How To Deal With Valentine’s Day if You’re Single Or a Couple

How To Deal With Valentine’s Day if You’re Single Or a Couple

Can you smell it? Love is in the air! It must be because there’s another special date that’s approaching fast: Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately, even if you’re happily in love, this day might fill you with dread as it sends the message that simply loving your partner might not be enough. Not to mention the negative feelings it may evoke in those who are single: loneliness, sadness and sometimes even self-hate. But what if Valentine’s Day could be about celebrating love and connection to others and ourselves? If it’s something you can relate to, keep reading this blog to learn how to survive this time of the year. We’re in this together!


Why Do People Care So Much About Valentine’s Day? 

The true origin of Valentine’s Day is unknown. However, it’s speculated that it might be related to Lupercalia. This Roman festival celebrated the beginning of spring and promoted fertility. Since it eventually became forbidden, some believe it was replaced with Valentine’s Day. Interestingly, Valentine’s Day had nothing to do with showing love towards your partner until about the 14th century. It then became commercialised and mainly dedicated to couples.

Many people adore Valentine’s Day because they enjoy showering their partners with gifts and doing something special together. However, the irony is that they could make an effort on any other day – chocolates would be cheaper for sure! It could be argued that shop owners and gift makers are among those who enjoy this holiday the most. For the rest of us, there may be pressure and a belief that we don’t care about our partner if we don’t participate!


What’s The Purpose of Valentine’s Day, really?

Ask anyone, and they’ll tell you that Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate being in love or do something special with your partner. But it doesn’t take much to realise that nowadays it may have less to do with appreciating your relationship(s) and perhaps more to do with money: pay attention to how overpriced chocolates become and how suddenly everything is a ‘top gift for her’ (or him). And while the singles’ day isn’t celebrated in the UK, perhaps it would be just as commercialised. This begs the question of how much Valentine’s Day actually has to do with love. In China, for example, the singles day started as a response to traditional couple-focussed festivals. Still, it ended up becoming the largest shopping day in the world.

With all this in the background, here is a proposal: why not make Valentine’s Day a celebration of genuine love and connection? And it doesn’t have to be the love you have for your partner either. You can show appreciation towards your friends, family or even just yourself. This love can be expressed in many ways, which you can find more about in the following sections.


What are The Challenges of Valentine’s Day

If you’re single

1. Loneliness

For single people, Valentine’s Day isn’t just another reminder that they aren’t in a relationship, but very often an amplified fear that they’ll be alone forever. While being single has recently been a trend on social media, we all know that happiness is best shared. Sometimes, all you want is to be held, especially in a month as cold as February. If Valentine’s Day triggers your loneliness, you aren’t the only one – the pressure to make this day special is so great that even couples might feel like something is missing.

2. Sadness

For some, the only thing worse than being single on Valentine’s Day is going through a breakup or thinking about their recent breakup. Seeing happy couples might be unbearable and remind you of all the things you’d rather forget. You might feel like the only person in the world who isn’t happily in love.

3. Pressure not to be alone

It’s easy to feel out of place when surrounded by people in a relationship, and every shop has decorations dedicated to couples. You might feel like you’re missing out and pressured to find a date at whatever cost.

If you’re in a relationship

1. There’s a lot of pressure and competition

Valentine’s is pretty much a holiday celebrated by everyone, so you can expect to hear your co-workers talking about what they got from their significant other and discussing how their day or evening went. This can be stressful and may pressure you to spend a lot of money just to avoid feeling inadequate.

2. It can be an excuse not to be thoughtful in the remainder of the year

Valentine’s day is about showing appreciation towards your partner, which is excellent. Still, you should really appreciate them regularly instead of waiting for one day to shower them with affection. On the other hand, if your love language is giving gifts quite frequently, you might feel the pressure to come up with something extra special. If may feel like you simply can’t win!

3. You get your hopes up

When you browse social media on Valentine’s Day, all you’ll see is apparent perfection; perfect couples are happy with perfect gifts and have a perfect day. Even if you don’t care about this holiday much, you might subconsciously start to hope that your partner will come up with something that will match what you see online. You might also start seeing Valentine’s Day as a reflection of your relationship – if everything goes great, you’ll get to your happily ever after. If it doesn’t, you might start wondering if your partner cares about you at all.

Infographic - How To Deal With Valentine’s Day if You’re Single Or a Couple

Share this Image On Your Site

Tips on How to Deal with Valentine’s Day Stress, Loneliness and Anxiety

If you’re single

1. Stay away from social media

If you struggle about being single, seeing happy couples might trigger sadness and anxiety and make you feel unlovable. Why not take the chance and do a social media detox for a couple of days? (Including the day after) – your feed will be flooded with Valentine’s – related posts.

2. Express love towards yourself

If you can’t or don’t want to show love towards other people, you can always practise self-love. Treat yourself to something nice – whether it’s chocolates, a nice bath or your favourite food. Make sure you also put extra emphasis on self-care. Whenever you notice your mind fills with negative thoughts, remind yourself that you aren’t unworthy of love just because you aren’t in a relationship: just like you, there are some great single people out there who aren’t single because there’s something wrong with them!

3. Reach out to your friends

Being single might make you feel like you’re all alone, but it’s likely not entirely true. Remember that you have friends who will be there for you no matter what, and it’s the kind of love worth cultivating. Make a list of the people you care about most in your life and those you feel care about you and start getting in touch with them. You can show how much you appreciate their support and having them in your life; you can simply write them a few words, offer to buy them dinner or organise a catchup. Make this Valentine’s Day a celebration of your closer connections!

4. Remember that Valentine’s Day is what you make it to be

It doesn’t have to be about having a partner. If you have a lot of love to give, don’t waste time waiting for a romantic relationship and start expressing it today. Do something nice for your friends and family – it will make you feel less lonely and help you enjoy this holiday without the commercial part.

5. Stay connected

If you find it hard to deal with loneliness, consider joining a community or start volunteering. Helping other people will make you feel more connected, and you’ll realise there’s a lot of love out there that doesn’t have to be romantic or documented on social media.

Infographic 2 - How To Deal With Valentine’s Day if You’re Single Or a Couple

Share this Image On Your Site

If you’re in a relationship

1. Discuss Expectations and Set Boundaries

Even if you’re both against celebrating Valentine’s Day, the hype around it will make it seem like it’s cruel if you don’t do anything for or with your partner, even if it’s just buying them chocolates or going out for dinner. Similarly, it might be difficult not to feel disappointed if your partner doesn’t acknowledge you in any way, even if you think a gift or dinner would be a waste of money. That’s why you should discuss your expectations in advance and set some boundaries. Perhaps you can both agree on a price range, surprise each other with a nice homemade meal, or plan a nice getaway – now that would be something worth spending money on!

2. Decide to stay away from social media

Comparison is the biggest killer of joy. Even if your partner makes an effort and plans something special, it might be tempting to compare your relationship to other people’s. Make sure you stay away from social media and celebrate your love in private. And remember, just because you don’t document it doesn’t mean it loses significance. On the contrary, it might make it even more intimate.

3. Spend quality time together

If you think about how much you love your partner, you’ll realise that simply buying them a gift won’t do. The best way to cultivate your love is to spend some quality time together, away from distractions and expectations. It will allow you to focus on each other and strengthen your bond. Forget materialism – the amount of money you spend on each other has nothing to do with the strength of your feelings.

4. Work on your Issues Together

If Valentine’s Day is about your relationship with your partner, why not use it as a chance to work through some of your challenges? Long-lasting relationships need work and cultivation. Why not spend this special day strengthening your bond by discussing what’s on your mind? To do this, make a deal with your partner to spend an hour talking about things you’d like to improve between you two. During this time, you’ll commit to avoiding accusations and listening carefully to one another. Your goal will be to understand rather than change each other. Feeling listened to and understood by the person you love may be one of the greatest gifts you can receive this Valentine’s Day!

Infographic 3 - How To Deal With Valentine’s Day if You’re Single Or a Couple

Share this Image On Your Site

Contact us if you’re Struggling

If you’re struggling with loneliness or anxiety this Valentine’s, or if you’d like to work on your relationship issues, we can help! Contact us for a free 15 min consultation to discuss your options.

More Reading 

The Challenges of Moving in Together With Your Partner

Can Counselling Save a Relationship?

Clinically reviewed by:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read More

Dr Raffaello Antonino, Clinical Director at Therapy Central

Anxiety – A beauty and a beast

Welcome to our very first post! For our first blog we decided to to talk about one of the most common issues that people come to therapy for at Therapy

12 September / 2019

Read More

Members of:

We're registered with AXA Health, AXA therapists, AXA counselling, Aviva, Vitality, Cigna, BPS, HCPC, BABCP
Free Consultation - Icon
Call Now Button