Love is a magnificent thing. And it also happens to be one of the most celebrated things. It is February, after all, and Valentine's Day is coming up. Although holidays typically connote celebration, joy, and optimism, Valentine's Day is perhaps the most controversial of them all. Everyone has mixed opinions and feelings about February 14. Love it or hate it, single or taken, the Earth is still rotating and the holiday is still approaching.
If you're in a relationship or are going to spend this time with your friends and family, that's amazing, and we hope you'll have a swell time. But if you are going to be alone and are fretting over your fear that V-Day will just be another daunting day of being single—fret not! We are here to help you. Welcome to the definitive guide on how to Do Valentine's Yourself!
Firstly, let's tackle the mindset.
The societal contract has somewhat turned us into prisoners of our fear. Fear keeps you from acting upon it, thus reinforcing itself: fear feeding back into fear. It's quite critical to rethink the idea of Valentine's Day, because after all, it's just another day. Nothing is physically changing in nature or in the universe; it's all man-made, and it's just a concept. Love should be valued and celebrated all year round—honestly, it's quite redundant to specify one day in a year to prioritise love and appreciated your loved ones. If you're single any other days, it's exactly the same when you're single on Valentine's Day. You can go on a date on this day or hang out with someone cute; on the other hand, if you don't, you don't.
Something that is quite crucial to grasp is that the spectrum of love doesn't just consist of romantic love or platonic love: it can extend to self-love, love for animals and nature or even love towards moments and things that don't breathe. For example, on Sundays, you fall in love with the ugly unmatched pair of fuzzy polka-dotted socks that you won't have to take off because you're not going anywhere. Or while standing restlessly in a museum, you fall in love with the experience of seeing something which has mattered for centuries to an uncountable number of people. Or in lines upon verses, you fall in love with commas and semi-colons, with metaphors and rhetorical questions, with the lives you can't experience but can only read about.
If you're not spending this time with people, use it to love yourself. Use it to love more things that are around, that exist and hold as much space in your life as people do.
Secondly, let's tackle materialism.
Sadly, Valentine's Day has become an extremely materialistic holiday. Many people give and receive, and although the intention is to display love, the resulting trend just promotes consumerism, ownership, and materialism as a demonstration of affection. You might feel that nobody is giving you anything this year, but how about gifting yourself—and not just with material goods?
Although there's actually nothing wrong with buying something, think about whether it will give you long-term happiness or just an instant of satisfaction. If not, think about rewarding yourself by loving yourself. For example, donating to a cause that you are really passionate about will leave you feeling very gratfified and grounded. Cooking yourself a healthy and nutritious meal will end up with you thanking yourself for treating you right. Gifting shouldn't about buying something; the goal should be striving to make the other person happier—genuinely happier. If your guilty pleasure is rom-coms and you haven't had the time to watch one in weeks, give yourself a movie-marathon day! If you've been feeling stressed out and are suffering from insomnia, read into essential oils, and maybe get some lavender oil to use in a diffuser, in a bath, or on your pillow case.
By the way, the same goes for gifting a romantic partner, a family member, or a friend—think about what will ultimately make them happy.
Finally, we're ready for the main course.
This advice is all well and good, but perhaps you're still wondering what to actually do on your solo Valentine's Day. Here are a few recommendations:
IF YOU DECIDE TO STAY IN AND WATCH SOMETHING:
Thriller: Fight Club, Shutter Island, The Prestige, Donnie Darko
Good ol' romance: The Notebook, Notting Hill, Call Me By Your Name, When Harry Met Sally
Romantic comedy: 10 Things I Hate About You, Pretty Woman
Fun: Grease, Napoleon Dynamite, Empire Records, The Breakfast Club, Pulp Fiction
Coming of age: The Graduate, Ghost World
Strange: Moon, The Truman Show, Pleasantville
Indie: Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Submarine, Amelie
A FEEL-GOOD PLAYLIST: