Every Valentine's Day, I get texts from a few of my married friends that say things like, "I know Valentine's Day can be rough. Thinking of you!" I always respond with, "Awww. Love you! Happy V-Day," but if I'm being honest, I don't really get their sympathy. While I know they mean well, to me, being unattached is the way to go on Valentine's Day.
It's not that I think my loved-up friends have made a mistake, it's just they're the ones I feel a little bad for. Valentine's Day is one when expectations are extremely high and prix fixe menu prices are even higher.
I always have a great time on Valentine's Day because I don't have to deal with any of that pressure and still get showered with love. Yep, I'm going to let you in on a little secret: being single on Valentine's Day means you can have your cake and eat it too (literally!). So, if you're also riding solo this February, here are a few of the best perks to enjoy the day of love without a partner.
1. You Still Feel the Love
Sharing the love is one of the best parts about this day, and the fact that you don't have a designated valentine means you can spread your love far and wide! Text those kissy emoji to your gal pals, your grandma, your nieces and nephews, your longtime crush, and whoever else makes you smile. Blow a kiss to a firefighter, a businesswoman, or a random dog on the street. It's Valentine's Day, you're adorable, and you're completely free.
Putting this energy out there also isn't just good for your soul, you'll probably get it back in droves. By firing up your dating apps or heading out with friends, you're opening yourself up to receive that same love. On what some pessimists call "Singles Awareness Day," other nonvalentines are very much down to clown. A Tinder spokesperson confirmed this surge to POPSUGAR, saying, "Globally, Tinder saw a 10 percent increase in downloads on Valentine's Day in 2018." Hinge's Head of Communications Jean Marie McGrath also told POPSUGAR that the app sees a 10 percent uptick in dates being set up the week of Valentine's Day. Long story short? Get your flirt on and let the compliments roll in!
2. You Get to Do Whatever You Want
While couples everywhere stare intently into one another's eyes over a pricey meal in a crowded restaurant, us singles will be busy doing whatever the heck we want. I prefer a night out with some fellow single ladies, but if you're not in the socializing mood, a great way to participate is to celebrate glorious, wonderful you. Do something indulgent like buying yourself expensive sheets, taking a bubble bath, or ordering ice cream to be delivered to your doorstep (yep, that's a thing). What better way to remind yourself how great you are than to treat yourself the way you'd like to be treated? Sure, a special someone may not be in your life right at this moment, but setting expectations for how you want to be adored is a healthy, productive, and, most importantly, fun exercise that's perfectly fitting for Valentine's Day.
3. You're Guilt-Free
I don't know about you, but I've definitely known I was with the wrong person on past Valentine's Days, but stayed with them anyway because I didn't want to break up on the most romantic day of the year. I'm older and wiser now, which means I know that a mud mask and bubble bath for one is a lot better than arguing over a dinner reservation with someone who doesn't treat me well. If you're with the wrong person leading up to Valentine's Day, end it and don't feel bad or guilty about it. That might seem a little dark, but your own self-care and happiness should come first. Decide to love yourself, and that will always feel better than not being loved properly by someone else.
4. You Don't Have to Force It
You know when you get home from a nice dinner and you take off your jacket, give your date a suggestive glance, then scan the room and wonder how you can ditch your Spanx and simultaneously kill the lights so no one sees your after-dinner bloat? Sometimes you just don't feel that sexy after a big meal, which you inevitably had to have, because it's one of the many traps of a traditional Valentine's Day. We singles don't have to deal with that. Instead, we either find ourselves happily bloated with our pants unbuttoned in the comfort of our own homes or out with our buds having a relaxed time while maybe catching the eye of a stranger (if we feel like it). There's no end-of-night pressure to get busy or even look good. We can come home and let it all hang out.
So, whether you're single or attached this Valentine's Day, remember that both ways have it made. Being with a partner you truly love is awesome, but being single is pretty awesome, too.