The numbers are staggering: 198 million roses, 190 million cards, 8 billion candy hearts, more than $1 billion worth of chocolate. Valentine’s Day is a cultural spectacle with thousands of couples partaking in the festivities.
The thought of spending another Valentine’s Day as a single person can be discouraging and downright frustrating. It’s easy to mock the cheap stuffed animals, expensive boxes of chocolate and overpriced dinner dates, but deep down, most of us want our own stake in the lovey-dovey silliness.
I’ve spent the vast majority of my Valentine’s Days as a single woman, so I have had to make the conscious decision to find my own joy and peace with this holiday. While it’s tempting to hunker down on the couch with a heaping bowl of ice cream and a Nicholas Sparks movie, I have found that making the deliberate decision to acknowledge the wealth of love in my life – with or without a significant other – is key to surviving this overly-commercialized day.
If you’re a proud single lady this Valentine’s Day, here are some tips for embracing Feb. 14:
1. Host a girl’s night
Nothing takes your mind off a tough holiday better than playing host to your favorite girlfriends. Find a recipe online for delectable appetizers or festive chocolate martinis before popping in your favorite chick-flick or just catching up with your girls. Schedules are difficult to coordinate between busy, on-the-go women, so take this opportunity to show some love to the friends who support you throughout the year.
2. Give back with love
While it may seem like you’re the only one without extravagant Valentine’s Day plans, that’s not the case. Hundreds of people across the country will spend Feb. 14 at a homeless shelter or in the hospital. Reach out to non-profits in your area to see how you could spread Christ’s love to those in need on Feb. 14, honoring the saint behind the holiday. It could be as simple as sending a homemade Valentine’s Day card to a nearby senior home or organizing a group of friends to serve meals at the soup kitchen. You never know how one act of love could change a person’s outlook on life.
3. Embark on an adventure
Test your limits this Valentine’s Day by doing something out of the ordinary. Try sushi for the first time. Go cross country skiing in a local park. Take the day off from work and take a scenic drive. Sign up for a singles event through an organization like Events and Adventures. Just because you’re single doesn’t mean you have to waste away the day, so challenge yourself to step outside your comfort zone!
4. Take time for you
Just because you don’t have a special someone to spoil you on Feb. 14 doesn’t mean that you can’t spoil yourself! Schedule that mani and pedi you’ve been putting off or treat yourself to a relaxing massage. Make a hair appointment or shop for a special item you’ve had your eye on. You deserve to feel beautiful every day, and Valentine’s Day is no exception.
5. Focus on true love
While many have high expectations for this commercialized holiday, there is only One who can meet all of those longings:
“Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart…” Psalm 37:4
Delight in your one-of-kind relationship with God on this day – go to Mass, find peace in the sacrament of Reconciliation or read 1 Corinthians 13. The truest form of love is found in Christ our Savior, so what better day to celebrate this love than Valentine’s Day?
No matter how you decide to spend Valentine’s Day this year, be realistic. While special in many ways, Feb. 14 is just another day. Within 24 hours, the chocolate will be eaten, the wine will be consumed, the checking accounts will be lighter and you will be one day closer to finding the person, God-willing, who will make next year’s Valentine’s Day even more special.