Tackling Valentine’s Day as a single person is a tough prospect. Commercials remind you not to forget that special gift for that special someone. Every time you walk into the grocery store you’re inundated with Valentine’s sales. And your friends – well, the ones in relationships at least – may not know how to shut up when it comes to their plans for the big day.

In all, most singles would like to just skip over Valentine’s Day if it were possible.

Unfortunately, it’s not. And it’s easy to fall into traps on Valentine’s Day. It can be a lonely day for a lot of people who fashion themselves currently or perpetually unlucky in love, and loneliness can lead to desperation.

It’s important to know that it’s ok to be single, and you don’t have to celebrate Valentine’s Day in the traditional sense just because the world seems to want you to.

Don’t feel like you have to stay home alone because you’re single

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be a holiday for couples only. At its core, it’s about love, and there are other types of loves besides romantic. There’s the love between you and your best friends, for instance. So if you have any single BFFs, by all means, go out and have some fun. Have a platonic “date night” with a friend of the opposite sex. Staying confined to the house because it’s a traditional “couples night out” is silly.

Don’t feel like you have to go out

Of course, there’s also no shame in staying home. Have a Netflix night. Cook yourself a spectacular dinner for one. Take a long bubble bath. Starting reading that book you’ve been meaning to read. Before you can be anyone else’s Valentine, you have to know how to be your own.

Don’t make emotional decisions just because it’s a holiday of companionship

Yes, it’s Valentine’s Day and the universe is telling you that you should have some romance. If there’s a way to spend the day with someone in a healthy way – of course, have some fun. But don’t be lured into the trap of companionship for companionship’s sake. Don’t call that ex just because you’re lonely on Valentine’s Day. Every situation is different and Valentine’s Day might just be the best time for you to make amends – but it’s also a day when high emotions can lead to impulsive decisions. If nothing else, make sure you think everything over before you act on what can be an emotionally-charged holiday for many.

Don’t overindulge out of sadness or boredom

If there’s a temptation greater than calling that ex, it’s the ice cream in the freezer. Although there’s nothing wrong with a little chocolate on Valentine’s Day, don’t feel the need to splurge or ruin weeks of previous hard work because it’s an emotional day. Valentine’s Day can be a springboard for self-improvement –  a jumping off point for positive change in one’s life.

For example, in addition to treating yourself to a healthy, delicious meal, maybe try an online workout routine, or go for a run. If you’re in recovery, it’s also a good day to reconnect with your sobriety goals. Go to an AA meeting then celebrate your hard work by doing something you love with a group of sober friends. You might also use the day to get some work done that you’ve been meaning to cross off that to-do list. The more productive you are on Valentine’s Day, the better you’ll feel about tackling it as a single person.

Oh, and you’ll probably save a boatload of money. Maybe Valentine’s Day as a single isn’t so bad after all.

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