Valentine’s Day can be tricky for single parents, maybe even you. Unpartnered, at least for the time being, you might not foresee your plans fitting into conventional images of the holiday — candlelit dinners for two, a bouquet of red long-stemmed roses, and a heart-shaped box of chocolates from a special someone delivered to their door, or a romantic weekend away.
It’s understandable, given how much commercialization there is to take in. Even a stroll through CVS in the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day can be enough to make you question how you’re going to get through the Day without feeling tortured or plain old icky.
But that doesn’t have to be. Valentine’s Day, when you’re single, can be more than a day you need to survive. It can be a day to look forward to. That is if you plan it that way. Here are a few ideas for how.
Plan to celebrate with single friends.
So you don’t have a date for Valentine’s Day. Your other single friends might not either. Which is why you should pick up the phone and find out for sure. All you need is one person to plan a dinner out or in, a trip to the movies, or anything else your heart desires.
If you’re a single gal and want to make Valentine’s Day a girls’ night out (or in), plan a Galentine’s Day. Galentine’s Day, as defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is observed on February 13, which falls on the Day before Valentine’s Day, often referred to as Valentine’s Day Eve. That said, there are no rules, so feel free to celebrate on February 14 or any other day your crew is available.
No one available this Valentine’s Day? Not to worry. Embrace self-love by pampering yourself for the day or night. That could mean booking yourself at a spa, buying yourself flowers and candy, or eating your favorite meal. The key to pampering yourself is to do what will make YOU happy.
If you’re looking to buy yourself a gift and have been putting it off, maybe Valentine’s Day is the excuse you need to make that purchase if it fits your budget. It can be a frivolous gift, such as a new pair of shoes you don’t need but want, or a practical gift you may not want to think about but need, like a new estate plan or an update to your existing one.
Although not the most romantic gift that comes to mind or the most pleasant to think about, an estate plan is a way you can demonstrate love and care for yourself. The same is true of the people you care about, who will appreciate your well-thought-out instructions and direction during a difficult time.
Plan a special day with your children.
There’s no hard-set rule that Valentine’s Day is exclusively for celebrating romantic love. And who better to celebrate love with than your children? Age doesn’t matter either; young children or adult ones can make Valentine’s Day more fun.
The point is to plan to be together as a family doing something everyone can enjoy — sharing a Valentine’s Day-themed meal, watching a romantic comedy, taking a craft or cooking class, visiting a museum, ice skating, or going for a walk in nature.
Schedule a trip.
Whether with friends or solo, Valentine’s Day can be the perfect excuse to go on a day or overnight trip. We all have those destinations, near and far, on our bucket lists. Why not kick off that trip on February 14?
Spend the day indulging in your favorite hobby or pastime.
What do YOU love to do? If floral arrangements are your thing, don’t just buy a bouquet; arrange one with your favorite flowers and greenery. Speaking of greenery, if you have a green thumb and the weather outside is too cold to garden, think about starting an indoor herb garden you can enjoy all year long.
Love to read? Grab your favorite book and cozy up to a warm fire in your most comfy pajamas. Or start that jigsaw puzzle you bought but still haven’t taken out of the box. Whatever it is, indulge and do it with love.
Have a movie marathon.
If you’re single or divorced and want to stay in theme for Valentine’s Day, there are movies that fit the bill. Or catch up on your to-watch list. The best part is you get to be in charge of the remote.
Do nothing at all.
Hallmark will not be banging down your door if you decide to ignore Valentine’s Day altogether. After all, February 14 is just another day on the calendar. So be sure to show yourself the same love you would any other day of the year.
And if you haven’t been doing a great job of showing yourself love, you can still do nothing at all for the holiday, but do do that. Each and every one of us deserves care, and it begins at home.
Final thoughts …
Navigating Valentine’s Day when you’re single becomes most rewarding when we consciously steer clear of comparisons and wholeheartedly embrace our individuality. By acknowledging and appreciating the love and gifts in our lives, we not only cultivate gratitude but also create a space for genuine self-love.
In doing so, the holiday becomes a beautiful reminder that love comes in many forms. And by cherishing the unique paths we’re all on, we can truly savor the meaning Valentine’s Day has to offer.