• While Valentine’s Day is popularized as a romantic holiday, it can and should be celebrated by all.
  • Rather than viewing it as a holiday for couples, we should look at it as an opportunity to feel and show our love for the people we value most.
  • Additionally, we can celebrate Valentine’s Day well by showing ourselves some love: start by treating yourself to some of your favorite self-care activities like getting a massage or reading a new book.
  • If you’re feeling spontaneous, you could even dedicate this day to crossing off an item (or two) on your bucket list.
  • Also, try focusing on who and what you have instead of the romantic relationship that you don’t have at the moment.
  • Finally, devote yourself to kindness on Valentine’s Day and dedicate some time to learning about the romantic relationship you’re looking for.

I’ve been single on Valentine’s Day for the past five years… and it’s been wonderful. I’m sure you didn’t expect that adjective, but it’s true: I’ve learned to thoroughly enjoy this holiday alone. I’ve focused on bettering myself and showing all of the important people in my life how much they mean to me—which has made Valentine’s Day one of my favorite days of the year. And I want you to start enjoying it too. So hop on board, and let’s start by changing your perspective.

Valentine’s Day: For Couples and Singles Alike

We view Valentine’s Day as the designated day for couples—but really, this holiday is all about celebrating love, whether it be love you have for a significant other, friend, family member, or even yourself! It’s time to adapt this more inclusive (and accurate) view to enjoy the holiday even when you’re single. Tina Muller, Family Wellness Manager at Mountainside Treatment Center, further explains the importance of this perspective change: “If you’re single on Valentine’s Day, one of the first things to do is refocus your view of Valentine’s Day. We often view Valentine’s Day as a celebration of romantic love, but the overarching theme of the holiday is love in general, which can be through an intimate relationship with another person, but it can also be love for yourself. Shift your perspective and use this day of love to support yourself and focus on self-love.”

Muller goes on to recommend that we “take out the hype and ‘Hallmark’ of the day,” which will relieve the pressure that comes with the holiday. “There are preconceived notions that Valentine’s Day should be filled with romance, candy, flowers, jewelry, and fancy dinners, but Valentine’s Day is just another day in a lot of ways,” she says. “It’s just about pre-planning what you’re going to do on this day and changing the thought process around how you view it to reduce the amount of anxiety or sadness you feel leading up to the holiday.”

5 Meaningful Ways to Spend Valentine’s Day With Yourself

Now that you’ve realized you don’t have to be in a committed relationship to have a happy Valentine’s Day, start planning your special celebration. Here are five meaningful ways to spend the holiday:

1. Treat yourself.

Spend Valentine’s Day taking extra good care of yourself, as recommended by Licensed Clinical Social Worker Kimberly Schaffer. “Self-love is the purest and healthiest form of love. Valentine’s Day is a time when we can truly show our love for ourselves by doing things we enjoy. There are so many options, whether it be going out for a delicious meal, going to the movies, splurging on something special for yourself, getting a massage, exercising, or reading a good book. Valentine’s Day doesn’t need to center around romantic love. Romantic love only develops when we love ourselves.”

2. Cross an item off your bucket list.

“Instead of sulking in sadness or loneliness, cross something off your bucket list, and do it specifically by yourself,” says Caleb Backe, Health and Wellness Expert for Maple Holistics. “You are born alone, you die alone—That is a harsh existential truth, and it is a constant one. On a day which is supposedly devoted to couples and relationships, it is good to remind yourself that sometimes it really is you against the world, and that every day is a chance to actually do something about it.”

3. Focus on who you do have instead of who you don’t.

It will also prove beneficial to focus on the people and the love you do have in your life—even if you aren’t romantically involved at the moment, as explained by Melissa McGinness, a Licensed Professional Counselor at Thriveworks Lynchburg Counseling. “Focus on the supportive relationships that you do have instead of focusing on the romantic relationships that you don’t have at this time. Set up a dinner with a friend or family member; practice gratefulness by texting someone what you love and value about them; offer to babysit for a couple who don’t get to go out often; do something to/ celebrate life with others.”

4. Do something kind.

“You should do something nice for someone else,” says Licensed Professional Counselor Yelena Gidenko. “Research suggests that helping and being kind to others improves one’s own emotional and physical wellbeing. Something as simple as a random act of kindness at home, at work, or in the community can help one feel better and even enjoy Valentine’s Day.”

5. Learn about the romantic love you seek.

Lastly, take this opportunity to understand yourself and what you want out of a romantic relationship. “The most important thing a single woman or man can do is take this powerful day for themselves and embrace this time to get deeper into self,” says Leyanne Oliveira, Founder of Life with LO. “Once you learn how to love yourself, you can receive that love you so deeply crave. If you never loved yourself or know how to, how do you expect anyone else to be able to. The bottom line is to learn about the love you crave: know what it looks like, smells like, tastes like, feels like, and sounds like, and take this day to apply it to yourself.”