I’m starting this year off as a single person for the first time in six years. As you can imagine, it’s been quite an adjustment so far, but now I’m finding that when you’re single and still healing from being left heartbroken, the idea of Valentine’s Day looming over your head can really suck and bring back a lot of feelings and memories that you’d rather forget. So to help my fellow single peeps out – before you give into the temptation of checking your ex’s social media profiles or hitting them up for a booty call – I’ve thought of six simple tips that could help you stay focussed and feeling positive until the day is done and dusted:
1. Love the one you’re with
Don’t waste your time thinking about someone who’s probably not thinking about you. Try focussing less on the romantic form of love and more on other forms such as your love for friends, family, pets, fellow human beings in general and – very importantly – yourself. Whoever you find yourself spending time with on Valentine’s Day, take some time to make them feel special and loved by listening to them attentively, being fully present in your moments with them (that means little-to-no technological distractions) and say at least one affirming statement to them. Just one kind word said from a place of love could make their day that much better or more bearable too.
2. Look for the silver lining
Would we like to have a romantic love situation to celebrate? I mean, we wouldn’t say no, but since you’re single, you don’t have to worry about spending money on a new outfit that he/she won’t remember, you don’t have to deal with feeling pressured to pull off an amazingly romantic plan to commemorate the day or trying to find place in your home for more badly-made teddy bears, cheap plastic roses or another tacky mug. And can I just have a moment of silence for those two-for-one specials running on food?! One meal for dinner and one for lunch or supper the next day = sorted while saving money! Top it all off with some ‘Bacon’ by Nick Jonas blasting throughout the day and you’re all good, honey! Suddenly the day doesn’t sound so bad now does it?
3. Practice charity and selflessness
Valentine’s Day could just be another excuse to organise a few hours of outreach activities for yourself and your friends to do. Hold a sandwich drive for the homeless, help out at an animal rescue shelter, Show some love for the planet by doing a beach clean up, there are so many ways in which you can help spread positivity on this day of love – just be sure to organise your activities in advance if you need to.
4. Know that you are not alone
Billions of people are single on Valentines Day every year and the circumstances surrounding their singleness can range from a puppy-love break up to the death of a spouse and everything in between. Almost everyone has gone through it at some point in their life so most people should be able to understand the struggle of hurt and loneliness all too well. Even those in relationships may be struggling with this. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you need a romantic love in order to feel truly happy and fulfilled – those feelings come from loving yourself and being at peace with who you are and where you are on your life journey right now.
5. Let it fuel your fire
Sometimes when we feel the most caught up in our thoughts or emotions, we can produce some of our greatest work by tapping into a creativity or passion that you didn’t even know existed! Instead of trying to suppress your feelings and keep yourself together, take some private time away from others to channel all that built up energy into a task and let it go. You could write it out, craft it out, sing it out, paint it out, draw it out, cook/bake it out, work it out, gym it out or – if nothing else quite does the trick – just SHOUT IT OUT! As long as you’re not harming yourself or someone else, there’s no wrong way to do it. This release could be more important for your healing and personal growth than you may realise.
6. Use it as an excuse to celebrate!
Girls, you could organise a Gal-entines Day! Have a few single friends around for a spa/movie night and sleep over. Tell them to pack their usual sleepover goodies, but include a gown or robe and slippers or slip-slops for that proper spa feel. You could make and apply DIY face masks, have some chilled rosé or sparkling juice ready to drink and all contribute a yummy treat that is perfect for snacking on during the movie or chatting circle while you pamper yourselves. If you have the budget for it, you could also pre-arrange for a private masseuse to give professional massages at your place, which each girl can pay for beforehand or in cash after their session.
Guys, you could organise a Malentines Day! Now, I know that celebrating a day of love isn’t typically something that men would do, but with the stigma of shame around expressing feelings starting to fall away in the male community, I thought I’d include a celebratory bit for the men too. After all, it’s not just women who struggle with their singleness on this day…men feel hurt and heartbroken just as we do – they’re just better as disguising it sometimes. So guys, why don’t you have a few single friends around for a braai or a night of gaming, chilling out and chatting over a few cold beers? You could hit a bar or night club later if that’s your thing, but please do not drink and drive. Rather use Uber, Bolt or any other take-me-home service if there aren’t any sober drivers amongst the crew. Remember, the aim is not to drown your sorrows, but rather to celebrate the silver linings of your singleness.
I hope these tips help you make it through the day unscathed! You may feel a little battered and bruised right now, but you’re sure as hell not broken. A new stage of your journey in love is just beginning.