What’s a Single Person to Do on Valentine’s Day? Embrace It!

By Gwenn Voelckers

Gwenn Voelckers
Gwenn Voelckers is the founder and facilitator of Alone and Content, empowerment workshops for women and author of “Alone and Content,” a collection of inspiring essays for those who live alone. For information about her workshops, to purchase her book, or invite her to speak, visit www.aloneandcontent.com

W hat’s a single person to do on Valentine’s Day? Embrace it!

February (and that perennial “day of love”) is just around the corner, so why not beat Cupid to the punch?

Grab your proverbial bow and arrow, take aim and decide to warmly embrace Valentine’s Day with grace, confidence and humor.

Since the ball dropped on 2023, we haven’t been able to walk into a store, open a magazine or even shop online without being bombarded by candy hearts, roses, pink teddy bears and cards galore.

Yes, the countdown to Valentine’s Day started even before we set down our glass of Veuve Clicquot. In full force, it’s no wonder that those without a “special someone” on their arm may dread what Hallmark promises to be the most romantic day of the year.

What’s a single person to do? Before drowning your sorrows in a box of Godiva chocolates, consider these tips for surviving the day dedicated to amour:

Adopt a new attitude

Take the broadest possible view of Valentine’s Day and decide it’s not just a day for couples, but a day to celebrate love in all its glorious manifestations: love of self, love of family, love of friends and — one of my favorites — love of pets!

Believe me, you won’t be the first to purchase an adorable, heart-festooned collar for your furry friend. Guilty!

Express your love

Send cards with thoughtful messages to people you care about, buy one of those cuddly pink teddy bears for your favorite niece, connect with someone with whom you’ve lost touch, or treat your office mates, gym buddies, volunteers pals or bridge partners to some bagels (with cherry cream cheese).

Feeling brave? Surprise someone you’ve secretly admired with an invitation to get together. Maybe for coffee? A walk?  A movie?

Have fun and laugh

Why not? It’s just a day. Invite some of your single friends over for wine and pizza or agree to meet anywhere that’s not sporting a Valentine’s Day theme.

Raise a glass and toast to your independence, your freedom and your triumphant escape from the commercialism of this holiday. Valentine’s Day is only depressing if you let it be. Have some fun with it.

Do something for someone else

One of the best ways to avoid a downward woe-is-me spiral is to think about others in need and how you might brighten their day. Consider baking a little goodie for a neighbor who lives alone, calling your uncle who lost his wife last year or committing one of those random acts of kindness.

You might also spend Valentine’s Day celebrating your relationships with those you care about. Pick up the phone and tell your mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, aunt or dear friend how much they mean to you. Ask how they are doing and listen with your whole heart. Chances are you’ll make their day!

Or show a little love for those less fortunate.

On Feb. 14, consider making a contribution to a local or national organization that helps people or pets in need. You’ll feel better for having expressed your appreciation in such a meaningful way.

Do something for yourself

Didn’t get around to making any New Year’s resolutions? Make Feb. 14 your new New Year’s Day and make good on those New Year’s resolutions that have yet to see the light of day:  quit smoking or drinking, renew your membership at the gym (better yet, go to the gym), schedule your annual physical, organize your paperwork, and vow to do those things on your list that will improve your outlook, your health, and your future.

Your life, your best life, is in your own hands whether you are with or without a special someone. Make the most of it.

My final tip

I know this may sound silly. But, I’m serious. After you get up on Tuesday morning, Feb. 14, make your bed, and then place a candy heart on your pillow. It will be waiting for you when you turn in later that evening, reminding you that you are loved by the person who matters most: yourself!