We Need to Chat: How to Combat Valentine’s Day Loneliness as a Single

We Need to Chat: How to Combat Valentine’s Day Loneliness as a Single
Contributor: Juna Xu

I love love. But as I enter yet another year as a singleton, I can’t help but admit my faith in this four-letter word has started to dwindle. It’s as though that glimmer of hope for requited love has started to become an idea only reserved for the Hallmark movies and romance novels I’ve devoured, on repeat. And if there’s one day that makes me, and every other single person, feel even more, well… crap, about their non-existent romantic relationship status, it’s February 14. 

Valentine’s Day seemingly showers those who are blissfully in love with praise and support. So when you’re alone on a day that’s dedicated to being coupled up, it can send you into a downward spiral of self-doubt.

“Valentine’s Day often promotes overt expressions of love, public displays of affection, mushy social media posts and blatant gloating about gifts given or received,” Lysn psychologist Nancy Sokarno explained to me. “While there’s nothing wrong with celebrating love on one day of the year, it can sometimes be tough for singles to watch on.”

However, if there’s anything that 27 long years of unattachment has taught me, it’s that being alone on V-Day — much like being single on every other day of the year — is nothing to be afraid of. It’s not a reflection of your attractiveness, your incredible personality or your value as a human being. In fact, it’s a blessing — an excuse to celebrate yourself and spend an entire day doing whatever you desire. 

“The grass is always greener as a single on Valentine’s Day,” relationship expert Alina Rose noted. “Singles can write their own script, plan their own adventure and organise this day of love their way.”

So, if you’re in need of some inspiration, here are some ways you can restore your faith in love and free yourself from loneliness this V-Day, regardless of your romantic situation. 

How to embrace your single status on Valentine’s Day

single on valentines

Buy yourself a gift

Have you been eyeing a dress, bag or piece of jewellery (or whatever, really)? Maybe you’ve been tossing and turning about locking in some annual leave this year? Make February 14 an excuse to treat yourself (in whatever way works for you). 

“There’s no reason why you can’t show yourself some love by buying yourself a gift,” Sokarno said. “Wrap it, write yourself a card and make a point to open it on Valentine’s Day.”

Go on a first date

You may feel pressure approaching the idea of a first date on the ‘international day of love’. But if you have a Hinge match who’s on the same wavelength as you and you’re both up for a night of fun, go for it. Laughter is the best kind of medicine after all, right? 

Rose also suggested speed dating. “See if there are some speed dating events on Valentine’s Day in your area,” she said. “You’ll go on at least six dates that night, have a lot of fun and maybe even meet someone cute.” Again, life’s too short to be missing out on a night of pure unadulterated enjoyment.

Rose continued: “The point is, don’t make it a day when you feel like you’re missing out and the whole of social media has turned against you with a feed of flowers.”

Celebrate Galentine’s Day

Even if your friends are in relationships, make plans ahead of time to celebrate Galentine’s Day. 

“This relatively new concept made popular by the show Parks and Recreation basically means booking in a date to spend with the girls (or boys, or whoever you like),” Sokarno explained. “While it’s typically celebrated on February 13, you can certainly do the same on Valentine’s Day. The purpose is about getting together with your single friends and showing your appreciation for their friendship.”

Our close friendships are just as valuable as any romantic relationship can be and celebrations like these make for unforgettable memories, Rose noted.

“Celebrate your single status and treasure these good times with your friends while you can — you’ll fondly look back on these memories once your circumstances invariably change as life flows forward.”

Practice self-care 

Get your nails done, take a bath and press play on a movie, do a social media detox, book yourself in for a fun class like a painting or workout session, have a long FaceTime catch-up with a friend or family member, do a wardrobe detox or write yourself a love letter. The list of self-care activities is really only limited by your imagination. 

“Self-care activities have been proven to have mental health benefits and it’s all about spending some time allowing you to do the things you love,” Sokarno said. 

Rewire your train of thought

Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be taken so seriously. Instead, Rose urges you to have fun with it like Christmas or Halloween. 

“Mental health is all about the story you tell yourself,” she said. “If you’re having thoughts like ‘I’m so alone’, ‘I feel like a loser’ or ‘all these couples are doing better in life than me’, you need to give your train of thought a positive spin.”

“Say to yourself, ‘Romance is in the air and I’m so happy for these couples. I can’t wait for a fun, nourishing day with my friends and who knows what next year will have in store for me.’”

It’s about changing the discourse from being a ‘lonely’ single to a ‘thriving’ one. 

Talk to someone

It’s easy as singles to use our independence to mask the loneliness within — we put up a strong facade but dwell on our relationship concerns behind closed doors. But please repeat after me: it’s OK to reach out to someone about how you’re feeling. 

Whether that’s a family member, friend or a professional, know there are people in your life who are there to listen to your thoughts, because your emotions are completely justifiable. 

“Sometimes the act of voicing how you feel can enable you to feel more at ease,” Sokarno explained. “If you find it difficult talking to someone you know, reach out to a professional. A psychologist or therapist can arm you with tactics to cope and remind you that you’re not alone.”

And that doesn’t mean you have to leave your house, either. Services like Lifeline and Beyond Blue provide free over-the-phone counselling with trained experts who are always willing to listen and provide the support you might need. 

Dealing with grief on Valentine’s Day

If you’re grieving the loss of a significant other, acknowledge that it’s going to be difficult to deal with but also remember there are strategies you can implement to help you through this challenging period. 

“Surround yourself with lots of love and support,” Rose urged.

“Know this day is coming and prepare in advance. Do a beautiful ritual with family and friends that honours your heart and your missing loved one. And of course, listen to yourself. Being alone to reflect on your feelings is OK, as is reaching out to others for support.”

Show support for those dealing with grief this Valentine’s Day

Know that even the tiniest gesture of support can do wonders for someone who is dealing with grief this Valentine’s Day.

Just being a good listener does wonders. “Encourage them to talk about their loved one whom they’ve lost, and relish in any good memories they might have,” Sokarno explained. “Try to avoid giving advice on how to cope and instead, be a shoulder to cry on if they need it.”

And if you’re able to, “offer up your time on Valentine’s Day, perhaps to take them out to a movie or spend some time together so they don’t have to endure it alone,” Sokarno added.

The takeaway: Being single is AH-mazing

While I’m in no position to hand out unwarranted love advice, what I can tell you from my 27 years of being a thriving single (yes, we’re embracing it) is that February 14 is just another day to salute the incredible, varied loves in your life: family, friends (furry ones, too) and most importantly, yourself. 

So, press play on Miley Cyrus’ ‘Flowers’ and lets cheers to the beauty of singledom. 

The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans

Here are the cheapest plans available for Australia’s most popular NBN speed tier.

At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


Leave a Reply