Last Valentine’s Day, a number of readers requested a post on how to be content as a single person on Valentine’s Day. While I’ve had a ton of single years, I’ve also been married for almost ten years now. So I asked my good friend, Auntie M. — who knows a thing or two about being a singleton on Valentine’s Day — to offer her thoughts… – Kat
I have spent a lot of holidays alone. I’ve also spent plenty of holidays coupled up, but if you can name a holiday — Thanksgiving, New Year’s Eve, 4th of July, my birthday, certainly Valentine’s Day — I can tell you about the time (or times) I spent it on my own.
Here is what I’ve learned:
It can actually be pretty great.
If you’re facing a holiday solo, my first suggestion is to travel, if possible. Get out of town. Go somewhere new. It might be kind of a bummer to spend an important day alone at home, but it’s kind of badass to spend it in an entirely new place altogether, right? I’ve spent multiple New Year’s Eves surrounded by strangers in some pretty far-flung places, and, yeah, I didn’t have anyone to kiss at midnight, but I do have some amazing memories — and some pretty respectable stamps in my passport.
If travel isn’t a possibility, find a way to engage in some meaningful self-care. For me, this means some kind of spa-type treatment, like a massage at a fancy place I normally wouldn’t visit, followed by a meal I find truly delicious (plan ahead so you can make something yourself and avoid the V-Day crowds and price hikes at local restaurants). Or, take care of yourself in other ways — a relaxing nighttime yoga class, maybe, or a night of watching your favorite movies or TV shows. Whatever you choose, just make sure it’s something that you truly enjoy, and not something you think you “should” do. Take a night off of from “should,” and, well, treat yourself.
My final go-to trick for spending a meaningful holiday solo is to set up new traditions for myself — something I can carry forward to future holidays. I do this on New Year’s Day, by doing things that are symbolic of the year I want to have (working out, cooking something healthy, finding things I no longer need that are in good condition to donate to my local charity shop). There’s no reason why this can’t apply to Valentine’s Day as well. Get creative, and come up with new ways to spend Valentine’s Day that you can do in the future, with or without a partner.
Valentine’s Day marketing is everywhere, but the truth is, you don’t actually need to feel burdened by the constant messaging that your value comes from being in a relationship. You are valuable regardless, and you are entitled to feel good about yourself without relying on another person to validate those feelings. Give yourself permission to make the holiday your own, and only do those things that reaffirm what you love most about yourself.
Readers, what are your best tips on how to be content as a single person on Valentine’s Day — or to otherwise be happily single? Do you have traditions for spending holidays by yourself — and what are they?