No Relationship? No Problem

Finding other forms of love on Valentine’s Day

By Emma Ryan, Collegian Contributor

While the looming events of Valentine’s Day is an exciting prospect for those of us in a relationship, it can be something to dread for others who are single. The advertisements for flowers, chocolate and jewelry seem like a constant reminder of the fact that you aren’t in a relationship. But who’s to say that Valentine’s Day is only for romantic love? There are plenty of activities to celebrate platonic love and self-love, which are just as important to recognize as romantic love.

The most important thing to do when celebrating Valentine’s Day as a single person is to make plans. It sounds so simple and obvious but without plans, you have nothing to look forward to, which can lead to a boring and ultimately bitter night. If you make plans, no matter what they are or who they’re with, it gives you something to look forward to. The plans you make don’t even have to do with Valentine’s Day. Anything that gets you out of the house and your mind off of being single will do the trick.

While you can make Valentine’s Day plans by yourself, it’s infinitely easier and more gratifying when you make them with friends and family who you should celebrate your love with in the way you would a significant other. Get your closest friends together and go out to your favorite restaurant. You could even plan a family dinner if none of your family members have big plans. We sometimes take for granted the fact that we love our friends and family, and often don’t show it like we should. Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to plan something extravagant with your loved ones and show that you love them.

Everyone knows that Valentine’s Day means chocolate and flowers for your significant other, but who’s to say that only people in a relationship can enjoy these cheesy gifts? Get a group of friends together and exchange gifts Secret Santa, or Secret Cupid, style. Compete to see who can buy the corniest card, the best box of chocolates or the prettiest flowers. It can make for some laughs and everyone gets the mushy gift they all secretly want.

Big get togethers are a great way to celebrate the holiday and display your love, but chill, relaxed nights can be just as fun. Plan a movie marathon with yourself or your friends. Find the cringiest rom-coms or the most heart wrenching romances to binge, whether you want to enjoy them or mock them. If love stories aren’t your thing, stick to your favorite thrilling action movies or horror movies to erase any lingering traces of romance. Put on your comfiest clothes, make your favorite snacks, maybe even throw on a face mask and settle in to enjoy a film-filled night.

If you’re feeling a little bit more adventurous this Valentine’s season, you could even go on a first date. It seems unconventional and completely against the culture of being single on this particular holiday, but it can be a good way to put yourself out there and talk to someone new, or maybe even someone you’ve had your eye on for a while. It doesn’t have to be a big fancy date or lead to something more, but the possibility of that happening makes it all the more exciting. At the very least, you get to meet someone new that you would have never met if you hadn’t taken that step outside your comfort zone.

While it’s great to surround yourself with people on a holiday like this, whether it’s a family dinner, a first date or hanging out with your best friends, its equally as important to celebrate self-love as it is romantic or platonic love. You don’t need anyone else to buy you a box of chocolates or treat you to your favorite meal. Create a tradition with yourself that you can default to whenever you don’t have other plans. Get yourself your favorite meal and watch your favorite movie or even take yourself on a little night out. It may sound lame but being independent and treating yourself to your favorite things can be infinitely more gratifying than expecting someone else to do it for you.

Valentine’s Day, although wonderful when you can spend it with a significant other, doesn’t have to be spent in a relationship. There are plenty of fun ways to spend the holiday and celebrate your love for your friends, family and yourself.

Emma Ryan is an Collegian contributor and can be reached at [email protected]