Introduction: How to Celebrate Valentines WITHOUT a "Significant Other"
Why let the couples have all the fun? Being single is no excuse to be miserable on Valentines Day. Not all love is romantic love. Celebrate a different kind of love and make the day a special one for yourself!
Step 1: Being Single Is Good
Have you or your friends ever gone on a date simply to "not be single on Valentine's Day"? Do you know someone who held off on breaking up until after Valentine's, no matter how miserable they were? Is one crappy date really worth the trouble?
Instead of being bitter, think of it this way: being single means that you are under no pressure to find a date, plan the perfect date, get the right gift, spend money you can't afford to spend, or live up to anyone's expectations. How freeing is that?
Being bitter about being single only hurts you. So remember:
Romantic love is not the only kind of love.
Being single is not a curse.
Accepting that you are single now does not mean you will be single forever.
You don't need another person to somehow "complete" you anyway.
Friendship is also love.
Romance is sometimes overrated. You most certainly can have fun without it!
Step 2: Other Types of Love
According to author C.S. Lewis, in his book The Four Loves, romance is only one type of love. The other three are:
- Affection: appreciation for a person, a pet, the love between members of a family, etc. Often the basis of other loves, and often not noticed until the object of it is gone.
- Friendship: "To the Ancients, Friendship seemed the happiest and most fully human of all loves; the crown of life and the school of virtue. The modern world, in comparison, ignores it....How has this come about? The first and most obvious answer is that few value it because few experience it. And the possibility of going through life without the experience is rooted in that fact which separates Friendship so sharply from both the other loves. Friendship is- in a sense not at all derogatory to it- the least natural of loves; the least instinctive, organic, biological, gregarious and necessary...It is essentially between individuals; the moment two men are friends they have in some degree drawn apart together from the herd. Without Eros [romantic love] none of us would have been begotten and without Affection none of us would have been reared; but we can live and breed without friendship...."
Friendship is then where people "meet like sovereign princes of independent states, abroad, on neutral ground, freed from our contexts. This love (essentially) ignores not only our physical bodies but that whole embodiment which consists of our family, job, past and connections...Eros will have naked bodies; Friendship naked personalities....it has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival."
- Charity: unconditional love, Gift-love, selfless love, self-sacrificing love, transcendental love, agape, the highest level of love, the kind that is"passionately committed to the well-being of the other", divine love, God's love.
Step 3: Love Others
In many other countries, Valentine's Day (or it's equivalent) is celebrated as "The Day of Love and Friendship." So do something nice for your friends. Friendship is an often overlooked form of love.
Invite your single friends out for dinner. The best prom "date" I ever had was with 6 single friends - we were falling out of our chairs laughing; the other prom couples in the restaurant looked so nervous and on their best behavior, they were probably not having any fun. It was hilarious. Go to a fancy restaurant, or just your favorite fast food place - the only rules are no couples allowed, and no complaining.
Send a lonely friend an encouraging note. Buy a package of cheesy grade-school valentines, and pass them around.
Volunteer for or donate to your favorite charity. Do something nice for a stranger. Shovel the neighbor's driveway.
Do something nice for a family member- show them you appreciate them. Buy your parents some roses. Help a sibling out.
Step 4: Love Yourself
Love yourself. Do something to remind yourself how much you matter. You are important, and perfect just the way you are. Celebrate your uniqueness. Forgive yourself. Write yourself a letter as if you were writing to a friend, and tell yourself why you are loved.
Buy yourself a gift. Conversation hearts, your favorite chocolate, a massage, a rose, etc.
Do something you love. Today, you deserve to be special.
Someone cares about you. Someone is friends with you. Even if you can't think of someone right now, know that I care about you and God cares about you. Celebrate the fact that you are loved!
Step 5: God Loves You
No matter what other people may tell you, God loves you.
No matter what you have done, God loves you.
God loves you right now. God loves you for who you are now, not who you could be or who you will be, but WHO YOU ARE.
And that is definitely worth celebrating!
Happy Valentine's Day!