Ah, Valentine’s Day.
It’s the only holiday that preys on the loved-up and the singles alike. Overpriced flowers, chocolates and restaurant dates will send every man (and woman) broke, whilst social media is flooded with flowery, sugary sweet declarations of love that make single people retch a little. It’s permeated its way into our culture and taken root so deeply that it’s almost impossible to avoid, and those who sneer and scorn at it are seen as “lonely”. It’s a lose-lose, no matter what side you’re on.
I’ve had a remarkable amount of luck with Valentine’s Day in the past. By some odd coincidence, all my relationships have started early in the year and I’ve been coupled up for every Valentine’s Day since I was 14. This year marks the first time I’ve been single on February 14th in a looooong time; not to mention that it’s my first in another country. As such, I’m at a loss as to how to approach it.
What do the lonely singles do on Valentine’s Day? Do I curl up in bed and binge-watch The End of the F***ing World over a family sized hazelnut Dairy Milk? (Just kidding – that’s what I did last Sunday.) Do I throw myself into my uni work with a vengeance, avoiding anything to do with the V word? I do have a 9am class, after all.
The truth is, I don’t want to avoid Valentine’s Day. As commercialised as it may be, there’s something to be said for a holiday that celebrates love and appreciation. So here’s what I’m going to do this Valentine’s Day:
- First, I’ve got to attend that pesky 9am class (with an extra-large cappuccino).
- Then I’ve got a free afternoon, so I’ll go into the city centre for ramen and a spot of retail therapy. There’s an incredible vintage store, Blue Rinse, that I’ve been itching to visit. I might even get my nails done, who knows? I’ve got a student discount voucher 😁
- My cooking has improved astronomically, so I’m coming home to my own minestrone soup – I made extra on Wednesday.
- I’ve booked in for a cocktail-making class in the evening. So I’ll be drinking, but I’ll be classy about it.
- I’ll finish up by meeting up with my friends for a few drinking games, before heading out to dance and sing all night long.
It might not be anything special, but it is a day for self-love. I’ve been lacking in self-love for a while, and there’s nothing quite like a solo trip to show me how necessary it is. For too long I’ve relied on everyone else for my own happiness, especially my partners, when the truth is I didn’t know what I needed to make myself happy. It’s about time I changed that.
After all, who said we can’t be our own Valentines?