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Navigating Valentine’s Day Alone

For some, Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to tell someone special they love them, for others it’s just an over-commercialised calendar date to be avoided. Whatever your thoughts on it, Valentine’s Day can conjure up many different emotions. 

 If you’re single and feeling a bit lonely, this date can understandably increase feelings of sadness. 

Whether you’re usually content with your single life until February the 14th or are experiencing general feelings of loneliness, we hope to give you some advice on how to approach this time in a positive way.  

What we’ll be looking into:

  • The history of Valentine’s Day 
  • Gratitude for all relationships 
  • Empower & Nurture Yourself 
  • Optimism for new beginnings  

The history of Valentine’s Day 

The best guess at how Valentine’s Day originated is that it came from a Roman custom related to the festival of Lupercalia, which was a festival held in mid-February to celebrate the coming of Spring. Quite darkly (by today’s standards) it included fertility rights and the pairing off of men and women by lottery. Imagine being paired up with someone you didn’t choose!  

Pope Gelasus I is attributed with forbidding the celebration and replacing it with St Valentine’s Day. 

It wasn’t until the 14th Century Valentine’s Day became about romance, and then it wasn’t until the 18th Century that people started to send what we know today as Valentine’s cards.  

Gratitude for all relationships

The modern interpretation of Valentine’s Day is all about celebrating appreciation of a loved one. Some people choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day by honouring their partner, their single friends, their family or their pets and by making a reciprocal event of the occasion.  

If you don’t have this sort of relationship to hand, then why not focus on the things that make you happy. No romance included. 

If you are looking for ideas to make it a special day, perhaps some of these thoughts will start you off?

  • Go for a walk, go to the gym, bake something or watch your favourite TV show  
  • Book a workshop/a spa day/event or day out by yourself or with your friends 
  • Go out for lunch at a nice cafe 
  • Make a special, restaurant worthy meal at home 

Affection shouldn’t be saved for romance, and a phone call can really make your appreciation known. It’s also great to be reminded that relationships can be impactful and special without being romantic. 

It is an amazing and rewarding experience to nurture valuable relationships in your life. Even though it is easy (and very common) to get distracted by what we are missing, there is plenty to be said for what we already have.  

Empower & Nurture Yourself 

The most essential of all love is self-love.  

Stop thinking that looking after yourself ends with relaxing in face masks and cocoa butter, it means doing something that can have a positive effect on your self-esteem that lasts. 

Why not spend the day doing what you might have wanted in the first place – going on a date. Specifically, a solo date. 

Popular dating site Bumble explains how beneficial solo dating can be in this article. We understand that this idea could be a bit daunting. but it is worth noting that the initial awkwardness you may feel from doing something that can have positive effects on your self-esteem is certainly worth it. 

If no amount of persuading could coax you to attempt this, try something else that shows commitment to yourself. You could do this through making a morning routine, or jotting down some new affirmations that you can practice in the mirror. The relationship you have with yourself is the one that survives all other ones, so it’s a great idea to build upon it for personal growth and well-being. 

When we think of Valentine’s Day, a word that comes to mind is passion. What are you passionate about? Photography? Writing? Fitness? Gardening? Whatever it is, make space for it in your day. Treat yourself to a book, a plant, or even something a bit flashier. Something that will motivate you to nourish and enjoy yourself. 

Journaling is an excellent hobby to get to know yourself. It doesn’t even have to be anything heavy; you could just list 3 things you are grateful for or plan some goals for the future. Here are some tips on journaling for complete beginners.  

Feeling good is different for each one of us. Let this day be the day you give back to you. It doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing, it’s all about improving the quality of your day.  

But, if you can’t help yourself from feeling slightly bitter, here are some Valentine’s Day disasters that may (shamelessly) make you feel a little better.  

Optimism for the future 

Not having a partner can feel especially unpleasant on Valentine’s Day, but it is always better to be on your own than be with a person who doesn’t add value to your life. On this day, you may find yourself thinking about an ex-partner and wondering if they’re thinking about you, too. It’s totally normal to think about people that have impacted your life, but don’t let loneliness drive you back to an ungrateful partner. Of course, everyone’s circumstances are different, but you are no longer with that person for a reason, so try not to romanticise about them too much.  

Reflecting on previous relationships can create the perfect opportunity to craft your ideal mate. What have you learned about what you require from someone to feel loved and safe? Making a list of your necessities can help establish your boundaries. Maybe you felt judged in a previous relationship, so moving forward you would like an empathetic partner. Maybe you didn’t feel listened to, so you now desire someone who can communicate. It may sound simple, but it can really help catch any red flags early. 

We deserve people who accept and celebrate us. To look forward to the future, we must let go of the past and embrace new beginnings.  

There is plenty of time for the next relationship(s). Being single is the best opportunity ever to invest in yourself. You have the freedom to feel for what you want and go for it. There are lots of experiences to encounter and plenty of options to choose from, you just need to prioritise yourself and your own development.  

Enjoy the time you have alone before your next romantic commitment; the world is your oyster.  

Enjoy the time you have alone before your next romantic commitment; the world is your oyster. x

Evidence Based
This article has been reviewed by our Kari Health Experts and Editorial Board to ensure accuracy and reliability of the information presented. However, please note that the content provided is for informational purposes only and should not replace advice from your medical professional.

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