5 Things to Remember Before You Complain About Being Single on Valentine's Day

I'd be lying if I said I've never felt the sting of being single on Valentine's Day.

I remember it hitting me especially hard junior year of college. It was a very strange (ahem, awful) year to begin with, so I think being single on V-Day was just icing on the cake. When you have roommates, classmates and friends you see almost every day, the actions of others tend to overlap into your own life and influence you in a major way. Like, if your roommate or best friend has a date for Valentine's Day and you don't, it's not going to be some casual thing that's brushed under the rug. You're going to know all about it. And those 24 hours of Feb. 14 are going to go by slower than a dreadful Chicago winter.

So yeah, I get it. I spent the entire week leading up to the big day agonizing about how awful it would be; how lonely I would be; how annoying it would be to hear everyone talk about their plans; to watch my friends get ready for their big dates. And unfortunately, it was just as bad (if not worse) than I anticipated. It—for lack of a better word—sucked.

valentines-day-simpsons-ralph-020119-1

(The Simpsons via Fox)

Fast forward some years later, and here I am, embarking on another Valentine's Day as a single person. This isn't my first since that day, and I can't say it'll be my last—but, at least now I look at the "holiday" from a completely different perspective. Hallelujah.

Would it be nice to have someone I care about shower me with roses and whisk me away to somewhere romantic for an evening? Um, yeah! But, I'm certainly not agonizing over the fact that I'm going to spend Feb. 14 with a girlfriend at a casual Mexican restaurant fresh from work. That's because I've uncovered some serious no-brainers about the holiday that are easy to initially overlook.

Moving forward, here are five things you must remember before you mope about being single on Valentine's Day:

1. The Holiday Is About Love, Period.

Love is love, right? So whether you adore a partner, a friend, or heck, a sibling, this holiday is about celebrating an emotion. The day is a great opportunity to express gratitude to someone in your life who you appreciate deeply. Think of it as another version of Thanksgiving, but with hearts instead of cornucopias. Sure, romantic love is different than the closeness you feel to a friend or family member, but again, it's still the four-letter word that is to be celebrated regardless of the nature.

Gossip Girl: Blair and Serena laughing together

(Gossip Girl via The CW)

 

2. It's Only One Day

When it comes down to it, Valentine's Day is one measly day out of the year. That's 24 hours out of 8760! While it seems like the end of the world when you're in the midst of it, it'll be done before you know it. If all else fails, go to bed early, and by the time you wake up, it'll all be over. Then it's on to whatever exciting stuff you have coming up. A whopping 365 days until you have to hear Cupid's name again!

Pretty Little Liars: Hanna sleeping in bed

(Pretty Little Liars via The CW)

 

3. Having / Not Having a Valentine Is Zero Reflection on Your Self-Worth

Have you ever been frustrated watching someone pretty lame receive a singing Valentine in class? Meanwhile, you're lucky if you can get your BFF to give you a piece of heart-shaped chocolate. Good grief, having a Valentine, or not having one isn't a representation of whether or not you're "cool." I mean, do you even want that cheesy singing Valentine anyway? Okay, that's beside the point…

Seriously speaking here, people are single and taken at different points in their lives. If you're single at the moment, it doesn't mean you'll be single next V-Day, or heck, even next month. Where having a date to a school dance can bring on the pressure, having a Valentine is different—like, if you're in a relationship, cool. But if not, you're not obligated to find someone to be your sweetie for the day.

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(The Office via NBC)

 

4. Anyone Can Reap the Benefits of Valentine's Day

With more than six months until Halloween, we need a sugar rush in the interim. Enter: Valentine's Day. Where Halloween serves up everything from Tootsie Rolls to Smarties and candy corn, Valentine's Day is all about your fave indulgence: chocolate. Whether you're collecting treats from your classmates or close pals, being single does not mean you're excluded from taking advantage of these decadent delights.

In addition (see No. 1), V-Day is about love, so just because you're single doesn't mean you and your besties can't do your own dinner or celebration. I don't know about you, but a face mask-filled night with Indian food, Spotify, gossip and Galentine's Day gifts sounds pret-ty ideal to me! Organize a gift exchange for a few close pals and prepare to feel the love.

Legally Blonde: Elle eating a box of chocolates

(Legally Blonde via MGM)

 

5. Every Holiday Alienates People

The sad reality is there's not one all-inclusive holiday. A dear friend's mom passed away suddenly last year, and it's crazy to think that probably, for the rest of her life, Mother's Day will be the hardest day for her. I have several other friends who are estranged from their dysfunctional families, so when seemingly celebratory holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas roll around, the thought of figuring out whose couch to crash on for the big day becomes much more of a priority than the thought of saving room for dessert.

It's easy to get so caught up in one simple day and what we're going through, that we don't take a minute to think about how other people deal with the same struggles, but in different ways. Instead of beating yourself up about being single on Valentine's Day, think ahead to the next holiday you are excited about, and acknowledge how lucky you are to have someone special to spend it with.

Jim Carrey in How the Grinch Stole Christmas

(How the Grinch Stole Christmas via Universal Pictures)

 

Even if you're single, you can still celebrate the love you have for your besties. Click HERE for Galentine's Day gift ideas that are so cute you'll want to keep 'em for yourself!