If you’re single, you might find yourself dreading Valentine’s Day. When you don’t have a partner, every display of cards and gifts can serve as an unpleasant reminder of what’s missing in your life. However, there are things you can do to feel better about this romantic holiday and to make it meaningful in a way that doesn’t require a significant other. Here are ten tips that will help.
1. Go to a local event for singles
If you have a group of single friends, look for local Valentine’s Day events that help you to meet new people and offer a safe haven in which to hide from the sentimentality of the outside world. Bars often offer drinks promotions on Valentine’s Day as well, so this could be an ideal opportunity to have a great night out with friends.
2. Help people in the community
You can make a huge difference by choosing to spread love to those less fortunate. There are many ways to change someone’s life on Valentine’s Day, whether you choose to volunteer at a homeless shelter, give gifts to older people in nursing homes, or simply donate money to a local charity.
3. Arrange a dinner party for other single people
Plenty of people find themselves at a loose end on Valentine’s Day, so why not combat any potential loneliness by bringing everyone together at a dinner party? If you love to cook then you can take charge of the menu, but if that thought makes you break out in a cold sweat then you can ask everyone to bring a dish. You could whip up a cake for dessert, while the people next door could cook their signature pasta, and someone else might bring a salad.
4. Give flowers to friends
Although you might think that giving flowers is a rather clichéd gesture, different colors of roses stand for different ideas or concepts. For example, yellow roses represent friendship and hope for the future, meaning that giving a yellow rose to a friend can be a meaningful token of affection. The same can be said of pink roses, which convey gratitude and would be a perfect Valentine’s Day gift for a friend who sticks with you in the toughest times.
5. Devote the day to yourself
Although it can be great fun to make Valentine’s Day a social event, it is equally rewarding to spend the day focusing solely on your own needs. The key is to find a way to revel in your own company and treat yourself kindly. You might treat yourself to a relaxing massage, cook or order your favorite meal, watch a fantastic movie.
6. Be thankful for the benefits of being single
Don’t forget all the perks associated with the single life! You are free to make abrupt changes to your career or living circumstances, you don’t have to share financial decisions with anyone else, and you can design your home to suit your own tastes.
7. Organize a “Secret Valentine” trade of gifts
Much as groups of friends sometimes organize “Secret Santa” events around the holiday season, you can add a bit of extra happiness to February by arranging for each member of your social group to give a gift to another. These surprises don’t need to be expensive or lavish; some ideas include skin treatments, fiction books, gift cards and small pieces of jewelry.
8. Remember that not all couples celebrate Valentine’s Day
Don’t allow Valentine’s Day to become more important than it really is! From a single person’s perspective, the holiday can look deeply significant and romantic. However, plenty of couples find the holiday unimportant, rejecting the idea that they should celebrate their love on a specific day. There is truth to the cynical claim that Valentine’s Day has become part of clever marketing strategies designed to get couples to empty their wallets on arbitrary gestures, and plenty of people prefer to wait for anniversaries or birthdays to give meaningful gifts.
9. Send someone a caring surprise
If you have a close friend or family member who tends to feel particularly low on Valentine’s Day (due to romantic struggles or bereavement), let this person know that they are in your thoughts by sending a gift. It might anything from a gift basket of treats to an enthralling new book to read or a gift card that provides money off at a spa or restaurant.
10. Engage in some useful reflection
Finally, if you can’t shake thoughts of love, make use of your mood and consider what you want and need from a future relationship. In addition to thinking about the type of partner you’d like, consider how you might take a more imaginative approach to finding love. Have you tried online dating, joining new clubs, attending classes or asking friends about eligible acquaintances? Maybe it’s time to broaden your romantic horizons.
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