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10 Ways to Embrace Independence this Valentine’s Day

Every time Valentine’s Day rolls around, I can’t help but feel an impending sense of doom. Ok, “doom” might be just a little bit dramatic. I guess I just feel blah. 

It’s hard not to feel that way when it seems like everyone around me has a partner that they’re celebrating the fourteenth with. To make matters worse, I can’t seem to escape the constant mushy posts all over social media to commemorate the day. And I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way. As a self-proclaimed perpetually single person, Valentine’s Day is no fun.

But this year, I say no more! No more doom and gloom, because it’s time to realize that it’s perfectly normal to be single on Valentine’s Day. Being single does not exclude you or me from enjoying the day. 

So, without further ado, here are a few ways to embrace your independence this Valentine’s Day and feel that self-love.

1. self-Care

Yes, I know this one might be a little overstated, but self-care truly is one of the best ways to prioritize yourself on Valentine’s Day. When someone utters the words “self-care,” we often think of soaking in a bubble bath with an overpriced mud mask slathered on our face. While that is a perfectly good form of self-care, it’s so important to recognize that self-care can be anything that makes you feel good. Whether it’s just taking a few minutes to rest, reading a few pages of your favorite book, or listening to music, it is key to take care of yourself first and foremost. 

2. Spend Time With Friends

Another way to spend this Valentine’s is to surround yourself with those you love. If you have friends who are also single, consider having a Galentine’s or Palentine’s Day party. Make it a plan to get some takeout, dessert, and just have a casual hang out. Or, if you want to make it an ~occasion~, have all in attendance dress up and have yourselves a sophisticated, fancy schmancy Valentine’s Day get-together. Either way, nothing beats taking the time to enjoy your friends’ company.

3. Unplug

As aforementioned, social media can really compound the feeling that tends to come with being a single person on Valentine’s Day, which is why it is sometimes a good idea to take a break from scrolling. It isn’t productive to keep viewing the same “Happy Valentine’s Day!” posts over and over again. It gets monotonous. If you find yourself spending too much time online looking at couples’ posts, make it a point to limit your screen time and find other activities outside of your phone to take part in. Sometimes, I find that the less I know, the better.

4. Cook/Bake

Making food is a labor of love, which is why it’s a perfectly fitting Valentine’s Day activity. Go online and find some fun, Valentine’s themed recipes to follow. Better yet, get a buddy to help you in your cooking or baking endeavors. In my case, my friends and I made a goofy-looking heart-shaped cake one year on the fourteenth. While it wasn’t pretty, it was tasty (and that’s all that matters). Preparing a meal or sweet treat is not only a good way to spend your time, but you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

5. Get Active

I’ve found that exercise is one of the best ways to clear my mind and spend time with myself. No, you do not have to attend a SoulCycle class or go on a ten mile run to exercise–-just moving around in any form is sufficient! Take a walk or play Just Dance, I don’t care. Exercise is a way for all of us to recenter, feel energized, and appreciate all of the wonderful things our bodies can do for us.

6. Be Still

If you find that exercise is not a productive form of self-love for you, consider taking the time to do literally nothing. And I mean nothing. Just lay down, relax, and close your eyes for a little (or maybe the whole day, if that’s your thing). Curl up in your fuzziest blanket and enjoy your day from the comfort of your cozy cocoon because you deserve it, babe.

7. Pick Up a New Skill or Hobby You’ve Been Dying to Try

If you want to feel extra productive this Valentine’s Day, make it a goal to start on that project or hobby that you’ve been wanting to take a shot at. Try painting, photography, gardening, writing, poetry, whatever. It can be so calming to truly invest your time, focus, and energy into a new activity. And who knows, you might actually really like underwater basket weaving. If it turns out that you don’t, then you’ll have learned something new about yourself.

8. Clean and Reorganize

Sometimes, it does us well to refresh our surroundings. If Valentine’s Day already has you in a bad mood, it can be hard to feel better when it looks like your living space is a disaster zone and every single item of clothing you own is on the floor. So, get ready to clean that chair piled with laundry (yes, you know the one) and feel rejuvenated!

Bonus tip: put on a fun playlist or podcast while cleaning to make your organizing extravaganza more exciting.

9. Let Your Loved Ones Know How Much You Admire Them

Just because you’re single on Valentine’s Day does not mean that you are exempt from expressing love in any of its forms. Take the time to send a message to your friends or family about how much you appreciate and value them. If you’re feeling like putting in the extra effort, you could even make your own Valentine’s Day cards and deliver them to your loved ones. Whether you opt to give them a call or send a letter, they will appreciate the gesture and you’ll feel good.

10. Appreciate Being Single

Most importantly, it’s crucial to recognize that being single on Valentine’s Day is not the end of the world. So many people love and care about you, and one day in a whole year should not change that. If you have no idea what to do this February 14th, just reflect and remember that being single does not equal loneliness. In fact, independence should be enjoyed. This is an opportunity to grow, learn about yourself, and just be.

Sophia Brown

C of C '25

Psychology major and student-athlete at the College of Charleston. Passionate peanut butter enthusiast.
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