We survived New Year’s Eve and its firework flashes, champagne sparkles, and midnight kisses.
For just a moment, we breathed a sigh of relief.
Our friends would now be too busy focusing on new diets and gym memberships to realize that our single status was still firmly in place. But as we removed calendar days, we realized that we were not yet in the clear.
Valentine’s Day looms large. We can’t go to the grocery store without walking past an aisle that menacingly displays its profusion of hearts, flowers, and candy as we head discreetly to the back for our gallon of milk.
It doesn’t matter what stance we take toward the holiday. We can choose to dismiss its crass commercialism. We can sneer at its insignificance in our lives. We can even mock the lovey-dovey couples with a derisive laugh, predicting the odds of a breakup or divorce as casually as we would talk about the weather.
But however casually we seem to take it, it’s natural for many singles to feel a sense of unease as we approach the holiday. It’s a holiday for two, and we’re walking through the world as one.
And even those of us who are choosing to stay single can still feel a pang. Perhaps it’s just a passing feeling of loneliness. Or a wistfulness that we haven’t found the kind of connection we’d like to have. It could just be a surge of annoyance at yet another holiday that seems to leave singles out in the cold.
But feelings—any feelings—about the day are quite natural.
So here are six Valentine’s Day plans that don’t require a plus-one.
- Sign up to run a race.
This is the one I chose. I’m participating in a chocolate-themed race that weekend—there are even wine and chocolate runs in some places. Choose one that is affordable and convenient for you.
This is also a great way to kick off any health resolutions we may have. Whether we participate in a fun run or 5K, this is a great activity that doesn’t focus on couples—as long as you, you know, ignore the couples running together.
- Visit a nearby park or hiking trail.
I live in Georgia where there’s an abundance of hiking trails ending in waterfalls, which is delightful. This is another option that doesn’t require a plus-one as long as we adhere to basic safety practices when hiking alone. Spending time outdoors and getting some sun can also boost our moods.
- Book a spa treatment or spa day.
We can indulge ourselves with a hot stone massage, facial, or reflexology session. A manicure or pedicure could also be in order. If our budget doesn’t extend to a spa, we can always give ourselves an at-home facial, lighting a candle for aromatherapy and choosing a relaxing playlist.
- Head to a museum.
Choose a museum that speaks to your interests. Art and science museums may spring to mind, but we can also visit a music hall of fame or a historical site. Indulging in beauty is a great way to celebrate the day without needing a date.
- Treat yourself to dessert.
Where I live, there are dozens of chocolate shops, bakeries, ice cream shops, and themed dessert places. I could have breakfast at a cafe that specializes in cinnamon buns and then head to a bakery that makes a variety of pies before finishing out the day at a shop devoted to cookies. Honestly, signing up for my first half marathon was just a way to balance my sweet tooth.
And while I’ll probably never hit up three dessert shops in a day, there’s nothing wrong with choosing one—assuming our health and diet allow for it—to treat ourselves to something delicious. No plus-one? No problem—at least we don’t have to share.
- Host a “Blind Date with a Book” party.
Maybe this appeals to me because I’m a bookworm from way back, but the idea behind this is brilliant. Each person shows up to the event with a book they’d recommend wrapped in brown paper. The title and author do not appear on the wrapping. The only information is a general description of what kind of book it is.
Each guest then chooses the perfect date to take home. Pair this event with desserts, candlelight, and a Valentine’s Day theme. I can’t think of a more perfect date for the occasion!
Getting through Valentine’s Day is a breeze when we take the time to plan an alternate celebration. It doesn’t have to be big or flashy or expensive.
And if we’re in a new relationship, planning something just for ourselves—even if just for part of the day—can take the pressure off an often-stressful holiday.
Remember, it’s not too late to save the date!
Author: Crystal Jackson
Image: Brigitte Tohm/Unsplash
Editor: Nicole Cameron
Copy Editor: Callie Rushton