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Sex + Relationships

FOMOing on Valentine’s? Here’s what to do

This is an open letter to all that feel left out, alone and unloveable on this day. 

With pink glitter, roses, promise rings and chocolates at every turn, social media doesn’t make it easy for us to forget that Valentine’s is here. As a silent observer of the two camps– the ‘flexers’ and ‘flexed-ons’– it seems that Valentine’s has been turned into a game show where the prize for the showiest Instagram story was a secret flurry of screenshots (imagine if the app started notifying us whenever this happens. Shudder.) and gossip. Nobody wins here, unless you somehow found your inner nirvana.

It’s natural to feel left out on this day, so is choosing to be selfish and prioritising your own  feelings.

I’m not a New Age guru or preacher of all things love and light, so these won’t turn you into post-breakup, throw-five-figure-engagement-ring-into-the-Pacific Carrie Bradshaw, but if you have the Valentine’s Day blues, try these tried-and-true self-love methods, no partner necessary.

Quit social media for a day or two

Coming from a person who has an 11-hour screen time on average, I know this is next to impossible. So instead, turn off notifications from your main account, use an alternative account and resist following or checking up on your friends or influencers. Have a list of uplifting content, whether that be cat videos or educational content. Likewise, stay away from anyone you know to be commenting negatively on others’ relationships.

Have a Bro/Galentine’s!

This may be a high school tradition for many of us, but you’re never, ever too old for a day out with your best friends. Again, curate the best possible group to hang out with on the day, keeping in mind the topics they tend to bring up in conversation. Would you truly enjoy your time together?

If you have a looser budget, hunt for the next favourite café or go on a bar crawl. Or, work within your budget and picnic at Fort Canning park or at Marina Barrage.

Set a time limit

If you’re taking it hard this year, give yourself space to be sad, but not too much. Mindfulness may be a huge buzzword, but it helps you recognise the hard truths behind a lot of your worries. Are you facing difficulty because you’re really feeling lonely, or because you didn’t receive Tiffany jewellery and Godiva chocolates in a heart-shaped box? If it’s the latter, you could probably quickly stop the pity party with other meaningful pursuits — or simply buy those things for yourself.

Change your mindset

Nip the problem in the bud. If your FOMO does come from a place of loneliness and envy, turn the mindset of ‘when will that be me?’ or ‘when will I meet my other half?’ to ‘I am already whole’. See a (healthy) relationship as simply a bonus, rather than absolutely essential for a normal life.

Nicole Ng

Nanyang Tech '24

The real-life Emily Charlton from The Devil Wears Prada. Reach her at nicolengxinen@gmail.com.
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