7 ways to reclaim Valentine's Day if you're flying solo

By Maya Khamala

It seems there’s just as much utter disdain for good ol’ V-day nowadays as there is blind submission to its too-sweet, pre-packaged charm. Though no one has pinpointed the exact origin of Valentine’s Day, many look to ancient Rome, where the mid-February feast of Lupercalia was commonly celebrated with blood, violence, and fertility rites: Men would sacrifice goats and dogs, and then whip women with the hides as a way of increasing their fertility. The event, which celebrated the coming of spring, included pairing off women with men by lottery.

Naturally, the modern day version involves gag-inducing heart candies, mountains of chocolate, rose bouquets, and expensive dinners, am I right?

I’ll ‘fess up right here and now and admit that I am currently very in love, but that doesn’t mean I plan to succumb to the usual corporate Valentine’s Day shenanigans. On the contrary. What I will say, however, is that I have spent far more Valentine’s Days solo and not giving a shit than I have coupled off (and also not giving a shit, incidentally). But still, for many, it’s understandably more challenging to exist in the world on V-day when one happens not to have a significant other in the picture. And really, whether you want someone special in your life or not, the day can rub salt in a variety of wounds. Now, while some choose to host “Galentine’s” or I hate Valentine’s Day” parties with friends in an effort to reclaim the day for single folk (usually women), others feel a lot less socially inspired, preferring to reclaim the day by finding joy in actually (gasp) being alone.

If you’re looking for inspiration, I offer you 7 delectable ways you can spend Valentine's Day strong, sweet, and solo.

1. Buy yourself flowers

According to TIME magazine, 15% of women buy themselves flowers for Valentine’s Day. This is not sad or pathetic, so don’t fall prey to the haters. I actually like to buy flowers for myself randomly at other times of the year too, as a nod to the goddess that lives in all of us, and as a nice, natural way to add color and spark to otherwise waning or winterish surroundings. Also, in my opinion, the world would be a much better place if men bought themselves more flowers too.

2. Cook a heart-expanding meal…for yourself

One of the greatest acts of self-love you can carry out is cooking a hearty meal from scratch. Time and again, I have heard people talking about how they don’t like to cook just for themselves—that they would rather reserve the act of cooking for those times when another person is present. Truth: I have never understood this, because cooking for yourself is one of the most basic, caring things you can do to make yourself feel good and healthy. If you’re not used to doing it, what better way to start than by preparing your favorite meal on Valentine’s Day? 

3. Pretend you’re a tourist

You don’t have to live in a city for this one—but it does help, especially when it comes to harnessing one’s ability to fade into the background and opt for anonymity. This can really look like anything: try a restaurant you’ve never tried. Eating alone is cool—I do it all the time, so there. Or, if that seems overexposed or harsh, visit a museum, ride a tour bus, see the sites. Go skating. Walk around. Whatever it takes. Personally, I have always enjoyed going to the movies by myself and sitting in as central a seat as possible. It’s the perfect way to feel lost and found both at once.

4. Pamper yourself 

Spa, mani-pedi, massage. Invest in a quality vibrator. Why not go to a professional and get a relaxing massage with absolutely no expectation that you will reciprocate the favor? #singlelifeperks If that option hurts your wallet, a bubble bath, candles and a good book followed by a DIY make-over will do the trick for less cash-ola, and I’m willing to bet you don’t sit at home revamping your look as often as you deserve. Just saying. And it’s only natural that looking and feeling good so often go hand in hand. What better way to feel more social and less isolated than to fall more in love with yourself? Rhetorical question.

5. Buy yourself some lingerie (you heard me)

At the height of some of my most alienating moments of (horny) singledom, I have found myself online, browsing kinky lingerie. Judge not. Something about purchasing thongs and other deeply impractical sexed up attire would make me feel more in touch with my sexuality and more prepared to unleash it on demand should the right suitor present himself. Whether on or offline, buy yourself a bra and panty set that speaks to you, gosh darnit, and wear it with the knowledge that you’ve got something extra special going on under your clothes that no one knows about. There’s nothing like harboring your own dirty secret to raise your personal intrigue and confidence levels.


6. Watch romcoms and drink wine

This is probably the most automatic V-day go-to for single ladies (and maybe single men too, who rarely get any airtime). While you can opt for a marathon of dark or violent anti-Valentine’s Day flicks (totally respectable), it can also be fun to put romance on a pedestal (if you’re in the mood). Maybe you need a good cry that only Pretty Woman can provide, or maybe you’re ready to have your faith in true love renewed but need an unapologetic solo rom-com fest to kick it into high gear. And, if it suits you, why not buy a nice bottle of rosé to complement your popcorn?

7. Go on an actual date (yes)

(Some) other people are out on dates, so why not you too? Valentine’s Day first dates aren’t super usual, but they can be bold and brazen and funny—and a great way of breaking the ice from the get-go. Get a friend to set you up with someone who’s had a similar notion, or choose someone online, or—well, hey, there are plenty of ways to meet people, so when it comes to concocting a last-minute V-day date, it partially depends on how spontaneous you wanna be. Regardless of who you choose, people will think you're a couple, which could be pretty funny—depending on the flavor of the date. This one’s a riskier maneuver, but we all have our moods, and a date, blind or otherwise, may be just what the love doctor ordered for you this year.

Love for all.


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