How To Celebrate Valentine’s Day On Your Own!

What to do while waiting for Cupid’s arrow to strike.

Valentine’s Day is a day for lovers—or is it? It’s certainly a day for love, but who says all that loving couldn’t go towards yourself? Especially if you are flying solo (or freshly dumped) and see all those fabulous Valentine’s Day exotic, romantic getaways advertised at every corner you look—you know, the ones with the blissful, giddy lovers fawning all over each other while carving their names inside gigantic hearts in the Bermuda sand. When I was single for a long time I often wondered: will I ever find that?

I am more than familiar with spending quite a few Valentine’s Days alone, and after feeling sorry for myself (after indulging in a whole box of cheap, heart shaped chocolates) I finally said, Forget this! I then stopped dwelling on how terrible all my exes were to me, and how pathetic my love life was and decided to think about how lucky I was to be without a ‘pretend’ Valentine that was simply not right for me.

Now I want to share all the things that have helped me not only get through that most mushy day of the year without a Valentine, but how I really came to enjoy it!

I would often spend my solo Valentine’s Days by planning them in advance, and hanging out with either a close family member, or with all my other single buddies who thankfully never seemed to be as bothered as me about being single on that most celebrated day of romance. On the contrary, they were pretty psyched to be free to “prowl” and were just as giddy as any lovebirds about their single status!

We’d all get together and have fun at our local gay bar, or my non-bar buds and I would go play a couple of games of neon bowling, or catch a comedic movie followed by some delicious comfort food at our regular diner, laughing about all our heartaches over milkshakes. We’d ardently boast about how lucky we were to be done with all our rotten exes and how awful they were for us and how we all deserved better—which was all very true.

When I was up for an evening out and none of my friends were available I’d be a bit daring and look up some Valentine’s Day lesbian dances or events online, get all spruced up and have a blast flirting away on my own, and maybe even getting a number or two in the process! I was hardly wondering where Cupid was hiding, but instead had a much better time playing a little devil!

Yet, there were the many times I simply relaxed at home by myself on that night when I lived far away from my closest friends and family and just dove into a long, juicy novel with some delicious popcorn curled up in my bed, happy to be safe and sound snuggling up with my Bichon Frise dog Casey who was, without a doubt, my very best Valentine at that time!  However, I was always optimistic that one day my love would indeed come along and if not, I was determined to have fun trying to find them myself!

In fact, many of my loves have come, many have gone, and many have stayed awhile—and I would not change a thing. I believe each experience played an important role in my life and taught me many things, and also gave me times of great pleasure regardless of however long they lasted—even if it was just for one night! As many times as my heart has been broken I’m still a firm believer in Alfred Lord Tennyson’s famous quote, “ ‘Tis better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.”

I found that being single on Valentine’s Day can actually be great fun, and there’s plenty of love flowing throughout the air amongst other singles—and you can find it in places you’d least expect it! If you happen to have that whole day free it opens up a ton of social things to do like hitting a new art show, signing up for a nature hike or bird watching tour at your local conservatory during the day where you can meet new friends or perhaps find your own little lovebird.

Looking online, especially in ‘Events’ section: or in any of your local LGBT centers and circulars for a bunch of singles Valentine’s Day parties and events happening at your local coffee shops, book stores, cafes or clubs in the evening is great too. Hitting a new comedy show or karaoke night is always really fun, especially for those well-needed, deep belly laughs! You can also treat yourself to a nice, relaxing massage or hot-stone treatment at a day spa. Maybe even try something totally new and different like taking a pottery or art class, or even try a music, dance, tennis or workout lesson where you may indeed find your next special Valentine!

For another wonderful emotional boost you can volunteer at your local LGBT center or any youth center, food pantry or animal shelter, because that kind of love energy is highly rewarding and contagious—and you might even find that special, cutie angel that you’ve been waiting for! Remember, even though love at first sight can happen, true love can also blossom from the seeds of a good friendship.

Sometimes it’s great to just chill out and be perfectly peaceful on your own like I’ve done, and simply rid yourself of the pressure and urgency of finding that ‘perfect’ mate right away. Just relax and pamper yourself with some long, overdue TLC by taking a bubble bath and then binge watch old, classic movies or dust off that book you’ve been meaning to get at for years. You can also cook, or even take out a delicious, healthy meal and make a cup of fancy herbal tea for yourself as well—hey, you deserve it! This just may be exactly what you need—and can certainly be equally as satisfying (and you won’t wake up with a nasty hangover!)

This day that’s filled with chocolates, roses and romance cards can be particularly hard if your beloved partner has passed away. Cherish the beautiful memories you shared together and take care of yourself knowing this is what your loved one would’ve surely wanted. Your Valentine will always be inside your heart and soul, and will be watching over you—maybe even guiding you to find love once again.

Finding that ‘right’ mate just takes some time. Love is not to be forced, but it should be actively sought when you feel you’re ready for it—but don’t wait too long or be too shy. Remember there are plenty of others that feel exactly the same as you do. You can also give a reputable dating website a try like ‘Curve Personals’ to help you find your special Valentine!

Valentine’s Day is about love, but it’s about loving yourself first and then enjoying ALL the unique experiences that love has to offer with others, however crazy, however blissful, however fleeting.

So if you’re going it alone this Valentine’s Day—enjoy it! Trust me, you’ll soon be making popcorn for two—or maybe more! Just like me who’s married today with 7-year-old twins and constantly fighting over the TV remote and last scraps of popcorn—and now greatly looks forward to a just few moments of alone time to simply relax! So enjoy your single life, your popcorn and your TV remote while you can this Valentine’s Day!