How to survive being single on Valentine’s Day

A perfect way to spend this holiday single is by ordering takeout and watching a movie. Photo by Natalie Goo


For many, Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love, including cherishing romantic relationships and exchanging affectionate gifts with one another. But what about those who find themselves navigating this day solo? This is a guide for how to survive Valentine’s Day as a single person amid a sea of couples’ celebrations. 

Keeping busy 

Spending Valentine’s Day as a single person can serve as the perfect opportunity to partake in activities that bring joy and fulfillment. Whether it is spending time with friends, pampering oneself with self-care or learning new hobbies, there are countless ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day without a date. 

Junior vocal performance major Karla Flores explained how she plans to keep herself busy throughout most of the week. 

“This year, I’m [going to] work [on Valentine’s Day],” Flores said. “I’m working at Schrott for the Midwinter Dances. A lot of my friends are dancers, so I’m gonna get to watch them [perform].” 

Keeping busy by working during the holiday is an easy way to distract from all of the Valentine’s Day celebrations going on around. But, even if one is single on Valentine’s Day, it is also possible to keep busy by getting into the Valentine’s Day spirit. 

Ella Bursch, a junior dance performance and psychology double major, discussed how she enjoys playing into some of the Valentine’s Day festivities. 

“[On] Valentine’s Day, I try to do a bunch of small things that make me happy,” Bursch said. “I wear some kind of pink or red because why not play into the festivities and feel cute when I normally wear sweats seven days a week? I [also] like making a plan with my girlfriends to watch a movie and eat sweet treats.” 

Practicing self-care 

For those who are single, it may be tempting to dismiss the holiday altogether. But it can serve as an empowering occasion to channel love and care towards oneself. Valentine’s Day presents the perfect opportunity to prioritize self-love and self-care. Engaging in self-care, practicing mindfulness and expressing gratitude can foster a sense of inner peace and fulfillment during a day that might be difficult for some. 

Junior English major Maddalena Jones values the importance of self-care on any day. She explained how Valentine’s Day is a particularly important day for practicing self-care for anyone who is single. 

“Personally, I love self-care in general on any other random day of the year, but I feel like Valentine’s Day is an extra important day, especially to check in with yourself and take care of yourself,” Jones said.  

Likewise, Flores believes that self-care can make or break a whole day in general, so it is especially important to practice it on a day like Valentine’s Day for single folks. She emphasized how important it is to take care of yourself, especially if you do not have someone to support you on a day like this. 

“I think [self-care] is important because it sets the tone for [the] day when you’re trying to ignore the fact that [romantic] things are going on around,” Flores said. “It’s important to do things for yourself if you don’t have someone to do that for you.” 

Student advice 

Navigating Valentine’s Day as a single person can serve as a journey of self-discovery and empowerment. It is important to embrace the day as an opportunity to celebrate love in its many forms. This can be done by surrounding oneself with supportive people, engaging in activities that bring joy and remembering that one’s worth is not defined by relationship status. 

Bursch provided some additional insight on how to get through Valentine’s Day for those who struggle during this holiday. 

“[Valentine’s Day] is literally 24 hours, and it will be over and forgotten soon,” Bursch said. “Do something that makes you feel loved and appreciated and don’t wait for someone else to do it for you.” 

Similarly, Jones offered some supportive advice for those feeling left out of all of the stereotypical Valentine’s Day traditions. 

“Just keep doing you,” Jones said. “It’s gonna be okay. If someone comes along eventually and something happens, [that is great]. [But], I firmly believe that you just got to roll with what life gives you and it’s okay to be single and it’s okay to celebrate Valentine’s Day in your own nontraditional or conventional way.” 

Surviving Valentine’s Day as a single individual is about embracing love of all types, including self-love. By focusing on self-compassion and gratitude during the holiday, anyone can navigate the day knowing that love begins with loving oneself.


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