How to be Alone on Valentine's Day
Photographed by Jordyn Damato of Autumn Cockroft
By Jordyn Damato
Every new year, as January begins to wind down, the anxiety of the next upcoming holiday inevitably flares up: Valentine’s Day. Though some merely shrug off the holiday as another Hallmark Holiday that does not actually serve a divine purpose in our society, some begin the hunt for their perfect Valentine, while others still feel miserably alone. Spending Valentine's Day alone can feel like the end of the world, but there are so many things you can do to feel like you own the world instead.
First and foremost, be honest with yourself. Do not pretend to hate the holiday simply because you are alone and possibly a little bitter; that will not help make you feel better at the end of the day. It’s okay if you really want to spend the special day with someone but have not found the right person yet; it is OKAY! Please, do not lie to yourself in an attempt to cope with the loneliness. Acknowledge that you have a lot of love to give, make some space for it, and prepare to give it to yourself. Remember, it’s better to keep your love to yourself instead of giving it all to the wrong person. That might sound silly, being your own Valentine, but that is the ultimate solution when struggling with not having one.
Along with being honest with yourself, own your feelings. Pick up a journal and write out everything you feel. Valentine’s Day looks different for everyone. Maybe you are going through a break up, struggling with an unrequited love, or simply have not met your match yet, and all of those options are okay. They may not feel like it, but they are. Remind yourself that you are living life at your own pace and that this one holiday does not determine the rest of your life. You might feel terribly lonely or unlovable but that is to be expected around a holiday with so much pressure attached to it. Acknowledge the pressure, own your feelings, and understand that what you are going through is okay, even if it does not feel like it.
After you take all the time you need to feel your emotions and make sense of them, get up! Get moving! Just because you feel stuck right now, remember that you are not, actually. Go for a walk in nature, grab coffee with a friend, stretch in your room. Do anything to make your blood flow to remind yourself that you are alive for a reason greater than having a match on Valentine’s Day.
It might be best to avoid social media for the day if you are feeling extra-sensitive about the lack of a Valentine, or the fact that you are your own Valentine. The holiday is an excuse to express love for your partner, which is a beautiful aspect of our society, though hard to appreciate when you long for that companionship and do not have it just yet. Allow yourself to feel happy for others, because soon enough, you will feel that same happiness for yourself when you least expect it. However, if the love of others’ leaves a bitter taste in your mouth more so than eating chocolate alone, turn off your phone. Comparison is a silent killer, and not worth it on Valentine’s Day.
Another way to cope with the Valentines-loneliness is to treat yourself for the day, in whatever way that means to you. Maybe you get your nails done, get a fresh haircut, or take a nice, hot, bubble bath. Or maybe you eat a bunch of junk food and watch classic rom-coms and let yourself cry, or go to an animal shelter and pet some furry friends. Maybe you go on a shopping spree, maybe you go practice a sport you like, or maybe you go to an open field and scream until you cannot breath. All of these options are acceptable if there is a chance they make you feel less alone.
Maybe you did those things and you still feel bad, and you know what? That is okay. Holidays are hard in more ways than one. But another great thing about the holiday? The fact is- it is a holiDAY and will only last twenty-four hours. The sun will rise again and you will have survived an awful day that you swore would kill you. Then there is only 365 days until you have to worry about it again.