It’s the oldest scene in the book: it is Valentine’s Day, and you see couples left and right exchanging gifts, laughing, smiling and maybe even showing some displays of affection. I personally can’t help but sometimes feel envious of those couples. But even so, I am here to tell you that it is okay to be single on Valentine’s Day.
I believe that Valentine’s Day isn’t just a couple’s holiday. I think Valentine’s Day is a day to show your love and affection to friends and family members too. Even if you don’t have a significant other, you should take this time for one day out of the year to appreciate the people closest to you. Whether it be buying your best friend some chocolate, letting your family know how much you appreciate all the things they do for you or writing a ‘thank you’ card to someone you care about, I encourage you to show the people you love that you care about them.
Being single on Valentine’s Day also affords you many opportunities for growth. Many of these opportunities may not come as easily when you are in a relationship. As cliché as it sounds, being single is a time to focus on yourself. It is a time to allow yourself room for failure, self-reflection and personal growth. Failure is a part of life. Everyone is going to fail at some point, but the true measure of a person is whether they pick themselves back up and keep going after their failure. It’s hard to give yourself that room to fail when you are worried about your significant other’s expectations, but when you have the encouragement of your friends and family, you can start to take your failures as opportunities to work harder next time.
I believe that surrounding yourself with positive energy and people who support and encourage you is the best way to overcome failure. It’s not always easy to have this mindset when you are in a relationship.
Another important idea you can focus on while you are single is self-reflection. I truly believe that self-reflecting on your own actions, events in your life and treatment of others is crucial to becoming a better person.
When you are in a relationship, time can often fly by quickly. As a college student, my schedule is constantly filled with classes, homework and extracurricular activities. If you were to add all those things on top of being in a relationship, I can see how it would be hard to find a few moments at the end of the day for yourself. But I believe that finding those few minutes, even if it is only 5-10 minutes a day, is a great opportunity for self-reflection. If you like to write, consider keeping a journal of how you feel after the end of the day. You don’t have to write in it every day, but even if you just write in it a few times, I believe it can help tremendously. You could also consider meditating for 5-10 minutes. Sometimes all you need is a few peaceful minutes away from technology and the world. It may seem difficult at first, but I find that when I slow down, take a breath and allow myself to be fully present in the moment, I start to discover things about myself I didn’t know previously.
Lastly, being single allows you to grow personally. You may ask, “What do I do with all the things I have discovered through self-reflection?” My answer to you would be to use it as an opportunity to become a better person. This can mean different things. For example, if you find out through self-reflection that you tend to procrastinate a lot, think of ways that you can prevent yourself from doing it in the future. It might be as simple as making a to-do list or keeping a planner with all your due dates.
If you find out you have a hard time listening to other people, make a conscious effort to listen closer. Sometimes just by listening intentionally rather than listening to respond, we can open ourselves up to new ideas and perspectives we might have disregarded in the past. If you take this time of being single as an opportunity to better yourself, it will only prepare you that much more when the time comes to be in a relationship. And when you are in that relationship, you will be ready to pursue whatever life throws at you with your significant other.
So, next time you catch yourself feeling down on Valentine’s Day, remember to take it as an opportunity for self-growth and a time to appreciate your friends and family members.