How to Enjoy V-Day When You’re Single

I am a single-by-choicer: aromantic to a fault, independent AF, and a lover of Valentine’s Day.

Yes, I know: one of those things is not like the others. But hear me out. Valentine’s Day is not just for couples or hopeless romantics. It can actually be fun if you’re neither of those things—it’s just a matter of perspective.

For a lot of single people, Valentine’s Day is annoying, or depressing, or both. Thankfully, since I’m single by my own choice, I’ve never found it sad. But even grudgingly single folks don’t have to make the day into one of despair and bitter loneliness. In a similar way to how Christmas has become increasingly secular in recent years, celebrated by atheists and Christians alike, Valentine’s Day can be enjoyed by anybody regardless of their relationship status. Here’s some fun things single people can do during the holiday.

Eat Candy

Valentine’s Day and candy go together like Valentine’s Day and roses. The key difference is that while roses are closely associated with romance, candy can be enjoyed by anyone. If you have a partner that buys you a box of chocolates, then great! Pig out shamelessly. But if you don’t, go buy something sweet for yourself. You’ve earned it.

Binge-Watch V-Day Programming

There’s plenty of good Valentine’s entertainment out there. The romantics among us may take to watching romantic-comedies, but I for one prefer bingeing Valentine’s Day episodes of some of my favorite shows. IMO, 30 Rock has some of the best, and with a V-Day ep almost every season, there’s plenty to watch. If you’re single and miserable, don’t worry, because 30 Rock’s Valentine specials almost always find Liz either alone or going through some catastrophic date. Either way, it’s good stuff for the frowny-faced anti-Valentiners out there (misery does love company, right?), and the hilarity of the episodes should take your mind off the terribleness of modern dating. Bonus: all the 30 Rock Valentine’s Day episodes are available to stream on Hulu. (Those of you who prefer Netflix should watch the Orange is the New Black Valentine’s Day episode instead. It’s a goddamn work of art.)

Be Your Own Valentine

In addition to buying yourself candy, why not pour yourself some wine and maybe jump into a bubble bath? Or start/finish that book you’ve been meaning to read. Or get caught up on some magazines. You do you, in whatever way you choose. Pamper and celebrate yourself in that way the perfect significant other would.

Find a Distraction

If you’re unhappily single and Valentine’s Day reminds you of that fact, then what you need is a good distraction. Maybe, if you’re able, stay indoors so as to avoid any swooning couples, then get an early jump on spring-cleaning, or tend to one of the hobbies you’ve been neglecting—whether it’s writing, painting, sewing, or something else. Make the day a productive one so that you don’t wallow, and so that you’ll have something positive come out of it.

Take a Risk and Do Couples-y Stuff

You don’t have to be in a relationship to do what couples do on Valentine’s Day. If you want to take some special couples cooking class, grab a buddy and do it. If you want to go out to a nice meal, then treat yourself. Maybe meet up with a bunch of your single friends and go to a bar or club, or some Valentine’s event you’d prefer to go to with a group. Don’t let your fear of being single or the odd one out stop you from enjoying the day—even if it does mean getting creative, or going stag, it’s better than not going at all. Sure, it’ll take some bravery to get out there, but just know that you’re far from the only person on Valentine’s Day who is single.

In conclusion, Valentine’s Day may have a reputation as the holiday for lovers (and yes, I am thinking of that SNL sketch when I say “lovers”), but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun as a single person. Embrace it wholeheartedly, or avoid it with pleasant distractions. Either way, don’t let it bum you out or ruin your Wednesday. No matter what you do, remember that your relationship status doesn’t determine your self-worth. Being single is fun. Enjoy it. Make the most of your Valentine’s Day—and if all else fails, keep in mind that it only comes once a year.