As January turns to February, you’re probably seeing red hearts, flowers and chocolates everywhere. For people who are unhappily single on Valentine’s Day, this time of year can be especially triggering. People who have recently experienced a breakup or divorce may also find this time to be challenging. Watching friends and coworkers receive flowers and chocolates can really sting when you haven’t been having much luck on the dating scene. These days, social media has upped the ante with extravagant displays of gifts and orchestrated marriage proposals.
We live in a society that places great pressure on us to be partnered. We are constantly being shown imagery of happy couples and marriage is heralded as a necessary part of adulthood. For many, “finding the one” is on par with finding a fulfilling career or achieving financial stability. You may feel pressure from your family members or friends who ask inappropriate questions about your personal life.
Women are often more affected by this pressure than their male counterparts. Unmarried women are subject to societal expectations of marriage and, ultimately, babies. Childless, unmarried women beyond a certain age are especially susceptible to the demands of friends, parents and society in general. The expectation of “settling down” with a mate can leave women feeling dejected, unworthy and hopeless. For cisgender women who wish to carry a child, considerations such as fertility and the biological clock are at the forefront of the mind.
What if we changed our views on singledom? By reframing your single status as a symbol of independence and autonomy, you can detach from those societal expectations and pressures. Being single is your time to be selfish. It’s the time to focus on your goals and to develop a deeper understanding of what you truly want out of life. Here are a few ways to make the most being single on Valentine’s Day.
Single on Valentines Day? Self Love is the Best Love
Being single on Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to practice self love. Spending quality time with yourself helps to improve both self-awareness and self-esteem. If you like to journal, consider writing about your best traits and triumphs. Solo activities such as visiting a museum or participating in a hobby are fulfilling aspects of your self love journal.
Use Valentine’s Day to take extra care of yourself. Have you been neglecting self-care activities like feeding your body healthy foods, exercising and keeping up with hygiene tasks? Let the day be a reminder that you are worthy of being well taken care of. Take a nice, long shower or bath and spend some time refreshing your living space. Cook yourself a nourishing meal or visit your favorite restaurant. Move your body by taking a scenic walk or doing some stretching.
If you like to engage in self-pleasure, Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to indulge. Masturbation is a healthyhttps://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-18581/10-reasons-to-make-masturbation-part-of-your-wellness-routine.html and fun way of exploring your body and making yourself feel good. The practice has many benefits such as stress relief, more restful sleep and an improvement in your body image and self esteem.
Spend Time with Friends and Loved Ones
The importance of community can’t be overstated. As humans, we need connections with others to foster a sense of belonging. Make the effort to spend quality time with loved ones and platonic friends. Quite often, we’re led to believe that romantic relationships should be our top priority. The truth is that we need a variety of fulfilling relationships and we may achieve that sense of belonging in many ways. Nurture your friendships and make the effort to deepen your connections with the people who are important to you.
If you’re a pet owner, go ahead and show some extra love to your fur baby. Pet ownership offers many benefits such as companionship, anxiety reduction and increased levels of empathy. Research shows that petting or cuddling with a dog causes a significant reduction in the stress hormone, cortisol. Dog ownership is even linked to lower blood pressure and improved cognitive function.
Find the Positives in Being Single on Valentines Day
The benefits of gratitude include improved emotional regulation and decreased symptoms of depression, anxiety and burnout. There are many reasons to be grateful for your single status. Being single affords you the freedom and flexibility to do as you please without having to consider someone else’s needs. Being single provides an opportunity to gain a high level of self-awareness, which can bring you closer to living your very best life. Time alone can help you to identify your priorities, as well as the characteristics of the partner and life that you want.
It’s important to remember that relationships come with their fairy share of problems. It takes real effort to make a relationship work and romantic relationships have a significant impact on your mental health. Coupled people have to consider the needs of their partner and may even have to compromise on their own needs to make their partner happy. Like being single, relationships come with highs and lows, so it’s important not to idealize coupledom.
If you’ve been struggling with difficult emotions stemming from being single, you’re not alone. Many people are frustrated with their search for love, leading to low self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness. It’s important to know that you are enough, just as you are. You don’t need a partner to validate your worthiness or to complete you. By developing a fulfilling relationship with yourself, you’re better able to be your best self for the people in your life. By adopting more self love, you’ll soon come to enjoy being single on Valentine’s Day.
The therapists at Flourish Psychology provide a safe space for you to discuss these difficult feelings. By working with a therapist, you can unlearn any negative beliefs regarding your single status, while detaching from the expectations of society. Contact us today to schedule your first session.