Do you groan when you hear the words Valentine’s Day?
It’s more common than not, if you’re single.
Valentine’s Day is the day of the year seemingly designed to make single people feel crap about themselves.
Tables for two, hearts and flowers, schmarmy cards, and stuffed animals—it’s easy to scorn a day that is so cliché.
But what if I said to you that the greater our contempt for Valentine’s Day, the more we need to look to our own self-acceptance?
According to legend, Valentine’s Day was named after a bishop who was executed on February 14th for secretly marrying couples who weren’t allowed to marry. He believed in love and freedom, and his actions spoke to inclusion and acceptance of everyone’s free-choice, regardless of social approval.
Coupled or single, we are all worthy of love and acceptance. And in the current social climate, the more love and acceptance we can generate toward ourselves, the greater impact we can have on the world.
So here are my top three tips for Doing Single Well on Valentine’s Day:
1.) Treat yourself lovingly. The saying, “You first have to love yourself before you can love anyone else,” isn’t strictly true, in my experience. However, the more we invest in self-love, the easier it will be to notice and feel comfortable with another person who wants to treasure us.
Think about your favourite self-loving things to do: Taking a bath, getting a massage or facial, watching your favourite movies? How about buying yourself some beautiful flowers?
The more we treat ourselves beautifully the better we’ll feel.
2.) Spread the love. Whether or not we are coupled, we all have people we care about in our lives. Because of our own shame and embarrassment we often silence our expressions of love and gratitude to these people.
Valentine’s Day, the day of love, is a perfect time to express to our family, friends, colleagues, or even our dry cleaner, how much we appreciate them in our lives.
Research has shown that the more we allow ourselves to express gratitude, the more happiness and life satisfaction we’ll experience.
3.) Get curious about your resistance. Notice the voice in your head that says, “This is lame,” or “Only loser’s buy themselves flowers.”
This voice is the voice of shame and embarrassment. It usually indicates that we feel that we are single because we aren’t good enough to be loved. There are plenty of reasons we might be single, make yourself list at least five, and then go buy those flowers!
What about the voice that says, “I can’t give him a card, he’ll think I’m into him!,” or “She knows I care, it will be awkward to say it?” In fact, showing someone you care is a compliment to them, you are saying that they have had a positive impact on your life. Who wouldn’t feel good receiving that feedback?
Doing “single well” on Valentine’s Day can be easy if you allow yourself to open to self-love, gratitude and other loving words, and become aware of any blocks you have around these. So, like St. Valentine himself, go ahead and spread the love. Our world desperately needs it right now.
*published in Elephant Journal https://www.elephantjournal.com/2017/02/doing-single-well-on-valentines-day/