Hot Take: Being Single on Valentine’s Day is Actually Great

By: Maggie Mancini

Photo by Maggie Mancini

Photo by Maggie Mancini

The month of love is upon us. For a lot of people, that means trying to come up with the perfect gift to exchange with their partner, or writing declarations of love in Hallmark cards. For those of us walking into Valentine’s Day solo this year, it probably means endlessly swiping on Tinder, waiting for the day to come and go.

It doesn’t need to be like that. And, quite frankly, in an era where women are living for themselves and embracing their self-worth, why are we still clinging to this idea that a relationship is the most important goal of our lives? In between trying to balance school, work, and the challenges of young adulthood, there is no time to worry about not having a significant other to share the day with.

We’re witnessing a movement of women reclaiming their bodies, refusing to compare themselves to one another, and embracing love. From Jameela Jamil’s battle against unhealthy portrayals of women’s beauty, to the popularization of Galentine’s Day, more women than ever are loving themselves unapologetically. It makes sense that we do the same.

Photo by Sarah Madaus

Photo by Sarah Madaus

Let’s ditch the dread of Valentine’s Day as single women, and embrace it for what it is: a celebration of love in all forms. Here are some tips for loving life as a single lady on Valentine’s Day:

Instead of endlessly swiping Tinder, take yourself on a date. Look, we’ve all been there. You see couples holding hands or walking down the street together, and you think you’re okay. Suddenly, it’s 2am and you’re swiping on a dating app instead of catching up on sleep. Rather than hoping for the perfect Tinder date, why not just take yourself out? Wear your favorite outfit, go out to a restaurant you haven’t tried before, or just stay home with Netflix and pizza. Either way, treat yourself. You do not need a significant other to make you feel whole. Plus, you have the rest of the year to swipe. Take some time to do something nice for yourself.

Instead of feeling alone, host a Galentine’s Day party with your best friends: What started as a fun-loving episode of Parks and Recreation has become a cultural phenomenon of women being thankful for other women. Galentine’s Day is meant to be celebrated on February 13th as a celebration of friendship. So, gather your favorite people and have some fun! Exchange cards, gifts, and remind your girls how much you love and appreciate them. Personally, I like karaoke, because it’s impossible to be sad when Britney Spears is playing.

Instead of feeling bad about yourself, pamper yourself: There is absolutely no reason to feel unsexy on Valentine’s Day (or any other day). Even taking small steps to boost your confidence, like wearing lingerie for yourself, can help make you feel sexy without having to put in the effort involved with impulsive hookups. Also - and this is probably the most important tip - don’t be ashamed or afraid to masturbate. Masturbation is linked to health benefits such as decreased stressed levels, healthy sleep habits, and relieving muscle tension (and menstrual cramps, for people with periods), but it also just feels good and can help to alleviate some of the pressure that comes along with doing V-Day on your own.

Instead of looking for love, work on nurturing the most important relationship in your life - the one you have with yourself. Look, we all get lonely sometimes. The problem arises when we forget to see ourselves as individuals. You do not need to be in a relationship to be worthy of happiness. When we stop letting anxiety about being single get in the way of our love for ourselves, we’re able to know ourselves and our needs better. If and when the time comes for us to enter a relationship, we know who we are and we won’t settle for less than what we deserve. This Valentine’s Day, take some time to learn something new about yourself. You deserve happiness, and you deserve it now, on your own, without the helping hand of a romantic partner.

It’s easy to feel left out on Valentine’s Day when you’re single, but there’s no reason to - having a significant other is not the be-all, end-all of the world. And it shouldn’t be. You’re worthy of love, so love yourself. Enjoy being single, and let the FOMO melt away.