I love love. And I love celebrating. So you better believe Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite days to celebrate love. Having celebrated 24 Valentine’s Days as a single person and as I approach my 25th, I’ve realized that not all single people like to embrace the day as passionately as I do.
That’s ok… I can be a little too passionate about things at times. However, I also know that sometimes single people feel like Valentine’s Day is just one big reason to feel extra alone. I would like to argue that that doesn’t need to be the case. Valentine’s Day is a great day to celebrate love, even as a single person. In order to help my fellow single people most fully enter into that celebration, I’ve laid out some practical do’s and don’ts for the holiday.
Being single for a season is a really good thing and being single on Valentine’s day is a really good thing too. Don’t let your desire for something else let you miss out on that!
1. Don’t whine about being single.
First of all, being single on Valentine’s day, like being single on any day, is a very good thing. The time we have in our lives to be single is a gift and we can’t forget that. Secondly, no one really wants to hear you whine about how you wish you weren’t single — no offense, but it’s true. So don’t post a depressing photo by yourself with a “Singles Awareness Day” caption. Nobody wants to see that. Celebrating singlehood and living it well is far more attractive than being a downer about it. So if you’re feeling extra aware of your singlehood on Valentine’s Day, be aware of the many good things you’re able to do and experience as a single person at this phase of your life.
2. Don’t throw a pity party.
Parties are fun, but pity parties are the worst. Feeling bad for yourself because you don’t have a significant other on Valentine’s Day is not even kinda the way to celebrate this holiday! Valentine’s day is about love, which is an enormous reason to celebrate. Even if you don’t have a romantic love to celebrate, you can be sure you have lots of other love in your life to celebrate: the love of your heavenly Father, your family, your friends, your youth minister, your teachers, and many others!
3. Don’t act like you’re better/cooler/freer/happier/fill-in-the-blank than people that are in relationships and celebrating with their significant others.
While it’s important to celebrate the good aspects of single life, it’s also important to remember that being single is not better or worse than being in a relationship, it’s just a different phase of life. Don’t let your love for single life become so self-centered that you begin to act superior to your friends that aren’t single. Appreciate your state in life and respect and appreciate theirs.
4. Don’t act like people that are in relationships and celebrating with their significant others are better/cooler/freer/happier/fill-in-the-blank than you.
As I said in my last point, being in a relationship isn’t necessarily better or worse than being single, it’s just different. So don’t act like your friends that are dating are having a better Valentine’s Day than you are. Just because theirs might look a little different doesn’t mean it has to be better than yours! So just group hug it out and keep on celebrating.
5. Don’t wish for something that isn’t your reality.
You’re not in a relationship right now, that’s your reality. Don’t pine away for something different or be deceived to think that you’ll be happier once things change. Be grateful for your present moment and make the most of your reality. Wishing, hoping, or daydreaming for things to be different isn’t going to make you happier… you might end up like this kid choking on a dandelion. So just don’t.
6. Do give Valentines to friends.
Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to spoil the people you love the most. Craft some cute little notes or share some sweet treats with your closest friends to let them know you care.
7. Do celebrate Galentine’s day if you’re a lady.
“What’s Galentine’s day?” Well, as the great Leslie Knope would say, “Oh, it’s only the best day of the year.”
Although Galentine’s day is traditionally celebrated the day before Valentine’s day, you can celebrate it on February 14th, by getting a group of your closest girlfriends together, sharing sweet affirmations and gifts with one another, and maybe popping in a rom com or a chick flick to giggle at together!
8. If you’re a gentleman, have some quality bro time.
Get some of your buddies together, shoot some hoops, play some Madden NFL or Settlers of Catan… whatever it is you boys do. Just enjoy the company of your dude friends while doing something fun together.
9. Do treat yo-self.
There’s a cornucopia of sweet Valentine’s day treats at your local grocery store, just waiting to be consumed by you! Certainly, don’t treat yourself too much and make yourself sick, but enjoy some tasty, heart-shaped goodness on this glorious day!
10. Do pray for your vocation.
Whether you’re called to marriage, religious life, or consecrated single life, God wants to lead you to your vocation so that He can sanctify you through it. Give Him some freedom to do that, by being honest with Him about your fears, hopes, dreams, and desires, and also by listening to Him and the ways He’s loving you right now.
11. Do let Jesus love you and bask in that love.
Valentine’s day celebrates love, the expression of God’s own nature. We wouldn’t know what love is if God didn’t love us first and no love on this earth will ever be as deep, whole, perfect, selfless, and complete as the love God has for us. He is enamored with you and wants to be everything to you. Let Him do that. Maybe spend a little extra time in prayer, seek out His grace in Confession, or enter into the most intimate union with Him by receiving Him in the Eucharist at Mass. Let the Valentine’s day celebrations of love lead you to the Love that truly satisfies.