Valentine’s Day: Our top 10 survival tips

Some single people barely register Valentine’s Day. However, for others, this celebration of romance, with hearts and flowers everywhere you look, can serve as a painful reminder that you’re not in a relationship – something for which you may have longed for many years. When all the couples around you are celebrating their relationships, it can make you feel lonelier than ever.

If you struggle with Valentine’s Day, you may find the best approach is not to try to ignore it, but instead to do something proactive to shape the day into something positive for you. Here are our top suggestions for surviving and thriving as a single person on Valentine’s Day… (edited to be appropriate for lockdown)

1. Acknowledge your feelings – and count your blessings

If you feel sadness and grief at your lack of a relationship, it’s okay to acknowledge that. For many people, not being married can lead to a kind of long-term bereavement. It can help if you allow yourself time to feel your deepest emotions and bring them to God in prayer. Then make a list of the positives you have in your life – including things you may not have if you were married or had children – and give thanks for them one by one.

We've created an examen on the theme of relationships to help you reflect. Read it here.

2. Treat yourself

If you don’t have someone in your life to spoil you – spoil yourself for a day! You could buy yourself some flowers or chocolates, a new item of clothing or a book you’ve been wanting, or perhaps a nice bottle of wine. In lockdown you might find it helpful to leave the house, go for a walk to a coffee shop or bakery near you and treat yourself to a takeaway coffee and cake.

Buying yourself a little gift will give you a feel-good lift. So treat yourself – you deserve it.

‘Every year, I buy myself a bunch of roses on Valentine’s Day (usually discounted by the time I get them on my way home from work!). It might sound a bit sad, but actually I really enjoy seeing a vase of beautiful roses in my kitchen – a little luxury to brighten up my week.’ Hope

3. Have a virtual "palentine's" gathering with friends

For many, being single during the pandemic has been very hard. If you're already feeling isolated in lockdown, Valentine's Day might be a good opportunity to get together virtually with some single friends or colleagues who are in the same position (or people who have partners but are in lockdown alone). It’ll give you something to look forward during the day, and time with friends is the best antidote to feeling lonely. You could also do a shout-out at church for anyone who’d like to join.

There are lots of online games you can play, or services that allow you to watch a movie together over Netflix/Disney Plus/Amazon Prime.

Last year, two friends and I had an Anti-Valentine’s Party! Well, it wasn’t so much a party as a girls’ night in with pizza and wine, but it was good fun and we didn’t think about romance all evening.’ Rachel

4. Take steps to find love (if it’s what you want)

Online dating is still happening during lockdown. If you’re keen to find a partner, Valentine's Day is a great time to take the first step, as there’s a spike in activity on dating websites. You could use the evening to think and pray about what would be important to you in a future spouse. Then sign up, craft a great profile, and dive in – you can be chatting to other singles within minutes. If you’re already online dating but not getting the results you want, this is a good time to update your profile and pictures, and send some positive messages to other members. You can search for other Christians on a website such as www.christianconnection.co.uk.

5. Attend an online Christian singles event

Christian Connection are running some online Valentine's parties and events, which are a lot of fun. Some are organised ticketed events, some are member-run meet ups. It can be a fun way to do something different and meet some new people from the comfort of your own sofa. Check out www.eventsforchristians.co.uk.

6. Make it a family event

If you have children, you could plan a fun night with them around the theme of love. For instance, you can make cards for each other, bake cupcakes or heart-shaped cookies, or draw pictures of the people you love and write a prayer for them. A nice idea is to write notes saying what you love about each other, and put them in a jar to open later. Valentine’s doesn’t have to be about romantic love – it can be a celebration of all love.

‘Every year, my children make Valentine’s cards at school, which they present to me in the evening. We sometimes have a themed teatime, with a heart-shaped cake and heart-shaped confetti on the table. It’s fun!’ Rosie

7. Have a movie night or a pamper evening

If you’re alone for the evening, you could make it a night of self-care, when you give yourself some loving attention and minister to yourself. You could have a bath with fragrant oils, music and candles? Treat yourself to some home pamper treatments like face masks, or order a pamper box online. Or perhaps a takeaway, a good glass of wine and a favourite boxset is more your style. Whatever is relaxing and enjoyable for you, give yourself permission to indulge yourself for a night.

8. Spread some love

One of the best ways to feel happy is to do something for someone else – so look for opportunities to spread love to others. If you know someone who is housebound, ill or lonely, or going through a hard time, you could leave a treat on their doorstep like a box of cookies, or send them a card, to show them they’re loved and valued.

9. Spend time with God

Even if you don’t have a significant other, as Christians we know there’s someone to whom we’re always significant: our heavenly Father. Even when we feel lonely, we’re never truly alone – God is with us. You may find it helpful to spend the evening praying, praising God, reading an encouraging Christian book, or meditating on some Bible verses about God’s love for you. Allow yourself to revel in his love, and ask him to help you feel his love every day.

When I feel lonely or low, I put on some worship music and sing along, praising God. I always feel better afterwards – and I’m reminded that God is with me.’ John

 

With thanks to: Hope, John, Rachel, Robert and Rosie.

Catherine Francis, 1 February 2018