun night of drinking and board games and even a short getaway, there is just so much you can do to get through Valentine’s Day single without your spirits being dampened.
With so many of us having spent the past year away from our friends, Valentine’s Day presents the perfect opportunity to make the most of the abating COVID-19 tide and reconnect with your buddies.
3. A lunch date with mom and dad
This can sound like one of the more unusual single Valentine’s Day ideas but hear us out. Like we said before, Valentine’s Day is about celebrating bonds of love, which extend far beyond romantic love. That myopic vision of the holiday is the outcome of an entire merchandise industry yearning to make a quick buck by marketing love as a hot commodity.
So, if you don’t have a Valentine, why not ask your parents out on a date. Buy them flowers, take them out to lunch, just sit back and talk. In this hurried existence, we often lose touch with those who matter the most.
So, put being single on Valentine’s Day to good use by nurturing the most important bonds in your life.
4. A date with yourself
Self-love is, perhaps, the most underrated yet essential forms of love. After all, you cannot love another person until you learn to love yourself. Since you’re single, learn how to be your own Valentine.
Book yourself a nice spa, take yourself shopping, get yourself the finest bottle of red (or scotch), order your favorite meal and a box of chocolates or cupcakes, dress up, put on some music, and just spend some quality time with yourself.
5. A date with your vibrator
This is one of the tips for being single on Valentine’s Day you must pay attention to if you’re craving some hot action but don’t want to go down the path of a one-night stand you know you’d regret. This Valentine’s Day, make love to yourself.
Slip into the piece of sexy lingerie, dim the lights, put on some soft music (if that’s your jam), pull that vibrator from your drawer (or order one), and explore the deepest crevices of your body. Regale in the rush of a mind-blowing orgasm, and you won’t feel bad about being single on Valentine’s Day.
Spending another Valentine’s Day alone doesn’t have to be hard or heart-breaking. All you need is to have the right perspective and frame of mind. We hope these tips for being single on Valentine’s Day will help you sail through.
About the Author:
Arushi Chaudhary is a freelance journalist and writer with 5 years of experience in print publications such as the Pune Mirror and Hindustan Times, and another 6 years of freelance writing for digital platforms and print publications – The Tribune, BR International magazine, Sum Up, Make My Trip, Killer Features, The Money Times, Senhora, Bonobology and Home Review, to name a few.