by Lauren Mackler
Valentine’s Day is, for many singles, a holiday to dread instead of one to celebrate. I experienced my own loneliness on more than one Valentine’s Day. Then, several years ago, I had a revelation. I could be my own Valentine!
I know, being your own Valentine might sound like a desperate attempt to soothe the sting of single life. I thought so, too—until I actually experienced it. The first year of becoming my own Valentine, I organized a dinner at a nice restaurant for a group of single men and women. On the invitation I wrote a request: “buy, have gift-wrapped, and bring to dinner a gift for yourself in recognition of the magnificent person you are.”
It was one of my favorite Valentine’s Day celebrations! We took turns opening our gifts and sharing what we admired about ourselves. Some people were moved to tears, as they realized how hard they usually were on themselves.
Since then I’ve celebrated myself every Valentine’s Day—regardless of my relationship status. I do something special like get a massage, take a day trip, or buy a bottle of my favorite champagne. Last year I ordered and had delivered a dozen, long-stemmed roses in a box, with a card to myself that said, “I admire the fabulous woman you are.” For the next couple of weeks I felt infused with love each time I looked at the beautiful roses on my table and the card hung on my refrigerator.
Below are more ways to “become your own Valentine”—all of which will build your self-esteem and a loving relationship with yourself.
- Plan a “Self-Celebration” Valentine’s Day pot-luck party. Ask each guest to bring their own favorite food dish and a wrapped gift to give to themselves.
- Order in a delicious meal, put on your pajamas, and hunker down with a great book or movie. Some of my favorite Valentine’s Day movies are Trading Places, Mermaids, and The Associate.
- Treat a friend, family member, or co-worker to an evening out. Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to return a kindness or to reconnect with someone you haven’t seen in a while.
- Organize a girls’ or guys’ night out that includes something entertaining like karaoke, playing pool, shooting darts, seeing a play, or listening to live music.
- Spend the day volunteering. Helping others is gratifying and makes you feel good about yourself. To find opportunities in your city, visit the Single Volunteers Web site.
- Attend a social event. If you don’t know of any in your area, do a Google search with the words, “Singles events Valentine’s Day <your city>.” Then click on the links to find an event that sounds appealing.
Ask yourself what you would like, then commit to giving it to yourself. And remember, you always have a choice. You can either spend Valentine’s Day feeling bad, or you can do something that uplifts, nurtures, or delights you.
© 2012 Lauren Mackler
Lauren Mackler is a world-renowned coach and author of the international bestseller Solemate: Master the Art of Aloneness & Transform Your Life. To sign up for her free Live Boldly e-newsletter, click here.