If you think about it, Valentine’s Day is one of the few exclusionary holidays out there. We all get to celebrate Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Halloween. But February 14th? That’s all about couples celebrating their love. So what’s a single to do?
Despite the fact that you might be tempted to make retching gestures toward every red heart-shaped doily you see, I have four much more productive suggestions. This Valentine’s Day…
1. …don’t spend it alone. You may be tempted to curl up on the couch in front of some bad TV and try to ignore it altogether. But spending the night by yourself may only remind you that you are, well, by yourself. My suggestion: Find a friend or a few to share it with. Stay in, go out, grab a cocktail, watch a movie, drink some wine, play pool, play board games, hang just for an hour or all night long—just do something that reminds you how nice it feels to have relationships with other people. Maybe you don’t have a love relationship this year, but it’s healthy to remind yourself how good it feels to be loved by those close to you.
2. …there are no anti-Valentine’s Day parties allowed! It’s natural that if you’re feeling down about your love life, you’d want to take down the Hallmark holiday. Phooey on those gooey kissy couples paying too much for their meals, right? Well, this year, I want you to look at it differently. Instead of sending a message that you hate Valentine’s Day—which is putting out a negative message about love—look at it as a visual reminder of what you want in your life: If other couples can have happy relationships, so can you!
3. …throw a Dream Board party! My friend’s friend, who I’ll call Mara, just read Meeting Your Half-Orange, and instead of blowing off the holiday, she’s decided to spend it celebrating the love she wants to bring into her life. Here’s how she put it in an email to me last night:
“It’s the first refreshing yet realistic book that I have read about being single in a very long time and it has made me more hopeful, without being cheesy. Somewhere along the way, I think many of us lose our optimism—and this book definitely helps you regain it. I’m making a Valentine’s Day dinner for my very best friend, who is single, and I’ve decided that we are going to create our own “dream boards” together over dinner and lots of wine. I am so excited about it!”
The explanation for what a Dream Relationship Board is and how to make one is thoroughly explained in my book, and I assure you, it is not a cheesy exercise! I’ve made many a believer out of one, trust me. And once you read the success stories of the singles who did it (including me) you’ll also be so convinced, you’ll want to try the same thing. It’s a healthy, hopeful way to provide yourself with a visual reminder of the big love you want in your life.
4. …buy yourself flowers and candy. Screw waiting for someone else to buy you flowers or candy. Treat yourself to some blooms and a box of chocolates or a bag of candy hearts. And take the little messages on those confections as words your future half-orange will tell you: “Kiss me,” “You’re sexy,” and before you know it—and if you want it—”Marry me.”
Big love and Happy Optimistic Valentine’s Day,