Valentine’s day can be emotionally difficult when you’re not in a relationship. There’s a great deal of societal pressure to be in a relationship, and an assortment of movies and television creates an unrealistic expectation of what romance should look like.
Some respond to their Valentine’s Day quandary with a renewed interest in finding love; the popular dating app Tinder saw record-breaking levels of swiping activity last Valentine’s Day.
However, our cultural obsession with Valentine’s Day often proves to be fairly harmful to some individuals. Those who pursue romance at all costs can get stuck in unhealthy relationships in which they prefer to be with the wrong person rather than be single. Social media can compound these problems when we see carefully curated content and assume the idealized relationships it portrays exist in reality. It’s important to note, however, that those posting most frequently about their relationships on social media are often overcompensating for insecurities according to one study.
Many people feel lonely on Valentine’s Day, even if they’re not lonely people in general. The hyper focus on romantic relationships during Valentine’s day causes the other meaningful, loving relationships in our lives to be considered less important.
So how can you avoid the hype, and enjoy February 14th as a single person?
Just because you don’t have a special someone to share the day with, doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be a day to pamper or enjoy yourself. Packing your day full of activities like a spa trip, a visit to the movies, going to the museum or a wintery adventure through nature can help take your mind off of unhealthy thoughts.
Valentine’s Day is also a great excuse to show your appreciation for your friends and loved ones and serves as a great reminder of the non-romantic love in your life. You could even organize a “Galentine’s Day” celebration, Parks and Rec style, for a fun time celebrating friendship.
Stop and Reflect
It’s almost impossible to avoid thinking about love and relationships altogether on Valentine’s Day. Rather, use the day to reflect on what you do want out of a future relationship, and what you’ve accomplished in past relationships. This time spent thinking will help you reaffirm what you’re looking for, and how to better find it. Knowing exactly what you want will help you feel more optimistic searching in the future.
It’s Just a Day
Above all else, keep in mind that Valentine’s Day is one day out of the year and should be taken at face value. Soon enough it will be February 15th, a neutral day for everyone regardless of relationship status.
Plus, you can look forward to the great candy sales.