Valentines Day really lost its luster. What started out as a fun celebration of love, full of pink construction paper and white doilies, suddenly became a day of haves and have not’s. With commercial culture pushing to make this day solely about partnership, it’s not surprising that singles feel left out of the party. What happened to the good old days when you gave a Garfield tear-out card to everyone in class, not just your schoolyard crush? As stated in our book Smitten, we believe in the principal of All Inclusiveness, and will not tolerate being told a relationship is required to celebrate this day of love. So let’s resurrect the real essence of V-Day by focusing on feelings of unity, universality and the most important relationship you could possibly have—your relationship with yourself. Following are five ways to tap into the spirit of this day without having to be partnered and prix-fixed.
1. Party with All Your People
Throw a dinner party with all your besties and take turns saying something you truly value about each person at the table, like the Galentine’s Day party Leslie Knope throws every February 13th. Get together with your nieces and listen to their tales of school crushes as you play dress up, putting together perfect pink and red party outfits. Make homemade salted caramels and pass them out at the office. Take your parents to dinner. Slip a sweet card under your neighbor’s door. Give your cab driver a peck on the cheek in lieu of a tip. We only get a handful of festivities a year, so there’s no reason to let this perfectly good one go to waste. Grab the V by the horns and ride that baby hard. Make the day poetic, over-the-top saccharine and let the celebratory vibes fill you to the brim. You may not be in a formal relationship but that doesn’t mean you can’t romance the panties off all the awesome people in your awesome life.
2. Make a Love Shrine to Yourself
Humans have long known the power of ritual, ceremony, and worship. In fact, these acts are what first brought early humans together in groups and jump-started civilization. This Valentine’s Day make a point to actively adore yourself by creating a shrine to your own awesomeness. The delicate seashell you found last summer, a picture of you as a chocolate-faced toddler, a violet vase that matches the shade of your aura – all these objects have meaning and power. Light a candle and say a few words of gratitude for the gift of your own life. Your primary and most important relationship is with yourself.
3. Practice Floating in Fear
Valentines Day has a dark side. With all the focus on relationships, singles are often driven into fearful thoughts such as, “What if I never fall in love again?” “What if nobody ever loves me?” “Am I going to be alone forever?” These thoughts can make us desperate and clingy, cause us to take things personally and sometimes even try to control or manipulate others. If you are getting engulfed in shadows of darkness, we suggest a little experiment this V-Day: get quiet and comfortable and fully experience the notion that you may be single until the end of your days. As you sit with this thought and fear arises look at it head on, breathe deeply and feel how it actually has no power over you. If you are indeed single, so what? You won’t die from not being in a relationship. You don’t need to grasp onto others or worry yourself sick about being single. You already have everything you need. You have this moment, you have yourself.