by Susan Post
Candy hearts, sentimental cards and all things pink and red are taking over store shelves. This can only mean one thing: Valentine’s Day is coming. For some, the extravagant date planning starts weeks in advance, while others would prefer to skip the day entirely. It is not hard for even the most secure single to feel a little twinge of loneliness on this day of love, yet maybe Valentine’s Day can mean something other than fancy dates and long-stemmed roses.
What about Y-O-U? If you find yourself alone this February 14, why not use it as a day to treat yourself?
What is something you have always wanted to do but just have not made time for yet? Maybe it is going to an art museum, trying a yoga class or cooking a ridiculously extravagant dish. It could be going to the theater, sitting at a coffee shop and reading all night, or learning a new skill. If you are feeling adventurous, you could try a spa treatment or a solo trip to that new restaurant you have been waiting to check out. Whatever it may be, do it! Just make it happen and find a way to treat yourself. Going out alone may seem scary, but use it as quiet time to slow down, reflect and recharge. You are doing something that makes you happy, and you are doing it for yourself and nobody else. How often do we remember to really make time to take care of ourselves in such a way?
If you do go out alone, I bet you will not be the only one. We often hear stories online of people leaving extravagant tips or notes of kindness to struggling strangers. What if you were the one to leave that note? Grab a stack of goofy Valentine’s Day cards to give to random people or hide in special spots. You never know what a few thoughtful words of kindness might mean to someone.
Love on Valentine’s Day does not mean just romantic love or appreciating yourself. Love for your friends or family deserves to be expressed and celebrated, too. Gather other friends flying solo for a night of fun. The possibilities are really quite endless. Make it a special night, or ignore the fact altogether that it is supposed to be a special day and just enjoy each other’s company. The love of a special group of friends may be different from romantic love, but it can be just as meaningful and fulfilling.
A day of love is also a great time to reach out to those you have not spoken with in a while but are still important in your heart. Call the friend you have been meaning to call. Maybe they will be busy with other plans, but a reminder from an unexpected voice could brighten their day.
Valentine’s Day means spending time with loved ones. Special people in our lives can emerge from all sorts of relationships, not just romantic ones. Think of February 14 as a day to celebrate and reflect on the love that is present in your life.
Susan Post is a freelance writer and editor based in Columbus. She enjoys writing about her city and the people and places that make it special. Contact her at Susan.Post.firstname.lastname@example.org.