Top 5 Things To Do If You’re Single
Oh boy, it’s that time of year again. Oversized teddy bears, mountains of chocolate, and about 1 million people professing their love for one another on every one of your social media accounts. In a lot of ways, Valentine’s Day can be really sweet – Unless you’re single (and not entirely happy about it). Despite being a day about love, it isn’t uncommon for a lot of individuals to feel utterly alone. If you’re reading this article, I can only assume that you, dear reader, are soloing Valentine’s Day this year. Fear not, my friend! For I have come prepared with a list of things to do or consider if you’re worried about being alone on the 14th. As a single, female counselor at a Texas university I not only have experience working with people who are in distress, but also have had to address my own reservations about the dreaded ‘singles awareness day’. Here are 5 things I have learned over the years…
Yes, you read that suggestion correctly. And before this becomes a screenshot taken out of context, let me explain: As a counselor, I often encourage my clients to express their emotions. All of them. I don’t limit my clients to acknowledging (and expressing) the emotions we in society have deemed as ‘positive’. It’s absolutely normal to feel a wide range of emotions – And you do yourself a disservice to not embrace that. It’s okay to feel disappointed or angry or just plain sad if you’re single on Valentine’s Day. The key here is to acknowledge the emotion, let it all out in a preferably healthy manner, and then process it while moving forward. What we want to avoid is becoming consumed by this emotion to where it ruins our chances of bouncing back. So go ahead and cry, scream, or be a little bitter – At the end of the day, you’re allowed to feel what you feel, and all we can do is try to process through the emotions and move on.
2. Lose Yourself In A Hobby or Passion
This suggestion is a lot more to the point. Do something that you genuinely enjoy. Maybe you’ve been neglecting your video games on Steam or you’ve been putting off making those double fudge brownies you saw on Pinterest. Or maybe you’ve thought about trying something – gardening, cooking, wood burning, anything – but haven’t made the time for it. Now is the time. Get out of your zone and try something that you normally wouldn’t do.
3. Plan A Date Night (For Yourself)
Look. I get it. Most of you reading this would much rather be with someone on Valentine’s Day, and I can completely understand that. Unfortunately, the fact that you’re reading this tells me that you’re probably powering through this holiday solo. But that doesn’t mean that all is lost! I often encourage my clients to ‘do what you wish someone would do for you in a partnership’. (Yes, technically even that for those of you with minds in the gutter…) In therapy, we often discuss the concept of an ideal partner and the things that they could offer my client – Take a moment to imagine your ideal partner. Now try to reproduce that in a solo setting. You like a person who makes you laugh? Spend the evening watching your favorite stand-up comedian. People who can cook turn you on? Google your favorite food and try to replicate the recipe. Do you miss feeling physically close to someone? Throw a blanket in the dryer for about 10-15 minutes and snuggle up on the couch. Treat yourself! Will this totally replace being in a partnership? No. But we’re trying to make some sweet lemonade with these bitter lemons life gave us.
4. Plan A Date Night (With Friends)
So, this is more of a suggestion for those of you with other single friends. I happen to be friends with quite a few people that are already in committed relationships and sometimes the struggle is real. However, making time to hang out with other people who are in a similar position can make Valentine’s Day a lot easier. Make a party out of it… Kind of like those wild divorce parties you hear about, but with less burning ex-spouse clothing and more chocolate. Sometimes isolating ourselves is the worst thing we can do when we’re feeling down/off about something – This suggestion offers you the chance to enjoy a night connecting with other single friends who are probably feeling the same mixture of emotions that you are.
5. Recognize This Isn’t Forever
I can already hear the groaning after reading that statement. I hear some of you saying ‘But Sun, I’m sick of hearing about how when it’s the right time I’ll find someone’. I know, and I completely agree with you. The time statement is crap and doesn’t feel very good, especially when you’ve been single for quite some time. But I really want you to pause for a second and hear me out: This really isn’t forever. This is a moment in time… A sucky, not-so-fun moment, but a moment nonetheless. This is a period in your life where, unfortunately, you’re not attached or committed to someone, and while that can feel like the end of the world some days, just know that it isn’t. You know, a lot of people struggle with severe mental health issues, and they can become discouraged with their anxiety, depression, etc. Sometimes they are only able to see themselves as the illness. I want to tell you what I tell my clients: You are so much more than just this moment. They may have anxiety or depression or body image issues, but that does not mean that that’s all that they are. It is a part of them, but not all of them. And so I say to you, reader who is presumably single, that you may be single, but you are so much more than that.
In all honesty, this article was put together in hopes of making someone laugh. For all my single readers out there, I hope you were able to take something away from this article and apply it to your own life. For all my non-single readers out there… I’m a little impressed you read this entire article. A+ to you. Hopefully you can share this with your single friends if they seem a little down on the 14th. Overall, regardless of your current relationship status, I hope that y’all have a wonderful holiday – Happy Valentine’s Day!
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