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To Those Who Feel Lonely This Valentine’s Day, Read This.

Well, here we go again.  

For what seems like the thousandth time, a new year has turned the page on the calendar. We’ve made it to 2021, somehow. Even after a pandemic, a million Zoom calls and a presidential election for the ages, 2020 truly chewed us up and spit us out. I’ll be honest when I say that I thought we were out in the clear. Through my bright-eyed, bushy-tailed excitement, I forgot about the one holiday in February that somehow always shows up: Valentine’s Day.  

For many people, Valentine’s Day is one of the more exciting days of the year. You get to shower your significant other with attention; it’s literally a full day for you to be in love and to wear that fact proudly.  

On the other hand, for singles like me, Valentine’s Day is a yearly slap in the face. Don’t get me wrong, I’m more than happy for all of my friends who are dating people. I am grateful that they have found their person, and they deserve to be showered in nothing but adoration and appreciation. That being said, I can’t help but feel at least a little bit sad that this will be my 20th straight Valentine’s Day spent alone.  It doesn’t help that I know people who have been dating since middle school, and I have to look at their stories on Instagram or Snapchat. I’ve never had a boyfriend before, nor have I ever entered the talking stage. 

One thing about me though, is that I always believe that positivity can be found in almost any situation. Being single for two decades is obviously not the most ideal position to be in, but it has gifted me with the ability to take care of myself. Now it’s time for me to share some of my favorite tips with you so that you can take this Valentine’s Day to shower yourself with the love you deserve. 

Understand that romantic love isn’t the only love that exists.  

Even though most people only acknowledge Valentine’s Day in the romantic sense, it’s important to know that there are no parameters on how you celebrate and who you celebrate with. It’s the perfect day to tell the people closest to you that you love and show them that you do. Whether it be having a Galentine’s with your girls, or even giving chocolate out to your family, the basis of Valentine’s Day is that of love, and there is plenty of that to go around.  

This sentiment goes for everyone, not just those in a relationship. Whether you’re completely and totally single (like yours truly), in a talking stage, or even a situationship, know that no one else gets to dictate how you do Valentine’s Day other than you. Take a deep breath and understand that it will all be okay. You got this!  

Love yourself in your own love language.  

In the past year, I have had an insatiable desire to take every single quiz or test I can find to learn more about myself. What was once an obsession with Buzzfeed quizzes has turned into a full-blown treasure hunt to find the quiz to show them all up. Whether it be my zodiac big three, enneagram, Meyers-Briggs or Color Oracle analysis, I will stop at nothing to learn more about myself. However, something I have found the most comfort in is learning my 5 love languages. Like I said before, I am someone who has never been close to a romantic relationship. If I’m honest, that can suck sometimes. All things considered though, there’s a point when I recognize that I need to take care of and learn about myself.  

My love languages go in the order of words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, physical touch, and acts of service. Whatever your love language order is, I’ll give you some tips to give love to yourself in your own personal language, regardless of whether or not it’s Valentine’s Day.  

Words of Affirmation: Speak kindly to yourself. I know this is something that’s easier said than done. As someone who has the chronic condition of negative self-talk, I struggle with this every single day. Just know that you don’t have to go over the moon with your compliment. Even something as small as “You accomplished a lot today. You should be proud,” or “I feel comfortable in the clothes that I’m wearing,” is positive self-talk that will make you feel a little bit lighter.  

Quality Time: Allow yourself to relax! You have been in a pandemic for almost an entire year and that is something that no person should have to go through. Even without the pandemic, you deserve the time to listen to your body and hear what it needs. Put on your favorite comfort movie or TV show (I vote for Ocean’s 8 and Scooby-Doo respectively, but that’s just me). Curl up in a weighted blanket with your favorite snack. Turn off your electronics and light a candle. Spend time with yourself and breathe.  

Gifts: Who says retail therapy isn’t a real thing? Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to get yourself that new trinket you’ve been eyeing for the past couple of months. There is no way to a person’s heart like getting them a gift you know they need or want. It shows that you care and have been truly listening to who they are and what they want. Why not give yourself the same thoughtful attention?  

Physical Touch: Two words: Spa. Day. Now I know this could technically double for quality time but here me out: There’s nothing like a nice sugar scrub and warm bubble bath to ease stress. Imagine clean sheets that smell like your favorite scent. Think of washing your hair and how light it will be afterward. Or doing your skin care routine and literally feeling how cool the air is. This is yet another opportunity to listen to your body and encourage it to relax as much as possible. It has earned a day off.  

Acts of Service: One could argue that everything I’ve listed so far is an act of service to yourself. This is probably the most subjective of the five love languages, but I still have suggestions. Acts of service can range from physical to mental. Whether your act of service be cleaning up a messy space to decrease your stress, or simply journaling your thoughts away. You are making a conscious decision on behalf of yourself. That is one of the highest forms of self-love, in my opinion.  

Know that you are still deserving of external love, even if you don’t always love yourself. 

I know I cannot be the only person who gets annoyed when they see the same old sentiment every single year: “No one will love you until you love yourself.” While I understand that people say this to encourage others to recognize that all they need are themselves, I think that it presents a dangerous attitude, one that is not attainable for everyone. In a world that quite literally preys on insecurities, it is not always possible to unapologetically love yourself. We are told every single day that this is what is not socially acceptable and that we will be viewed as less than if our self-love is loud and apparent.  

Because of this, it’s more than understandable why people don’t love themselves.  And it’s not fair to say that people will not be worthy of love from someone else until they work through these issues. Don’t get me wrong–I am a huge supporter of anyone who is in love with themselves, and loudly at that. However, I also believe that even those who engage in self-love in a quieter fashion, or even those that struggle to reach that point, should recognize that they are no less worthy of a happy ever after than anyone else. Everyone is at their own personal starting point, and it might take some people a little longer than others to reach the finish line.  

 

I hope these tips for spending Valentine’s Day alone have been of some help to you. All things considered though, if there is one thing I want you to take from this article, it’s this… 

At the end of the day, the most consistent person in my life is me and I need to take care of and love her every day. The same goes for you.

 

Hi friends! I'm a public relations and political science double major with an interest in public policy. In my free time, I love annoying my friends with rants about some sort of injustice. I can't wait for us to learn from each other :)
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