As a young single woman, the approach of Valentine’s Day usually comes with a certain amount of dread. I could wake up on the morning of February 14th, choose to wear black, roll my eyes at the flower deliveries that are whisked past my desk, and do nothing out of the ordinary. My indifference could be a silent statement that I am not one of those poor suckers who has bought into the commercialism that is Valentine’s Day.
But will that make me happy or keep me warm on this cold February day? Not a chance. Bitterness only makes a person happy when it comes in the form of baking chocolate. So how do I enjoy a day dedicated to romantic love?
1. Get some perspective. I enjoy romantic movies and feel happy for these strangers who find love. So why should I feel any differently about the people I know? When my coworker has a gorgeous display of flowers plopped on her desk, I will tell her how beautiful they are and that I am happy for her. It will feel much better than pretending I don’t care.
2. Don’t make it all about you. I am not the only single person in Manhattan, among my friends, or in my family. Instead of wallowing, I will send a card or flowers to a single girlfriend or sister. Just because its not from “The One”, does not mean I won’t make them feel loved.
3. Dress happy. Perhaps donning red or pink on the “day of love” is a tad cliché, but then again, so is a single woman walking around with a chip on her shoulder. Truthfully, a day that reminds me I have not met Mr. Right does not exactly make me want to skip out the front door in the morning. But it makes a huge difference when I deliberately choose that outfit that makes me feel beautiful and causes the uninhibited old man on the subway to say something embarrassing like “If I were 50 years younger…”.
4. Plan a night out with friends. I don’t have to be part of a single girl séance, willing the spirit of my future boyfriend to appear over my glass of red wine and sappy chick flick. Valentine’s Day is a wonderful excuse to gather all available friends—boys and girls—to celebrate being single and being loved. This Valentine’s Day I will pop a cork and check my singleton blues at the door.
5. Be kind to yourself. I don’t have to pretend that being single for the rest of my life would make me perfectly happy. But I will keep in mind that just because I don’t have someone to share angsty emotions and a candlelight dinner on this Valentine’s Day, does not mean that I am unlovable. I feel hopeful and loved every other day of the year, why should Valentine’s Day be any different?
And as for the commercialism that is Valentine’s Day? Ditch the heart-shaped box of chocolates and pre-made Hallmark card. Truly loving another person is enough—just be sure to leave a note and sign it “Your Valentine”.
(image via wearerandoms)