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How to love being single on Valentine’s Day

Flickr/Magnus D

It’s that time of year again. The time where the center aisle in supermarkets are filled with red products: red candy boxes, red candles, red cards,  red teddy bears, red wrapped Godiva chocolates and last but not least red roses.

It can be wonderful. But roses, candlelight and chocolate all feel so much better when you have someone to share it with.

Valentine’s Day dates back to around the third century and literally means, “a day for the exchange of tokens of affection.”  The tradition of exchanging tokens on Feb. 14 has stood the test of time, but for all of us single people, Valentine’s Day has turned into more of a Singles Awareness Day, also known as S.A.D. This day of romance and lovey-dovey couples sometimes can be a slap in the face to those whose love life is about as exciting as the Du Bois library on a Friday night. But don’t panic- there are various things that you can do today to distract your eyes from focusing on the people with heart balloons and a handful of roses.

Valentine’s Day was so much easier in grade school when everyone was your valentine. The days of handing out Snoopy or Harry Potter cards to everyone in your class with the generic “Be Mine” saying on it, even if you didn’t mean it. As you get older, a “valentine” has a much deeper meaning. But, it is also important to remember that Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be a sorrow-filled day of indulging on Ben & Jerry’s and sappy romance films by your lonesome.

Firstly, throw a party. Being single means that only single people can celebrate S.A.D. Invite all of your single friends to go out to eat or stay inside and drink cheap wine. Just remember, a S.A.D party means no couples and no crying over how “single” you are. Keep it fun, uplifting, and remember being single means being free.

Another great way to spend this often heart-wrenching holiday is to share the love. A random act of kindness always goes a long way. Buy those corny Valentine’s Day cards and stick them on random car windshields. Call an old friend and tell them you love them, just because you can. Feeling good about making other people happy is probably the best distraction there is to keep you from feeling lonely. There’s a lot more to love than diamonds and chivalry.

Although Valentine’s Day is technically supposed to be celebrated with a loved one, or at least someone that you can “exchange tokens of affection” with, you can break the tradition. Spend this day being your own valentine. Cross out something on your bucket list, or treat yourself to some expensive chocolate. Rather than wasting the day away longing for a hand to hold, spend it loving yourself.

In the grand scheme of things, Valentine’s Day is just another day; the only difference is that it comes with a label. You could throw a party, be your own valentine for the day, spread the love, or just completely ignore this list.

This day could just be another day in the life and being single allows you to do whatever you want to do.

It’s very common to forget how broad of a word “love” actually is. Especially on this holiday, we think of a love like Cory or Topanga on “Boy Meets World,” or Nicholas Spark’s Allie and Noah. But when you’re feeling extra lonely on Valentine’s Day, remember that a love between friends like Cory and Shawn Hunter can be just as good.

Beth Cormack can be reached at bcomack@student.umass.edu.

 

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