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A Single Person’s Guide to Valentine’s Day

By Ava Green, Assistant Features Editor

Valentine’s Day is a little over a week out, and it’s looking like this will be year number 18 with no valentine. If you are in a similar position, have no fear: I'm here to show you that Valentine’s Day — while seeming to just be a day for all the couples in the world to stunt on all the single-folk — is a day about love. Not just romantic love, but familial love, platonic love and self-love.

Surprisingly enough, as a chronically single girl, I absolutely love Valentine’s Day. It could just be my affection for the tacky combination of pink and red, but something about a day dedicated to expressing your love just tickles the hopeless romantic in me. Now, I can understand the complaints about the over-commercialization of the holiday; many people even believe it was made up by Hallmark to capitalize off of all of the cheesy couples out there. But what I can’t understand is how anyone could say no to all the extra candy and stuffed animals on the shelves! But, because I love this day so much, I don’t tend to get too distraught when Feb. 14 rolls around — but to all the people who will be double-masking to protect from all the love in the air, here’s some ways to brighten up the day.

The number one thing to do is surround yourself with your loved ones. For example, my sister and I were each other's Valentines last year. Granted, we did both completely forget to actually get each other a gift, but it's always fun to spend a day with someone who makes you feel loved. We ended up doing a little photoshoot, watching chick flicks and eating a concerning amount of candy. Of course, you could replace a sister with any other willing participant and just make a whole day of it! Also, spending the day with your friends would be a blast. I'm sure your friends that are trapped by the shackles of monogamy will be a bit busy, so reach out to your single friends… they’re probably looking for something to do, too. Throw a “Gal-entine’s Day” party, blast “Single Ladies” by Beyonce and enjoy your people. And if you do not identify as female, don’t worry, “Gal-entine” is not a gender-exclusive phrase: it’s just a convenient rhyme.

Now, I know, retail therapy is not “real therapy,” and no amount of new clothes will fix whatever you’ve got going on in your head, but it’s really fun to at least try. Treat yourself a bit that day and, yes, “treat yourself” is kind of a broad phrase, but that’s what makes it so perfect. You can interpret that treat however you choose to, but it's basically just doing something that you wouldn’t do on a regular day; going above and beyond for that special person in your life — you. Whether you're driving a few extra miles to get a Dunkin’ Donuts brownie batter donut or buying a new tennis bracelet, doing something just for you is not selfish. Think of it as an act of love, in the true spirit of Valentine’s Day. Why wait for someone else to be your valentine and spoil you when you're a fierce, independent person and can do that all yourself? After all, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a material girl.

Finally, self-care is an extremely important part of any day, but especially on a day when you might be feeling a little down. I know retail therapy is basically just a glorified version of self-care, but I want to go a little bit deeper into that. I think that self-care is doing things that bring you joy, which sounds even more broad than treating yourself. Self-care can also be the simplest act. For me, I really enjoy painting my nails. It is relaxing and comforting and it makes me feel rejuvenated and pretty after. My friend’s self-care is going to the gym because she can release all of her emotion and energy, and it makes her feel accomplished and powerful after. Basically, self-care can come from anywhere and is really taken for granted.

You most likely spend a lot of your time caring for and worrying about others. I’m not here to tell you how you need to stop that and take out more time for yourself, because caring for others may be your form of self-care; it makes you feel needed and good about yourself. But, what I do want to stress is that too much self-care or too much caring for others can be bad when you do one without doing the other. Caring for others may be your self-care, but if you do not take care of yourself then there will be none of you left to help other people. So, take some “me time” this Valentine’s Day and allow yourself to indulge in something that makes you feel good and that you can really enjoy.

It doesn’t matter if you do these things to be your own Valentine or just to distract yourself from your lingering loneliness. Realistically, doing little things that will make your day enjoyable is not going to solve your single-ness, but it sure will be fun. I think the most important thing anyone could do on Valentine’s Day is to spend time with the people who they love. It does not have to be a romantic day if you do not want it to be. Love manifests itself in many ways. It's all around us on every day of the year: it’s in the awkward PDA on your way to school, it's in the food you have prepared for you at the dining hall, it's in your professors as they help you in class and it's in your friends faces when you're together. Try to remember this Valentine’s Day: you are never alone or without love, you’re just single.

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