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How To Have An Absolutely Amazin' Valentine's Day...Alone

Couples don't have a monopoly on today. Honor thyself.

Love & Relationships

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:

If You're Not In Love With Being Single, Ask Yourself These 6 Questions

10 Words That'll Make You Totally Rethink The Word 'Single'

I'm Not Your Relationship Goals: A Word To Single Ladies From A Married Woman

It's OK To Be Single

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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

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