If you think Valentine's Day is reserved for those struck by cupid's arrow, think again. Yes, V-Day is about love. But who better to shower with love, spoil rotten, and, yes, shop for than yourself? Couples nationwide are frantically ordering next-day delivery gifts on Amazon Prime, praying they achieve the perfect combination of wow factor and relationship-stage-appropriate affection; meanwhile, you know exactly what you want, no mind-reading necessary.
So to all those flying solo, we say: Instead of ignoring the holiday, embrace it! In her recent essay for InStyle, 2 Dope Queens' Phoebe Robinson perfectly captured the mood of spending V-Day alone: "This is the perfect time to get used to not being someone’s partner."
But if you're not about me time, there's another (boozier) alternative: Turn Valentine's Day into Galentine's Day, says Robinson. "Lean on—and reconnect with—your friends. We all spend so much time texting our besties during a work meeting or while we’re in the middle of watching Master Chef, but how often do we sit down and really focus on them for a few hours? Last year on Valentine’s Day, my friend and I got dressed up, went to a screening of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 reboot, and then had some drinks and got mac ’n’ cheese for dinner. You can’t be mad on a day like that—it was super fun. So whatever will put you in good spirits that’s legal and isn’t going to hurt anyone? Go for it."
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Need a game plan? "Think about the things that light you up, don’t feel like work, and come naturally to you. Think about the activities you enjoyed as a child or the types of ideas that flow easily to your mind," suggests Lisa Lentino, clinical psychologist and author of Constructive Thinking: How to Grow Beyond your Mind ($13, amazon.com). Everyone needs a day to rediscover what they actually like to do on their own, and Feb. 14 is the perfect time for that kind of positive introspection.
Scroll down for more ways to have the best Valentine's Day ever, Valentine not included.
VIDEO: The Best Galentine’s Day Dates to Celebrate Your Girls
Honestly, every day is the perfect day to indulge in your favorite form of pampering. Get a mani/pedi or a massage (or, you know, both). Chill out in a meditation class or go full fad and get your mermaid on in a salt water float pod.
Relaxation is best done solo, so relish in the fact that your time is all your own.
BE LAZY AF
It may not sound like much of a celebration, but doing nothing can be the greatest celebration of all. Get in your comfiest, ugliest sweats, put your hair up in a messy bun, and indulge in the greatest things single life has to offer ... which are many: starfish the bed, blast your favorite music, embrace the groutfit, shop, hit your favorite coffee shop and flirt with the barista, order sushi for three, eat it for one, and smile when there's no one even a little bit judging you. Most importantly, take in the luxury of true, independent, do-whatever-you-want-without-consulting-someone-else's-schedule unattachment.
TALK TO A WISE WOMAN
There's no better way to learn about love than to talk to the wise, older woman in your life who's been through more than you know ... and may be willing to share some of her secret wisdom. Connect with your mom, aunt, older friend, boss, or grandmother and listen to their stories about love, heartbreak, friendship, and independence. Or, you know, just share a bottle of wine.
TRADE VALS FOR GALS
Speaking of wisdom, "Maybe our girlfriends are our soulmates and guys are just people to have fun with," Sex and the City taught us. What better way to spend a single V-Day than with your fellow unattached girlfriends? Whether you take a trip, go out for cocktails, or have a good old-fashioned sleepover, take a cue from Robinson and let couples everywhere remind you that it's important to take time for the people you love—and not just romantically.
GO TO A BAR ALONE
Going to a bar solo is one of the most empowering things you can do. Drink, read, twiddle your thumbs, watch a game on the screen. And we’re not trashing the swipe—which can also be a mindless, fun way to flirt on V-Day—but should you be in the mood to meet someone, the other cute bar patrons attending on their own on Feb 14? Yeah, they’re probably single and looking for to get their flirt on too. Be bold!
BABYSIT FOR A FRIEND
If you’re feeling selfless, why not babysit for your lovebird friends who haven’t had a proper date night since baby number two arrived? It’s just about the nicest thing you can do for a friend—a true Valentine’s Day gift—and buys you more good will than you can imagine.
WRITE A LOVE LETTER ... TO A FRIEND
Or to yourself. This is not a joke. OK, you don't have to draw hearts and address it to "Dear Me," but those who journal know that it's easy to focus on the negatives when you're venting on paper. Take a moment to reflect on all the things you love about your life and yourself and actually put them down. Or organize a card swap with girlfriends, single or not, in which you each write one friend a card about what makes her so damn great.