It’s that time of year again when everyone and their mother is gearing up for the ultimate day of celebrating romantic love. Personally, I’ve never been a fan, even on the few occasions I’ve had a romantic partner with whom to spend the day. It’s not because I’m not romantic. It’s because I have a deep loathing for anyone telling me when and how I should be expressing myself. Sorry Hallmark, I will not bend to your time table.
If you’re flying solo this year, whether delightedly or grudgingly, there is a lot to celebrate regardless of your relationship status. Here are five mindsets to choose from when you’re single on Valentine’s Day.
What do you love to do just for the sake of doing it? What’s fun? A few months ago, I went on a personal retreat with the sole focus of delight. Each morning, I brainstormed some ideas of what I might like to do, then I picked the one that seemed the most enjoyable. I went hiking, drove to a holiday light show, ate an amazing dinner at a cool restaurant, and watched the sunset from the top of Pilot Mountain. Maybe this Valentine’s Day is an invitation to reconnect with what delights you.
What helps you rest and feel cared for? While I was on my retreat, I took a nap. I never ever take naps because my brain is generally too wound up and noisy. But because I set the intention of resting that day, it was easy to slip into a brief nap while reading. Maybe for you, it’s taking a bath or stretching. This simple practice is a way to remind yourself that you are worth caring for, whether you are with someone or not.
One of the fun things about flying solo is that you don’t have to coordinate with a partner when you want to do something. At the drop of a hat, I could decide to go for a bike ride or explore that museum I’ve been meaning to check out or wander aimlessly in the park. For those of us who are aggressively Type A, this practice can help us not take ourselves so seriously and leave ourselves open to the unexpected. What is one way you could practice spontaneity?
There are many different kinds of love. Maybe you’d like to spend this Valentine’s Day loving your neighbor. Is there something in your building or neighborhood that you could do to make it better for everyone? A neighbor who could use a home-cooked meal? Or, see if there’s an organization that could use some volunteers. Practicing love isn’t restricted to romantic expressions, but can be as simple as helping out someone and not expecting anything in return.
Odds are you aren’t the only one in your friend group without plans for Valentine’s Day. And if you are, this might be a great opportunity to diversify your friend group. Find a friend or small group (Being mindful of COVID safety protocols), and plan a game night, or a pickup football game, or a visit to a local brewery. What is one way you could celebrate the unique role friends play in our lives?
Those are just a few ideas to get you started. I’m curious, which item from the list feels the most doable and life-giving for you? Drop a comment and let me know!