Singles shouldn’t feel sad on Valentine’s Day. After all, it’s 2017, and we’re too liberated to let ourselves be manipulated by a commercial holiday, right? But let’s be honest — many of us think of Valentine’s Day as the loneliest day of the year.
Erase that gloom and choose one of the many ways to stay sane and happy — and perhaps even grateful — as a single, whether you’re a teen or a senior. Here are some ideas:
1. Splurge on yourself
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Take the money, time and effort you would spend on a partner and spend it on yourself. Splurge on something you enjoy but never do. Get a massage. Buy your favorite take-out food and watch your guilty pleasure movie (No “Wuthering Heights” or other tragic love stories, please). Plan a day trip to someplace you’ve always wanted to visit — whether it’s that cool shop across town or an art gallery you find intriguing, suggests AllWomensTalk.com.
2. Celebrate skipping a disappointing dinner
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Anyone who has dined out on Valentine’s Day — even with a true love — knows that the meal and experience are often unsatisfying. The room is often crowded, the noise level is generally ear-shattering, and many times the restaurant sells out of the best entrees – or serves them poorly prepared. And, of course, the amped-up expectations of the holiday set us up for disappointment, as Seventeen magazine reminds its readers. This year you won’t waste time and money on such an outing.
3. Enjoy a girls’ or guys’ night in with kids
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Young nieces, nephews, godchildren and other kids are often at loose ends on this holiday. Invite them to your house for a cool time, suggests AllWomensTalk.com. Girls can do their nails, eat popcorn and watch chick flicks. (Consider some classics — like “16 Candles” or “Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion”). But you could totally mix it up — depending on you and the kid. What about a basketball game or action movies?
4. Spend quality time with loved ones
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About 30 percent of singles spend Valentine’s Day with friends, about 28 percent spend quality time with family, and about 11 percent will host a party, according to Glamour. Shove romantic love aside for now and spend quality time with your nearest and dearest family and friends. Fix a fancy meal. Enjoy a game night. Host a party. And relax.
5. Break a sweat
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We all start out the New Year filled with the belief that we’re committed to our exercise routine and will look and feel our absolute best by the time warm weather arrives. And, invariably, many of us fall off the routine by mid-February. So boost your adrenalin by doing something high-energy like skydiving, lifting weights or taking a long run.
6. Take time to enjoy your hobby
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Sign up for a single-session painting class. Prepare a recipe you always wanted to try. We all have hobbies we enjoy — but they often get sidelined in our busy schedules. Use Valentine’s Day as a time to savor yours.
7. Tackle that nagging chore
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Are chock-full closets causing you stress? Have you just not spent the time sorting your favorite photographs? Grab some takeout, put on your favorite tunes, and finish that task so you can finally move it to your “completed” list.
8. Give thanks for singleness
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Sit down and give thanks for all those “true loves” that “got away,” recommends EHarmony. When we’re in the thick of romantic love, it’s tough to understand that we might be better off without the object of our desire. Time and distance help us understand that lost love is often a gift. Celebrate it.
9. Write a reverse bucket list
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Write down all the great things you’ve done thus far in your life. Traveled to foreign lands? Survived a rugged white water rafting trip? Met a celebrity? Volunteered for a worthwhile cause? Write all of those down and relish the joy of your life. There’s an awesome example of a reverse bucket list on Uncaged.
10. Take time off from social media
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Not only is it fun to enjoy some old-fashioned relaxation — reading and listening to music are two – but ignoring social media and the telephone also will ensure you don’t reach out to ex-partners or wallow in sorrow, says EHarmony. Make it a telephone-, email- and text-free night.
11. Schedule a hair, nail or waxing appointment
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Yes, the salons are busy leading up to the holiday, but many have plentiful openings late on Valentine’s Day. Schedule some self-pampering and enjoy the prettiness. Hey, single guys: Consider getting a professional shave.
12. Let loose
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No, we don’t mean reckless fun. Instead take the day off work, stay dressed in sweats and binge watch some of your favorite TV shows (“Game of Thrones” or “Master of None” are two great options). And don’t forget to treat yourself to delivered food and dessert.
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We’re all so busy, few of us have the time to browse brick-and-mortar stores. According to Cosmopolitan, snagging a great deal on shoes or clothes boosts a woman’s heart rate by 39 percent. Others may get the same thrill from used bookstores or antique shops. Whatever your preference, enjoy a little retail therapy — you could even save money and just browse!
14. Treat yourself to sweets
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Are you sad because you think the lack of a valentine means you won’t receive gooey chocolates or sweet-smelling flowers? Spend the money and give them to yourself! Bonus: You know you’ll really like what you receive.
15. Revel in a bubble bath
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Play some pretty music. Pour the bubble bath in the tub and run the soothing water. Light the candles and dim the lights. Then spend time enjoying a luxurious bubble bath.
Are you single and facing a lonely Valentine’s Day? What’s your strategy? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.