Yuck. It’s Valentine’s Day and you’re single. GREAT. You get to look forward to several weeks of jewelry commercials, knowing the only piece of jewelry in your immediate future is the noodle necklace your niece is working on in Kindergarten. It seems everywhere you look there are couples holding hands, kissing and smiling.
It should restore your faith in love and relationships but all it really does is make you want to move to a deserted beach. You can avoid being bitter this Valentine’s Day with a simple attitude adjustment. Here’s how.
Send flowers to yourself
Some may see this as desperate. Those people are being small-minded (and are probably NOT single, so who are they to judge?). If you can’t bring yourself to send flowers to yourself at the office, send them to your house. There is something about a bouquet of flowers that brings sunshine and hope into your world. If flowers can be that beautiful in the first couple weeks of February, which is still cold and miserable in most parts of the country, then maybe your love life has half a chance too. It’s all in how you look at things.
You can take a stand against Valentine’s Day. Form a coalition with other singles and come up with a catchy name for your group — “Single-by-Choice,” or something of that nature. Host your first meeting on Valentine’s Day in a lounge and vent about all your failed relationships. There’s half a chance you’ll come away feeling hostile and depressed, but there is also half a chance you’ll come away feeling glad you are single. There’s even a remote chance you’ll meet someone while you are out pretending it’s your choice you are alone on Valentine’s Day. Whatever the outcome, at least you’re not at home, in your thread-bare pajamas, pegging out the pity meter.
Make dinner plans with kids, your sister or a friend
Valentine’s Day is about love. You love lots of people, right? Does it have to be about celebrating a romantic relationship? Of course not. This year, just think of Valentine’s Day as a way to express your love for your kids, a friend or your sister. Go out to dinner with your chosen guest. And never forget this one simple rule when it comes to Valentine’s Day: It comes around EVERY year. Just because you’re not caught up in a passionate love affair this year doesn’t mean you can’t be by this time next year.
How valid of a “holiday” is Valentine’s Day? It’s a little bit made up. There’s talk of some dude named Saint Valentine, and from there things get a bit cloudy. It’s just one day. In the name of an attitude adjustment, focus on what you have, rather than what you don’t. So what have you got? Great kids? That makes you the envy of at least half of the women out there. A job? Again, in this economy, that gives you something to celebrate. Your health? There you go. There is no greater gift. And at the risk of sounding cynical, remember there are lots of women in relationships this Valentine’s Day who are completely miserable. Think about it. Review the relationships of the women in your immediate circle. Sad though it may be (and we would never encourage rejoicing in the misery of others), are they really better off than you are? Even good relationships take work and have occasional drama. Maybe it’s okay that you have a year off from all that.
Remember, you’re single, not dead. Valentine’s Day can be an excuse to have a great day — that you create yourself — with a cheerful attitude. This approach is guaranteed to be better than sitting around in your own filth all day, growing bitter and hateful that you’re alone on Valentine’s Day.
Watch: How to survive Valentine’s Day alone
Being unattached on February 14 can be a good thing — you just have to know how to celebrate it.