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Six Single Ladies Share How They’re Spending Their Valentine's Day

After all, self-love is the best love.

Love & Relationships

Since becoming a single girl, Valentine's Day feels weird. The anniversary of an almost 10-year relationship landed on this international day of love and I just recently felt like I was done grieving that part of my life. Now, as a woman without a partner, the 14th of February forces me to choose myself and focus on how amazing I am because I deserve all the love I give to the world.

We had a chance to check in with Christian Life Coach for Single Women, Jay Shantal, about how to show up for yourself in your singledom and she dropped all the gems. More importantly, we love how she empowers single women through truth and beauty. We know Valentine's Day is known to incite a lot of emotions for singles so Jay loves to challenge singles to change their perspective on singleness, even on V-Day.

Here are a few tips she suggests for singles to stay emotionally grounded during V-Day:

  1. If you feel that getting on social media might cause a bit of anxiety, set healthy boundaries or avoid it altogether. It is OK to guard your heart and protect your mental health.
  2. Set aside intentional time to be grateful for the love that is in your life currently. Romantic love isn't the only love that can be celebrated on V-Day. Take a moment to show gratitude for all the people in your world that make you feel special and appreciated.
  3. Despite the pressure you may feel from society, know that you are in the right place. V-Day can cause you to feel like you are detached from the rest of society. In turn, you internalize your singleness making you ask yourself, "Why am I still single?"

Jay says, "Understand that singleness is not an issue that needs to be fixed nor is it a consequence. You are perfectly whole all by yourself. Singleness is the best season in a woman's life. It is such an undervalued blessing. Savor it, sis. Life is full of swift transitions. Next year might look completely different."

This year we wanted to check in with some beautiful single Black women on how they will be celebrating this day of love this year. From virtual speed dating to day trips, these women are proof that Valentine's Day doesn't have to be filled with gloom.

Oyin (@sweetlikeoyin)

Oyin (@sweetlikeoyin)

Location: Austin, TX, but constantly on the go!

Single Since: 2018

Why She Chooses to be Single:

"I heard this once and it stuck with me ever since my last relationship: figure out why you're important and never settle for anyone who doesn't completely agree. I'm incredible alone and I've taken the necessary steps to know and understand my self-worth as a human being.

"The things I tolerated in the past are no longer factors in my life. I feel like being alone has shaped the formation of my self-confidence and now I can experience great love when the time is right."

Her Plans for Valentine's Day:

"As an advocate for Black women in luxury, I plan on taking myself on a solo trip to wherever my heart desires. I'm thinking something warm, fun, and tropical because simply I deserve! There's nothing better than wining and dining yourself and that's on what? PERIOD!"

What Self-Care Looks Like for Her as a Single Black Woman:

"This is a question I love SO much! Self-care looks like showing up for myself as a Black Woman. It's about knowing when to take a break and be mindful and present of your energy and creativity. I'm the queen of checking out when my body tells me to. I haven't always been this way but I'm learning, especially in a pandemic, to put myself first starting now."

Nzinga Imani (@nzingaimani)

Nzinga Imani (@nzingaimani)

Location: Atlanta, GA

Single Since: Newly (end of January)

Why She Chooses to be Single:

"I'm rediscovering myself and spending time to figure out what I want."

Her Plans for Valentine's Day:

"[I'm attending a] Galentine's Day Event where I am surrounding myself with other boss women and focusing on building mutually beneficial relationships while promoting self-care."

What Self-Care Looks Like for Her as a Single Black Woman:

"Taking time to really be alone with my thoughts. Working through my decisions with ME in mind with no need to compromise on what I see for my life. Reading, dancing naked in the living room to my favorite tune, reminding myself that I am a prize."

Shania Banton (@shaniabanton_)

Shania Banton (@shaniabanton_)

Location: Queens, NY

Single Since: June 2020

Why She Chooses to be Single:

"The men I come across are very selfish and never want to prioritize me but want me to prioritize them. I am no one's mother and I am a girl boss, I can't make time if I'm not going to get it back. I refuse."

Her Plans for Valentine's Day:

"My friend and I are planning to go out and have brunch and partake in the 'Galentine's' theme. We are both very single so very excited to lean on my good sis.

What Self-Care Looks Like for Her as a Single Black Woman:

"Self-care starts with getting all aspects of me taken care of from a mani/pedi to lashes to a full body massage followed by freshly washed hair. Then being able to sit with a good book or a good show/movie because that's what brings me joy and then a nap that no one can wake me up from until I'm ready."

Nakia Adamson (@BrownGurlHealing)

Nakia Adamson (@BrownGurlHealing)

Location: Washington, DC

Single Since: May of 2018

Why She Chooses to be Single:

"My last relationship ended because we were speaking different love languages and showing love differently. Communication became a major deficit in our relationship and led to us ultimately calling it quits. I've been attempting to work at this intentional dating thing but haven't been extremely successful in it - but I'm honestly unsure if I'm actually ready. Healing from betrayal trauma in past relationships has been a process - but I'm actively working to process and recover from it."

Her Plans for Valentine's Day:

"One of my sister-friends and are going out to eat dinner and of course sticking to my tradition of exchanging gifts with my mom and sister."

What Self-Care Looks Like for Her as a Single Black Woman:

"Self-care legitimately looks like whatever you need at that moment to make sure you preserve your mental and physical! So many times Black women fall into the idea that self-care is selfish and self-indulgence because Black women are superheroes! And although it can be getting your hair and nails done - sometimes these things can be more of a task or maintenance and another thing to do on your laundry list of to-do's (because let's face how we show up in this world is important).

"I'm really big on love languages - tapping into what your love languages are and giving yourself what you need on the regular is important for self-perseverance."

"My top three love languages are acts of service, quality time, and receiving gifts - so I do things like schedule time for car washes, time block my schedule for uninterrupted time alone, or treating myself to something that I really want! We have to discipline ourselves to make self-care a priority and do what works best for us when we need it!"

Tayla Santos (@taylasnts)

Tayla Santos (@taylasnts)

Location: Boston, MA

Single Since: 2018

Why She Chooses to be Single:

"I needed space to grow into the woman I knew I was intended to be. God was speaking to me and He had plans for me. I knew that leaving who I was within 2018 would open so many doors for me and my career. Looking back, I was unhappy and didn't even know it. I praise God for giving me the strength to walk away from a relationship I thought I couldn't be happier in. Now I am successful in my career as a content creator, I run the Youth Group at my church, and get to spend so much more time with my family!"

Plans for Valentine's Day:

"I will be driving to NYC with my best friend and sister to spend a few days in the city!"

What Self-Care Looks Like for Her as a Single Black Woman:

"Spending each morning with God and focusing and prioritizing my health."

Vanessa Samuel (@vanessasamuel01)

Vanessa Samuel (@vanessasamuel01)

Location: Denver, Colorado

Single Since: 2014

Why She Chooses to be Single:

"I took some time to really understand myself in my 20s while pursuing my dream career and life. Now that I am 30, I am ready to dive in, now that I know more of what I am looking for. The things I wanted in my early 20s are very different than what I want now."

Her Plans for Valentine's Day:

"Virtual speed-dating and relaxing!"

What Self-Care Looks Like for Her as a Single Black Woman:

"I personally thrive off of adventure so self-care for me looks like traveling to new places and exploring or trying out something new that I haven't done before (i.e. snowmobiling, rock climbing, scuba diving). I also love reading an inspiring book by someone I look up to. It makes me feel like they are my personal advisors even though I do not know them."

Join our xoTribe, an exclusive community dedicated to YOU and your stories and all things xoNecole. Be a part of a growing community of women from all over the world who come together to uplift, inspire, and inform each other on all things related to the glow up.

Featured image courtesy of Nzinga Imani

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

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