Let’s play a word association game. I’ll say something and you say what comes to mind. Ready?
I bet you said something like love or romance, didn’t you? 🙂 Valentine’s Day is a day that is “supposed to be” filled with romance. From a young age we are trained to expect cards and candy. As we get older we become more aware of all the commercials and ads promoting romance and gifts of jewelry and flowers and more.
The message is clear: Valentine’s Day is first and foremost a holiday for lovers, but also a day to get stuff, to be the recipient of cards and gifts. What’s a soul to do if you don’t have a significant other, or if you find yourself alone on this lovers’ holiday?
How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways
The (over)emphasis on romantic love can make Valentine’s Day a downer for those who find themselves alone, or single or without a romantic partner. Never fear. To quote an old song, love is a many-splendored thing, and it just so happens there are many ways you can celebrate love on February the 14th (or any day).
I recently saw a life insurance commercial that I loved (pun intended). It showed the main types of love that are available in life–although it left out an important one, self-love. Check it out here:
So. If you are “partner-less” this February the 14th, no problem. The truth is Valentine’s Day is not just about romantic love. Here are some tips on how to be happy alone on Valentine’s Day.
The idea is to explore some of the other types of love mentioned in the video above. Well, except we will start with self-love, which wasn’t included 🙂 . Self-love is tricky. It’s not a pass to be over-indulgent or narcissistic, as many might imagine. Rather it’s more about caring for yourself so that you then have the energy and mental strength to love others. After all,
So if you’re wondering how to be happy alone and single this holiday, it’s easy. Treat yourself to activities and things you enjoy, things that replenish you. Make a massage appointment. Get your nails done. Start a new book. Watch your favorite movie. Immerse yourself in music you love. Cook or order a delicious meal. All of the above!
Here’s a second solution to how to be happy outside of a relationship on Valentine’s Day, and it involves the second kind of love from the commercial–philia. Do you have friends that don’t have Valentine’s Day plans? A meeting with one friend or many friends and reveling in that friendship (not lamenting over not having a date :P) is a great way to spend the holiday. Maybe even give them a card that expresses what you value about them. Or take turns singing each other’s praises. 🙂
Storge is the love you have for family. Make a Valentine’s Day “date” with your parents and/or grandparents and/or siblngs and soak in all the family love. When I was a kid we used to make cards from construction paper adorned with whatever we had on hand (can you say macaroni?). Why not make cards for each other or watch home movies?
We will skip over eros, from the commercial. You may not be able to avoid all the hype about romantic love elsewhere, but the whole point of this article is what to do when you don’t have that in your life at the moment 🙂 While such love is great, there’s so much more love out there to enjoy!
Saved the Best for Last
Agape is next. And it’s really powerful. The commercial called Agape love in action, but by definition it is universal love, such as the love for strangers, nature, or God. Practicing Agape (like practicing gratitude) is not always easy. It helps if you have first “filled your own cup” as alluded to in the quote above. When you are ready for it though…well, it makes the world go round 💗
You will find that doing something nice for other people (strangers, acquaintances, friends and/or family) tends to makes you happy (if done freely and not expecting something in return). Here’s a little list of ideas for love in action for your consideration:
- Send Valentine cards to your friends and family in the mail
- Leave a card or candy for the mail carrier
- Surprise co-workers by arriving with coffee or a giant heart-shaped cookie
- Visit a home-bound person or a nursing home
- Pay for the person behind you in line at the coffee shop
- Smile at strangers as you pass by
- Leave a $5 bill with an encouraging note on a shelf as you shop for someone to find
- Let someone in front of you in traffic
- Run an errand for your mom
- Do the dishes even though it’s not your turn
You can even celebrate love in ways that have nothing to do with people directly:
- Take a walk and pick up litter
- Fill the bird feeder with special treats
- Make a donation
- Visit animals at the shelter
- Adopt one
- Say a prayer for world peace or harmony
I will leave you with this video by an English chap with a lovely accent about “Single Awareness Day” and how to be happy being single
Click here for some cute mugs I have designed for V-day, some of which fit for non-romantic love 🙂