Girrrrl, you don't even have to say it. I've been single on Valentine's Day for so long at this point, that I'm not sure I'd know what to do if I actually was in a relationship today. The crazy thing is, not being with someone doesn't really bother me (anymore). I think it's because I've moved past just wanting to "have somebody". Now I'm more in the lane of, "If he ain't the one, I'd rather be by myself." And that mindset is what keeps me from throwing daggers with my eyes while looking at couples who are all boo'ed up in public or going into crying marathons while listening to songs by Joe ("So, I Can Have You Back"), Jagged Edge ("I Gotta Be"), an indie sangin' white boy who goes by Britten ("Stick to Your Guns"), Yuna featuring Usher ("Crush") or what continues to be one of the best R&B songs ever—Justin Timberlake featuring Beyoncé's "Until the End of Time".
These days, instead of wishing I had someone to go out or dance with, I treat myself and slow drag in my drawers in my living room. Why? Because Valentine's Day is no longer a day to me that only lovers can play. Shoot, with all of the lessons I've learned about how to love myself, I feel like I have earned the right to get in on the action as well. And sis, so can you.
If it so happens to be that there is no plus-one in your Cupid day plans, here are 10 ways to keep you from going into hiding or acting like Valentine's Day doesn't exist. You can totally still have a good time alone. I've got my own past memories to prove it.
1. Wear Red (or Pink) to Work
Yeah, I know. When we think of the color red and what it traditionally symbolizes, things like love and passion are what immediately come to mind. But did you also know that it's a hue that represents energy, power and determination? As far as pink goes, it's a color that is romantic but it's also really feminine. I don't know about y'all, but I don't know one Black woman, no matter what her complexion is, who doesn't look pretty damn amazing in red. Oh, and since a classic red lipstick is a huge make-up trend right now, why not add that to your outfit while you're at it?
2. Take a Social Media Fast
Personally, I think it's a good idea to take a social media fast, at least once a season. But even if you simply can't imagine not being on Instagram or getting in some sort of Twitter battle for more than a couple of days, trust me—you want to steer clear of social media platforms on Valentine's Day. Well, you do if being single, especially on holidays, is some sort of trigger for you.
I'm telling you, if there's ever a time when folks want to turn up and show out when it comes to displaying their love for their significant other, February 14 would be it. So, unless you are some sort of social media masochist, use Valentine's Day as a day to catch up on some YouTube videos, do a little online shopping or—here's a thought—avoid being out in cyberspace altogether.
3. Send Some Words of Affirmation to Your Homies
No one said that Valentine's Day was only for romantic love; platonic love is special too. Now is just as good of a time as any to take out a few moments to express to your friends what you love, respect and appreciate about them. If they're good friends, they won't leave your texts or emails on read. They will take out a sec to share how they feel about you too. And you know what? Chances are, you'll hear something about yourself that you didn't know they saw in you. Compliments from friends can be super encouraging. I'm saying that from very up close and personal experience.
4. Do Something Your Ex Didn’t Like to Do
All relationships consist of compromise. That said, I'm pretty sure there was something you liked to do that your ex couldn't stand. Maybe it was watching rom-coms. Maybe it was listening to a certain genre of music. Maybe it was eating a particular kind of food or going to a certain kind of venue. Well, guess what? You're single now, baby! Do all of that stuff in honor of not having to give a flying leap about what anyone thinks or wants—but yourself. You survived the break-up. You've earned it.
5. Go Panty Shopping
Last summer, I wrote an article on here entitled, "When Should You Replace Underwear, Make-Up, Bedding, Washcloths & Towels?" As far as your panties go, if it's been more than six months since you've copped some new ones, it's time to do just that. My recommendation would be to get some functional ones (you know, some comfortable cotton undies) and then to pick up a pair of some super sexy ones too. I actually have a hope chest in my living room that is full of lingerie for my future husband. You know what they say—if you build it, they (well, he) will come. And cum. Why not take an act of faith and create your own collection as well?
6. Get in on a Valentine’s Day Restaurant Special
Unless you plan on fasting in protest of Cupid and all of his antics, you do wanna eat, right? It's pretty common for restaurants to have specials on Valentine's Day and no, they do not care if you are with someone or not. From now through Leap Day, Chick-fil-A is offering their nuggets in heart-shaped containers. If you kiss something—it can be literally anything—at QDOBA, they'll give you a free entrée with the purchase of something of equal or more value. If you place an order via Jack in the Box's mobile app, you can get a free shake or slice of cheesecake on February 14. TCBY has a BOGO (Buy One, Get One) deal on Valentine's Day. Chili's has a meal-for-two deal that is $25 (that means you can have leftovers). Get this—if you are down to digitally shred a pic of your ex on Hooter's website, they'll email you are coupon for 10 free wings with a 10-wing purchase. If you live in LA, New York, San Francisco or Boston, a pick of your ex can earn you a free Whopper. All of this sounds pretty good to me. (If you want to fact check all of this, you can do so by clicking here and here.)
7. Jot Down All of the Self-Love Lessons You’ve Learned over the Past Year
Author Paulo Coelho once said, "Every blessing ignored becomes a curse." Author Mary Davis once said, "The more grateful I am, the more beauty I see." And, author Alex Haley once said, "Find the good and praise it." I can't tell you how many husbands and/or wives have told me that they totally regret getting married, not so much because of their spouse but because they didn't know themselves well enough prior to saying "I do". It might not feel like it right at this very second, but singledom has some real benefits. One of them is learning how to love yourself so that you can have a standard for how someone else should love you.
That's why, it can also be a cool practice to break out your journal and jot down all of the self-love lessons that you've learned since this time last year. You might discover that a part of the reason why you're single this Valentine's Day is because your expectations have shifted; that it's not so much "circumstantial" but that you actually choose to rock the single status (for now).
8. Indulge in a Chocolate Bubble Bath
If you take a bath the right way (because yes, there is actually a wrong way to do it), there are some pretty impressive benefits that come from partaking. It can relieve stress; improve your heart's health; clear up your respiratory system; ease achy bones and joints; improve your quality of sleep; balance your hormones, and even strengthen your immune system. This year, pamper yourself in one; only, add a twist to it. While couples will be out here giving each other chocolate candy, how about you soak in some chocolate instead? All you need is some unscented bubble bath, powdered milk and unsweetened powdered chocolate and you'll have a sweet-smelling soak that you'll want to stay in for hours on end. (There's an actual recipe here.)
9. Take a Brief Road Trip
Valentine's Day just so happens to fall on a Friday this year. This means that if you want to make a weekend out of it, you can. If you've got a few extra bucks, use this as a time to take a road trip. Maybe take a couple of girls or even one of your guy friends with you. Making the time to do something you love can be just as wonderful as being in love with someone. For real, for real.
10. Or…Sleep In
Even if the love cynic in you rolled your eyes and everything that I just said, how can you not feel good about this last point? Since Valentine's Day is on a Friday, this means that you can go home, get into some comfy pajamas, binge-watch something on your favorite streaming network, get drunk (if you want) and sleep in for as long as you'd like. C'mon—if there's nothing else to be thrilled about as it relates to February 14, knowing you can chill all day February 15 is it. Happy Valentine's Day, my fellow single, sista.
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