It’s Valentine’s Day!! A day set aside for flowers, cards, and candy, a table for two and hearts overflowing with romantic love, right? We plan, pamper and ultimately spend exorbitant amounts of money just to show the one we love how much we really care, right? According to the National Retail Federation, consumers in the U.S. will spend a whopping $19.7 billion on Valentine’s Day this year. Clearly, with so much cash flying around, Valentine’s Day must be a pretty big deal with everyone getting a piece of that action, right?
Maybe not… the fact is, a table for one on Valentine’s Day may be more common than you think. According to the U.S. census, in 2013 there were approximately 105 million single and unmarried people in America ages 18 and older. That is 44 percent of all U.S. residents 18 and older. (Source: America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2013 <http://www.census.gov/hhes/families/data/cps2013A.html> Table A1)
Being single is often synonymous with being alone, and often times being alone is, for some reason, equated to being lonely. As a member of this elite club of single souls, I can tell you that single and lonely are two completely different states of being and although we may not have a special someone to spend Valentine’s Day with, does that really mean we should be exiled to scrolling Facebook watching “everybody else” give and receive love on February 14th?
Absolutely not! Valentine’s Day is about spreading love, intentionally and on purpose. You don’t have to be attached to get in on the action of spreading love. Here’s my short list of 6 ways to make Valentine’s Day special:
1. Project “Forget Me Not”: Grab a couple of your closest single friends and make Valentine’s cards or mini “love boxes” to donate to your local homeless shelter. You can include anything from homemade cookies and Hershey’s Kisses to Sweet Tarts and hand written notes to say “you haven’t been forgotten” on Valentine’s Day.
2. “Singles Only” Valentine’s Day Bash: Invite your single guy and girlfriends over for a night of great food, music, drinks, karaoke, and games to celebrate love and friendship.
3. “Pamper Me Pretty” Party: I borrowed this idea from a great friend of mine, Ms. Tyheesha Colbert, hostess extraordinaire. Invite your single girlfriends over for an evening of drinks, dessert, and pampering. Design your own wine glasses, trade war stories and give prizes for the best “worst date ever” story. To top the night off, hire a male masseuse and gift a 30 minute massage to all of your deserving single lady friends.
4. Secret Singles Swap: Organize a “Secret Valentine” swap with your single friends. Go as lavish or conservative as you want! Take the opportunity to make a friend feel loved on Valentine’s Day.
5. Find a “New Love”: Dare to do something you’ve never done before…you may just fall in love with something new! Take that yoga class you’ve been staking out for weeks. Sign up for a sushi making class or learn to salsa dance. Find a new passion and go for it!
6. Note to Self: Make the time to stop and give all your love and attention to whom? YOU! Look forward to this day being all about you. Sleep in, make a mani/pedi appointment and keep it. Indulge in every good thing that makes you happy whether it’s that cute little clutch you’ve been eyeing from afar or the decadent chocolate lava cake from Destination Dessert (wink). Take the day off to be kind and love on yourself!