Being single on Valentine’s Day is like how I imagine it must feel to be Jewish or Muslim at Christmas. Every shop, restaurant and website is catering to couples, and even if you’re happily single, it’s hard not to feel just a tiny bit left out.
But who says couples should get to have all the fun? There’s no reason why Valentine’s Day can’t be an occasion to show how much you love yourself.
Whether it’s cooking yourself a delicious meal, treating yourself to those ridiculously expensive trainers, taking a long and luxurious bath, or simply cancelling plans to stay home and watch TV in bed, it’s important to find time and resources for yourself. Little acts of self-love are vital to our mental health.
And it’s important not to confuse loving yourself with being selfish or vain. Real self-love is about knowing that you need to focus on your own health and happiness before you can attend to the needs of others.
And if you don’t feel like being alone on Valentine’s Day, why not hang with your single friends? Nothing quite banishes the blues like a bottle of wine, a pizza, and a catch-up with the bestie.
In fact, celebrating independence and friendship over romance is a growing tradition around the world.
In Mexico, Valentine’s Day is celebrated more like Christmas, with people giving cards and gifts to all of their loved ones, including friends and family, rather than just their romantic partners.
In China, single people even have their very own holiday; Singles Day falls on the 11th November and is an annual celebration of “single pride.” It originated as “Bachelors’ Day,” a campus event at Nanjing University, and has since evolved into a huge commercial holiday. Right now, Singles Day is actually the biggest online shopping day in the world, surpassing even Black Friday.
As the late, great Whitney Houston put it, learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.
So go on, treat yourself! You deserve it.