Being single during a holiday devoted to showing off your happily-ever-after relationship can be excruciating. The reminders are everywhere: couples holding hands on the street, couples kissing on corners and store windows showing you hearts and lacy lingerie. You can’t even make it through the grocery store checkout without being overwhelmed by boxes of chocolates and buckets of red roses. Can’t a devoted but sad member of the Lonely Hearts Club catch a break?
Before you go burrowing yourself into the couch with an entire pint of Häagen-Dazs determined to cry until your eyes swell shut, let’s take a moment to breathe. Because despite those Insta-worthy photos, being in a relationship isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. You should bypass the “I Don’t have a Baby” blues and head straight toward embracing your single side and all the freedom it entails. Going solo on Valentine’s Day can be an empowering experience if you focus on the most important person in your life: YOU.
Here’s the definitive guide on how to celebrate your best Valentine’s Day ever. Significant other not required.
You don’t have to do it alone.
Sitting at home wallowing in misery is never a good plan. Gather the squad and celebrate Galentine’s Day–style. Whether you drink an entire box of wine together and laugh at Amy Schumer until your stomach hurts or paint the town red with an epic singles-only outing, you’ll be in good company. The US Census Bureau says there are over 100 million unmarried people in the US which is roughly 44% of all adults. The odds of having a good time enjoying the single life are definitely in your favor.
Treat yo’ self.
Your relationship with yourself is the most significant of your life. After all, you and your body are partners forever, so it makes sense to focus on how to treat each other well. Pamper it up with a little self-love on Valentine’s Day. Whether that’s a hot date with your local spa for a massage or curling up with your favorite book. Don’t hesitate to spend a pretty penny on colorful, luxurious bath bombs or splurge on that bottle of expensive, gold-speckled champagne. The important part is to figure out how to indulge yourself in a way that feels healthy and rewarding because you definitely deserve it.
Enjoy the empowerment.
Being alone is a pretty sweet gig when you think about it. You are the sole owner of the remote control and the master of your universe. You certainly don’t need to stay trapped at home to avoid crowds of fawning couples. Book a trip to a cabin in the woods to practice your empowerment roar, or finally schedule that vacation from your bucket list. You don’t need to wait for a traveling partner to experience the wonders of the world.
There’s also no shame in spending the evening cheering on Jessica Jones from your couch as she proves being single and strong can also be sexy. Maybe you’ve already binged all the best shows on Netflix and you’re dying to find new heroes to watch. Outside your home, you can even challenge yourself to take on a new sport like yoga or boxing because developing a mean right hook might come in handy someday. Either way, you’ll be one step closer to loving yourself just the way you are.
Focus on the love.
It’s a big world out there, full of people who sometimes feel just as lonely as you. This Valentine’s Day, it may give you solace to skip moping with other singles and give back in ways that express your appreciation. Let your besties know how much you care by spending the day crafting love letters or homemade gifts, then dropping your care packages off like a super-stealthy secret Valentine. Remind your Mom that she’s still your favorite girl by bringing over flowers or a handmade card.
You can also show off your love for your community by volunteering to help the homeless, gathering supplies for families in need or ladling it up at a local soup kitchen where you can feel warmed by the gratitude that comes from helping others. At its heart, Valentine’s Day is about expressing love for the people in your life. That includes the family and friends that keep you happy and make your days (and nights) meaningful.
So chin up all you singles out there who have yet to feel Cupid’s arrow. Because while couples fall all over themselves trying to compete for the most-perfect-partner-ever award this Valentine’s Day, you’ve already found the secret to love. Happiness is enjoying yourself, the people you love and the life you’ve created one awesome moment at a time. It may not be a rom-com plot, but being single is a relationship with plenty of benefits.