February 2, 2021

6 Sweet Ways to be our Own Damn Valentine.

The word February tastes like dark chocolate in my mouth and sounds like the color pink.

The shortest month of the year, it is love flavored with commercialism and grandiose gestures.

As I sit and write this, I am in a coffee shop festooned with feathery pink garlands and bright red hearts. The grocery stores are overflowing with creamy roses and boxes of chocolates while the radio announces deals on sparkly diamonds.

But what about those of us whose beating hearts have no mate?

The incomparable Rupi Kaur said, “You must want to spend the rest of your life with yourself first.”

What better time to become your own greatest fan than during the month of love?

I challenge all of those who remain unmatched this February 14 to see it as a glorious doorway to freedom that deserves celebration.

So here are my tips on how to be your own valentine:

It might sound trite, but look on the bright side. Gratitude is the greatest elixir of joy, I’ve found. There are plenty of people in unhappy relationships who feel trapped in a union that brings them more distress than happiness. Being single can be peaceful and conflict-free. Revel in it.

You are the captain of your own ship. Read it again and savor those words. You don’t have to consult anyone else before making big decisions. There is no compromise or sacrifice. You are free to move to a new city, take that job or travel the world. You have full autonomy over your choices and that can be a beautiful thing.

Being single can be a catalyst for growth and an opportunity to foster resilience, strength, and independence. Taking on a new project or challenge—and then mastering it—is a way to grow self-confidence. Be proud of yourself and what you can accomplish in your solo state.

Enjoy the sense of opportunity and anticipation. A partner won’t complete you, but there is always the delicious sense that your soul mate could be right around the next corner. Maybe in the process of loving and living life, you will draw them to you. It could be that attractive stranger getting coffee at the same coffee shop, or a friend’s best friend, or that person who shares the same unusual hobby as you. Once you’re coupled up, that sense of excitement and possibility is gone. So enjoy the idea that a serendipitous meeting could happen at any time.

You can flirt freely. And lust after others guilt-free. We all have attractions and desires, regardless of status, but when you’re single, you’re free to explore them. It can be fun and liberating. Use this time to explore and figure out what kind of person you want in your life.

Time, that precious commodity, is all yours. There is no juggling act as you attempt to balance work, relationships, and other demands. If you want to Netflix at home in sweatpants all weekend, indulge yourself. You can fully devote yourself to your passions and interests without feeling that nagging guilt of neglecting someone else. Or worse, denying yourself and losing your identity in someone else’s pursuits and passions.

There are a million other tiny reasons to celebrate singleness and I hope all of us unpaired people find them this February. Cheers to a fulfilling but still love-filled Valentine’s Day!

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