Dr. Meagan Stanley
Q: How do I get through Valentine’s Day if I'm single?
Updated: Apr 17, 2020
Help with navigating an often difficult holiday for people not in a relationship.
For those of you who are single, Valentine’s Day can be a reminder of what you feel like you are missing in your life. It seems the holidays were just yesterday and here comes another day dedicated to people in relationships. You might wonder why we need another day to celebrate couples (though I’m not hating on couples!) when every day we are seeing and hearing messages about how wonderful it is to be in a romantic relationship.
This brings me to my first point: Valentine’s Day is just another day. It’s 24 hours long and I bet you’ve made it through more difficult 24-hour time periods in your life. Practically speaking, regardless of my relationship status, I use Valentine’s Day as a time to spend a little time and maybe even a little money on myself. I am certainly not in the camp of pretending it’s not happening—it’s happening. I’m also not saying to dive fully into consumerism. But if your favorite candle brand comes out with an exclusive Valentine’s Day scent and you can afford to purchase it for yourself, let yourself indulge a little. Just because you are single doesn’t mean you should be left out from the festivities.
That seems easy enough, but I know what you’re thinking—it’s not about the day; it’s about the fact you aren’t happy being single, whether it’s February 14th or any other day. This is something bigger to address—and one that is not easy to overcome. Our society reinforces the idea that it’s bad if you are single (especially if you are a woman) and it’s better to be in a relationship. Certainly, there are perks of being with a partner—love, admiration, security, affection, and friendship, just to name a few. Not all of those things you can get from yourself, but some of them you can.
Learning to love yourself is a pretty cliché concept these days, but this shouldn’t detract from the genuine importance of learning to accept and love yourself as you are. Unfortunately, when you are single, you may have negative thoughts like you aren’t worthy of a relationship, something must be wrong with you, and that you aren’t good enough for anyone to love. You are not single because you are lacking in some way. In fact, you are very strong to be going against the grain and learning to be okay with something that society deems as undesirable.
This brings me to my last point—being single is NOT undesirable. Being on your own is one of the best opportunities to learn more about yourself. Being in a relationship is incredibly hard work and it’s important that you understand yourself inside and out in order to be prepared for a lasting relationship with another person. You have to feel secure and stable within yourself to be able to show up for your partner. I also believe that you will never fully feel loved until you give that to yourself first.
Not to mention, being single allows for ultimate freedom. You are allowed to spend your time and your energy however you want—what a feeling! Enjoy the liberation, learn something about yourself, and buy that candle.
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