I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent a lot of my Valentine’s Days alone. But Valentine’s Day can be tough on your mental wellbeing even if you’re in a relationship. The stress of doing something special when you’re in a relationship or just feeling low because you feel left out and lonely on Valentine’s Day, the day of so-called day for togetherness and love, can suck.
Because of my borderline personality disorder, I avoided being in a relationship for about a decade so I wouldn’t hurt people when I inevitably broke up. Because around the two to three-month mark of a relationship, I’d become disgusted by their tough for no reason. For people like me, you have to learn to live with feeling lonely on Valentine’s Day. Thus, I thought I’d put together a helpful guide to help everyone get through this day, should they need it.
What Is Valentine’s Day?
In case you’re unaware of what Valentine’s Day is, which I know is unlikely (but it’s best to be sure), it’s when lovers express their affection for one and other (Britannica). Traditionally, this has meant secret admirers making their intentions known, but also a day where women could propose marriage. Times have changed since then, fortunately.
However, the more cynical among us, such as myself, see Valentine’s Day as something that is garishly promoted by the greeting card and other industries, which nonetheless has the power to induce loneliness in many people (Grafman and Krueger, 2009). A sentiment also shared by the NetDoctor.
A Guide To Being Lonely On Valentine’s Day
Ignore Valentine’s Day
The first and obvious thing you can try to do is ignore Valentine’s Day and just treat it like any other day. During the early part of the pandemic, this was pretty easy to do, but now, with things returning to normal, it’s going to be a little harder. However, Valentine’s Day really is just like any other day. The only difference is expensive restaurant bookings and romance films filling your streaming service. Therefore, just stick to your usual routine and get on with your day.
Allow yourself to feel lonely
There is nothing wrong with you if you feel lonely, so allow yourself to experience that emotion. According to Hershfield, Scheibe, Sims, and Carstensen (2013), allowing yourself to marinate in your negative emotions can help you process them and come out the other side feeling better. The problem nowadays is the belief that you should do whatever it takes to avoid feeling negative emotions, but that’s just impossible and unhealthy. We need to accept our negative feelings, as they’re a part of life as much as the positive ones.
Have a day for yourself
Treat yourself like your own Valentine’s Day admirer, and do nice things for yourself. Make Valentine’s Day your biggest and most fun self-care day. Buy yourself some flowers, buy that box of chocolate, and rent the film you’ve been putting off. Who says you can’t make Valentine’s Day a day to love ourselves!
Embrace your singleness
According to wikiHow, one thing you could do is to focus on all the great things there are about being single. If you need a little help with this, then you could create a list of all the good things about being single. For example, you don’t have to fight over the remote, unless you have annoying housemates or family members. Also, your free time is your own to do with as you wish.
It’s a marketing gimmick
As Grafman and Krueger (2009) and the NetDoctor said, Valentine’s Day is a marketing gimmick. So instead of feeling lonely on Valentine’s Day, think of the money you’ll save. Even if you’re in a relationship, celebrating Valentine’s Day on any other day that week, especially after February 14th, will save you money and still allow you to have a great time.
Chances are, people who’ve been in a relationship for years and have children likely don’t make too much of a fuss about Valentine’s Day anymore. They have their anniversaries to celebrate instead, which is far more meaningful to them.
Make plans with friends and other single people
You could host a singles only dinner party or just invite your friends and family over for a meal. Or you could organise a games night or a movies night. Whatever you want really, the world is your oyster with what you could do. This also has the bonus of spending quality time with your friends, which we haven’t been doing enough of recently.
Do something nice for others
VerywellMind suggests we could use this opportunity to do something nice for others, like baking cookies or buying flowers for people just to be nice to those that might feel lonely on Valentine’s Day. This can be especially nice if they’ve recently lost a partner, such as for your parents or grandparents.
Relationships aren’t for everyone
Most of us have grown up on the idea that being in a relationship is the natural state to be in, so much so that people often think it’s weird for people to remain single. But it’s not weird. Being in a relationship isn’t for everyone and you don’t need to conform to what society thinks is “normal”. The time of the nuclear family is over.
Benefits Of Being Single
Single people have more free time. That’s just a fact. The amount of friends I’ve known that disappear when they’re in a relationship or you’ll only see briefly now and then is staggeringly depressing. This is often more problematic for men as their social circles revolve around their partner, meaning when the relationship ends, they might not have a support network to fall back on.
Any romantic relationship, if healthy, will allow time for friendships to blossom. But until more people, especially men, start doing that, being single remains the best way to have an extensive social and support network of friends, so make the most of your platonic relationships.
Single people are more creative
Apparently, according to LIFE Intelligence, people are more creative when they’re single. Well, they do say artists need to suffer for their art, so maybe feeling lonely on Valentine’s Day helps them create? All jokes aside, being single means you have more time, and if you have more time, you have time to be creative. It’s that simple. There’s few married couples with kids that have time to paint a picture or crave a wooden figurine.
In the modern age, dating apps are all the range, which some could argue is a benefit of being single. However, you can also argue it’s not. Yes, dating apps help you meet people, but at the same time, the rejection can also hurt. Like most things in life, it often comes down to how you use them.
For some people using dating apps, rejection is extremely common. I’ve rarely used a dating app or dating sites, but for the brief time I tried, I found the experience soul crushing. In a world of mainstream people trying to hook up, being a metalhead goth and male puts you at a disadvantage ha ha ha.
Thus, remember to be kind to yourself if you’re going to use dating apps, and remember, you’re not your dating profile (Coach).
Other Suggestions On The Benefits Of Being Single And Lonely On Valentine’s Day
I decided to ask the bloggers I knew on Twitter what they thought some of the benefits were of being single at Valentine’s Day. The following are their replies:
Sam from Smarter and Harder
You can re-brand the holiday to celebrate love itself, rather than an SO specifically. Like how folks use the winter holidays to focus on generosity, v-day can be about being openly loving and inclusive.
Similar to what I already stated in my Guide To Being Lonely On Valentine’s Day. Thanks for the suggestion, Sam. You can check out their blog by clicking here.
Stacy from White Feather Dreams
No expectations, no hassle, no stress, time for hobbies, time for self & self growth, being able to slob on the sofa, belly out, scratching whatever bits you want, or dance around the house in ya undies to Kylies Better the Devil you know at max volume, Single life is the best
I love any excuse not to have to wear outside clothes. Just me in my PJs is my idea of heaven. Good list of perks. Thanks Stacy. Check out their blog by clicking here.
Eliza from Life on the BPD
Not having to deal with expectations over how the day should go. I’m taking the day off for self-care
Echoing what Stacy suggested, because life is easier when you don’t have to bother with unnecessary expectations. Plus, self-care is always important, like I suggested in my guide to being lonely on Valentine’s Day. Thank you for the suggestions, and I hope you enjoy your self-care day on Valentine’s Day. You can check out their blog by clicking here.
Katie from Life With Ktkinnes
You can buy the “dine in for 2” deals and save yourself the hassle of cooking on another night or pig out and eat it all to yourself in one sitting
This suggestion hits me right in my unmotivated depressive arse. This is differently the perk for me. Thanks for the suggestion, Katie. You can check out her blog by clicking here.
Riyah from Riyah Speaks
It gives you more time to focus on your own well-being
This is another one that’s like one from my guide to being lonely on Valentine’s Day, but as a perk to being single because you can focus on your wellbeing. Thanks for the suggestion, Riyah. You can check out their blog by clicking here.
Tony from Manage the Chimp
You can do whatever you want, when you want, without having to consider anyone else first
Nothing beats having the freedom to do what you want. Thanks for the suggestion, Tony. Check out their blog by clicking here.
Zanna Garrick from Garrick Zanna
Maybe it’s just my social anxiety speaking, but I’d say “no pressure about planning something romantic” is a benefit
This can definitely be a perk of being single. You don’t have to worry or stress about doing something special on Valentine’s Day. You only need to do what you want, much like what Tony said. Thanks for the suggestion, Zanna. Check out her blog by clicking here.
My Story Of Being Lonely On Valentine’s Day
As I said at the start of this article, I’ve spent most Valentine’s Days alone, and although it was tough, I now realise that’s ok. You don’t need to spend Valentine’s Day with anyone. Occasionally I’d do something nice for myself instead, but in my late twenties and early thirties I just carried on like it was any other day and didn’t let it get to me.
To be honest, the times I’ve tried to make the effort in my early twenties were ok, but it never ever lived up to the media hype. You just feel rushed and crowded because every where’s busy on Valentine’s Day, which isn’t ideal when you have two anxiety disorders that can cause psychosis.
Nowadays, even though I’m in a relationship, we don’t always do anything specific together for it. Sometime we have, but other times I’ve just sent my partner something nice, and then did something nice the next time we meet instead. Maybe I should have mentioned, my partner and I only see each other once a fortnight, because my partner is always working and I find people difficult to be around. This is something we agreed on together, and it works for us, so it’s all good.
Last Valentine’s Day, I had a takeaway delivered to my partner and a couple of gifts sent, rather than spending it together. It made them feel happy and I feel good because my love language is gift giving, apparently.
Feeling lonely on Valentine’s Day is common, with many people experiencing it in their lives. It’s not unreasonable to feel this way. How you choose to tackle that feeling of loneliness, or not, is up to you. You can ignore the day and its commercial connotations, make it a day for self-love, or simply hang out with your friends. Whatever you choose, happy Valentine’s Day from me at Unwanted Life.
As always, leave your feedback in the comments section below. Also, please share your experiences and advice on being lonely on Valentine’s Day in the comments section below as well. Don’t forget, if you want to stay up-to-date with my blog, then sign up for my newsletter below. Alternatively, get push notifications for new articles by clicking the red bell icon in the bottom right corner.
Lastly, if you’d like to support my blog, you can make a donation of any size below. Until next time,
Unwanted Life readers.
Grafman, J. & Krueger, F. (2009). The Lonely Brain. Nature Neuroscience, 12, 237. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1038/nn0309-237 and https://www.nature.com/articles/nn0309-237.
Hershfield, H. E., Scheibe, S., Sims, T. L., & Carstensen, L. L. (2013). When feeling bad can be good: Mixed emotions benefit physical health across adulthood. Social psychological and personality science, 4(1), 54-61. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3768126 and https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1948550612444616.
64 thoughts on “What To Do If You’re Lonely On Valentine’s Day”
I tend to have a day to myself on Valentine’s day and show myself some love instead of a significant other! I feel people go over the top when it comes to Valentine’s gifts anyway.
Some people do go WAY over the top
These are really helpful points. Anyone can feel lonely, whether you’re in a relationship or not and I think with then recent pandemic, loneliness has really surged. Thank you for sharing 🙂
Indeed. Thanks for reading
Last year I had a date for Valentine’s Day, but this year I’m spending it alone and I’m ok with it. I agree that it is not easy to be rejected when you are on a dating app. People ghost you so easily. This year I decided to treat Valentine’s Day like a normal day. I don’t feel lonely. I am an introvert so I find it easy to be alone. Thanks for sharing.
There’s been so many dating app terms to describe how people behave on dating apps, it’s a little concerning
I hope you enjoy your normal day
If Valentine’s Day is Lovers Day, let’s just use it to love ourselves. Very good points inside
Good post. There’s nothing wrong with being single and you don’t have to feel lonely. It’s just an over-hyped commercial holiday
Indeed it is
My partner and I don’t bother with Valentine’s Day because our anniversary is not that long after that.
In the past, I used to find Valentine’s Day a depressing day when I was single. I would have welcomed reading this article then!
If I could have made it available for you for when you did need it, I would have
That’s nice stuff. I like the first thing to ignore Valentine’s Day. Great ideas
These are great tips! Speaking personally as a wife and a mother, I’m not even thinking of Valentine’s Day. Just another day if you ask me. But I like the idea of celebrating yourself and self love on Valentine’s Day. Take yourself on a date. Shower yourself in love. It’s truly what you make it.
Thanks for sharing ?
This year I am spending Valentine’s Day with my boyfriend but there were times during certain that I have spent it alone, and it definitely sucks. This advice is also great for anyone who’s going through depression like I was around this holiday. Thanks for letting me be a part of this
Thanks for being a part of it
This is a really good article. I think it’s easy to get a bit down sometimes on that day because of all the hype around it especially as you get older. I like the idea of reminding yourself all the good things about being single as it’s something not everyone thinks about as there definitely are positives about it especially for traveling alone. Thanks for this!
Personally, I found it harder in my teens and twenties to cope with than when I got older. The older I got the less I cared about such things
I believe you should enjoy your life as much as possible. If you love someone or not, it shouldn’t be a pressure thing to celebrate on a given day.
I work part-time at a chocolate shop, and it is a hot-zone for people coming in to buy little things for parties and to give their partners. From the work behind -the-scenes, Valentine’s Day is 100% a marketing gimmick that works! Whether the meaning behind it is fueled by love these days or by commercialism, I do not know for sure, but I suspect it goes both ways.
Love your ideas for how to spend Valentine’s Day alone and especially love the benefits so many people find in it. <3
Whatever it may have started out as, it’s definitely been taken over by consumerism now
Great points in the post. Thank you for sharing this.
Man, when I was a teenager Valentines day used to bring me so much anxiety. Nowadays I couldn’t careless and treat it like any other day, like you said. However, this afternoon, I asked my hubby if we should make an effort for a change, so I offered to do something nice and I’m cooking him a gluten-free lasagne and garlic bread, because carbs are the way to his heart lol! We’re so excited ha ha. Wish me luck 😀
Sounds like a nice meal. I love garlic bread. What’s your partner going to do for you?
He’s got deadlines at uni so i’ve offered to do it to cheer him up. 12 years of marriage valentines day is just another day for us. We’ve already decided were not doing anything ?
Fair enough ?
Great post! We like that you mentioned Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be about romantic love. It’s a perfect time to celebrate friendship love too.
The love between friends is often the best kind of love there is
I’ve never really thought much about Valentine’s Day and don’t get swept up into it mainly because when I was growing up, it wasn’t as big of a thing as it seems to be now (marketing overload). At most my husband and I exchange cards and then just go on an have a nice day (like any really). My advice to anyone who is single is do use the day for self-care — always a good choice.
Thanks for sharing
Super article! You’re right, Valentine’s day really isn’t for everyone. It is tottally commercial and its designed to make single people feel bad. You made some really great points. I’m glad you wrote this because I know this will help so many people.
Thank you. Hopefully we’ll start to scale back on such occasions to get back to basics rather than the commercial stress filled thing it’s become
I agree, single doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate. Take a day for yourself and enjoy it. Great suggestions!
Indeed it doesn’t
I actually love the idea of embracing singleness. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being single and appreciating ones own company! Then you can spend the day as you please and cater to yourself with self-care.
I’m married, but we’ve never really done anything for valentine’s Day. I’ll buy my other half a card from the kids, but that’s all. It’s nice to spread a bit of love, but we’re both of the opinion of it being a bit of a marketing gimmick. I think spending the day with yourself and treating yourself sounds so much better!
Thanks for sharing
Lovely post! I agree with everything. Funnily enough, it was the Valentine Days I was in a relationship that I remember as the worst. The times I’ve spend alone/with my dog doing any of the above were actually much better. ?
Maria | themarize.com
Dogs are our best friends for a reason
I agree that VD is more for advertisers than people. Just that thought helps me to feel less lonely! Thanks.
Thanks for sharing
The best advice I’ve seen after scouring these V-day lists for folks embracing loneliness is….to face and feel lonely emotions. Spot on tip. Most single folks fight lonely feelings. But since what you resist, persists, the lonely emotions appear stronger. Feel the uncomfortable feelings of loneliness and eventually you will feel good about spending time alone, to think for yourself, to observe your mind and to develop a sense of peace about your life.
Indeed, you can’t hide away from the feelings, so leaning into them so they no longer have a negative effect on you is a healthier way to manage
I have always believed that Valentines Day is one of the few commercialized holidays; It’s all about money ?. Love your positive twist on single life.
You said relationship is not for everyone. I do not agree. However, i do believe that marriage is not for everyone. I have seen people in relationships for years, and soon after they get marry, they later end up divorcing.
I am not sure if you follow the teachings of Christanity. But the bible states that it is not good for man to be alone. (Gen 2:18). I understand the fear of subscribing to a commited relationship.
I don’t follow the teachings of Christianity, but even those who do, give up on romantic relationships, just look at nuns, monks, and the clergy of some Christian denominations.
Not being in a romantic relationship doesn’t mean you’re alone. You can be perfectly happy being single, while also not being alone. You still have family and friends
Too many holidays have been commercialized and it’s sad. Businesses force us to believe there is certain way to spend Valentines day (or any other holiday) truth is what ever feels right – is.
I have been in a relationship a decade and we have never celebrated 14th February. We rather take time for us through out the year and the time together may just be a walk in a nature, renovating our home etc – not fancy gifts or restaurants.
We need to recognize and accept ourselves not social expectations, your tips are great and I hope it helps people who struggle with it.
The only commercialised holiday I live is Halloween, because then you can get awesome homeware stuff that makes my goth heart tingle with joy
Thank you for writing this. ☺️ You are right not everyone will be in relationships. There is too much commercialism in it for sure. I appreciated that you included self love too. My husband and I don’t make it about just a “day” but rather it’s important to us to be mindful to one another daily. ?
Pastor Natalie (ExamineThisMoment)
Great post – I’m with you and a complete cynic when it comes to Valentines Day. We’ve never intentionally celebrated it. All for taking days for yourself
very insightful post about loneliness around v-day. whether i was in a relationship or not, i try to enjoy the holiday. at the end of the day we always have ourselves. but you mentioned a lot of great points and opinions on how it can still feel lonely at times. being gentle with yourself is key.
Thanks for sharing
When I was single and alone on Valentine’s Day I pretty much just ignored it, or bought my mom a chocolate. Now that I’m married Valentine’s Day is kind of meh, we’d rather celebrate our anniversary.
All the best, Michelle (michellesclutterbox.com)
That’s nice that you bought your mum something
All types of love should be included on Valentine’s Day, not only love between couples. It should be about just being around those you care about most.
Indeed. Now we just need a movement to help rebrand it