A common misconception among singletons is that people in relationships always have the ‘perfect’ Valentine’s Day – flowers, little heart-shaped chocolates, a romantic candlelit dinner in the most perfect red dress (with heels to match, duh), a long walk afterwards holding hands and sharing a kiss perfectly silhouetted against the moonlight followed by *ahem* cuddles on the couch. I speak from experience, as one of my favourite Valentine’s Days as a single girl involved driving around with my best friend, throwing peanuts at ‘happy’ couples. Yes, this actually happened.
While my last Valentine’s Day was magical since James was visiting me specifically for the occasion, it didn’t quite turn out as we planned. We had in mind a relaxing day by the pool, just the two of us, but me having to work till 4pm when I was originally promised the day off, really put a damper on things. We managed to salvage the rest of the evening, though, and had a lovely time. However, this Valentine’s Day, James is occupied with a big upcoming project at work and is devoting the entire weekend to prepping for it.
I must admit, I was a little bummed out and sulked around for a bit, but after reading the entries to a random Valentine’s Day contest on Instagram where couples shared their plans in order to win, I realized that this picture perfect V-Day really doesn’t exist, and not just for singletons. Most of the people commenting were in serious relationships and / or married and most of them were spending their days taking their children to soccer games, taking their dogs on walks and sneaking in a quick lunch date before getting on with the rest of the day as normal. Not one of the couples had planned new outfits, dinners, candles or presents! And the women that sounded happiest and most secure in their relationships were absolutely fine with it!
Something about this made me feel guilty about my behavior. And while I still love flowers, candles, lunch dates and new dresses, I realized that it isn’t fair for me to expect these from him. I’ve decided to take the high road and be a good fiance. Instead of being in his way all day, sulking about how we have no big plans, I’m taking my happiness on Valentine’s Day into my own hands by showing myself a little love. After all, the one you’re with for life is you, before anybody else.
So whether you’re single or in a relationship with someone who happens to be busy (or a partner who doesn’t ‘believe’ in Valentine’s Day – we’ve all been there!), follow along. You’ll be happier, less bitter about being bored alone and he’ll love the idea of your fun plans so much, he might just want to tag along!
1. Dress the part
When you look good, you feel good. Scientists and people who undertake fancy studies that produce impressive statistics often reinforce this in Cosmopolitan magazine. Either way, when you throw on a pretty dress or swipe on a bright lipstick, you’re likely to feel pretty, happy and confident. That’s half the battle won.
2. Take yourself out to lunch
Dinner can be a daunting meal to eat alone, especially with loads of cringeworthy canoodling couples around on a day like today. Lunch is a much safer bet and a fun way to celebrate the occasion. If the idea still seems a little scary, and you don’t want people to think of you as a girl who got stood up by her date on Valentine’s Day, take a magazine or book along to keep you company.
3. Treat yourself to something nice
Presents are the best. Let’s not even try to deny it. Right, now that that’s been cleared up, who says we need to be dependent on another person for them? Treat yourself to something you’ve really been wanting, whether it’s as big as a new bag (because we’d all rather have Valentino over a Valentine!) or as small as a red velvet cupcake. You’ve earned it!
4. Spend time with a friend
Whether you round all your girls up and head out for a mad night of cocktails and man-bashing, or you choose to spend a quiet night in with a friend who is spending their first Valentine’s Day alone after a breakup, being around someone you love (who isn’t a romantic interest or partner) will lift your spirits, and theirs, instantly.
5. Get some exercise
Exercise releases endorphins or ‘happy hormones’ that put you in a good mood during and after your workout. So if a yoga or belly dancing class is your thing, sign up for one now! If you’re a traditional gym rat or ‘go-for-a-run’ gal, don’t forget your iPod! I plan on taking my puppy, Poppy out for a nice, long walk. Knowing how happy this makes her is motivation for me to get off my butt and get moving!
6. Brighten up your home with some flowers
They look pretty, they smell great and they make for great Instagram pictures. There’s nothing I love more than fresh blooms brightening up my home! Buy yourself the prettiest bunch you can today. I’m on my way to the flower market right now!
7. Do something sensual
Light your favourite scented candle, take a nice, frothy, warm bubble bath with a few flower petals tossed in for good measure or lounge around in your ‘special occasion’ nightie or pajamas. You’re allowed a little luxury today, and will feel like a whole new person after having done it!
What are your V-Day plans? Share them with me in the comments section! Have a lovely day!