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.
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Unwanted Life readers.
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.