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Things to NOT do to your single friends on Valentines’ Day

February 14th is upon us folks! 

This popular holiday has garnered a lot of criticism, the dominant ones being its commercialization and the normalized idea of it being a “couples only” affair. Hallmark has been constantly critiqued for preying on people’s need to find the perfect gift during this period by hiking up prices. (source) Also, as I’m sure many of us are already seeing, there are constant ads about things to buy for your loved ones with very high price tags. People believe this has completely contaminated the purity of this holiday from one about expressing love to buying the most expensive gift.

Anyways, I’m not too worried about that part, the second critique is more pressing to me. Despite being single, I absolutely love celebrating Valentine’s Day and I’m probably more excited than my coupled friends. Unfortunately, I also have a lot of personal experience with people giving unsolicited advice during this period. So I am here to help by giving a few tips on what you shouldn’t say to single folks on Valentine’s Day.

Don’t gatekeep

Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love, not a celebration for lovers regardless of how the media has twisted that definition. Love can look very different for everyone. When you see single people celebrating or being excited, don’t rain on their parade. If it upsets you that much, maybe you should rethink why you are celebrating this holiday.

Don’t invite them to celebrate with you and your significant other.

Why would anyone want to play third-wheel on Valentine’s day? I’ve been asked this a couple of times and people are so shocked when I say I have plans. Is it so odd for me to have plans of celebration on my own? Another subset under this is being sarcastic when a single person is excited about Valentine’s Day. This is a good reason to break up a friendship honestly. Society has already normalized how this holiday is strictly for couples so you don’t need to add fuel to the fire. 

Don’t try to set them up with someone

This one is a real doozy. I don’t even understand how it seems logical to set up the first date on a pressure-filled holiday. Plus, the date is solely set up for the purpose of not being alone on Valentine’s which is basically…a pity date. Some people are happily single. Being single is not a sickness or a math problem. It doesn’t need a solution or cure. Stop trying to “fix” your single friends especially at this time of the year. 

Don’t tell them to focus on self-love

What do you think they’ve been doing since? So just because it’s Valentine’s Day, I have to focus on myself? Isn’t self-care something that should be encouraged all year-round? 

Anyways, I do encourage some nice self-care for my fellow singles. I personally indulge in chocolates and I buy a big fluffy teddy bear and cry into it all night. I’m joking. But seriously don’t be a cliche, go out and have some fun.

If you would like to write for Her Campus Mount Holyoke, or if you have any questions or comments for us, please email hc.mtholyoke@hercampus.com.

Cynthia Akanaga

Mt Holyoke '25

Cynthia Akanaga is a first-year at Mount Holyoke College. Coming from a diverse country, Nigeria in West Africa, she's excited to experience a new culture, food, and people in the United States! She is excited to write about her personal experiences and share her knowledge of self-love/mental health. When not writing or in class, Cynthia can be found feeding her adrenaline/fitness addiction by hiking, running, rock climbing, and of course rollercoasters.
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