So Valentine’s Day is coming up; a day that is equally as dreaded as it is highly anticipated by many. While there are couples that make personal decisions to not celebrate Valentine’s Day (abbreviated to V-day from here on out) because they believe one should demonstrate their love for their partner everyday (and one should!), other couples go all out for the big day: giant stuffed animals, roses, chocolates, expensive dinners and there’s nothing wrong with that! But what about the single people who don’t have a special someone with whom they can celebrate V-day? Should we just throw ourselves a pity party and say “Woe is me; I’m alone on V-day for the 23rd year in a row?” Obviously not! If y'all have been reading my blogs consistently, you already know where I’m going with this. I’ve got a few tips to help beat the Valentine’s Day blues, if for some reason you have them, and how you can still be confident if you’re single on February 14th.
I did a bit of research of the history of V-day and how it has developed into the holiday that we celebrate every year mid-February. If you care to read about it, here you go! http://www.history.com/topics/valentines-day/history-of-valentines-day. While the holiday originally was associated with marriage and romance, the overall theme of love is what has prevailed and you don’t need to be in a romantic relationship to feel love or be loved! Throughout my own schooling, even in college, I always gave valentines to my friends, which just goes to show that obviously you don’t have to be married or dating to enjoy the holiday. This year, I put together V-day goodie bags for a couple of my local friends (and my crush!) because I love them and V-day is about love! Exchange cards or candy grams with your friends! This leads me to my first tip: Remember that Valentine’s Day is about sharing and celebrating the love you have for others, friends or *friends*.
Okay that’s great, Gigi, but everyone is going out on dates and I don’t have any date prospects and I don’t want to be sitting at home watching Netflix and chilling with my cat. Fret not, friend. Use V-day as a day to love yourself! If you don’t have anyone that you’re interested in romantically and all of your friends are occupied, pamper yourself. Take yourself on a date. There’s no shame in going to a movie by yourself or going out to dinner by yourself. Be confident in who you are and in your relationship status. Personally, I plan on getting dolled up and going out somewhere nice and treating myself to something special, unless my crush comes through in the clutch with plans, which is unlikely, but a girl can dream. All jokes aside, if you don’t have plans and want plans, make plans with yourself. You don’t have to spend a lot of money or any money, just do something that reflects self love and self care.
The flip side of making yourself your own valentine is the obvious, which is to make your friends your valentines. If you have other single friends (or friends in relationships who aren’t into the typical V-day traditions), get together with them and do something special. Watch a movie, go out to dinner, go out and be adults, have a night-in where you bake or do nails or watch sports or do whatever you’re into! Spending time with friends is wonderful and building memories with them is even better. I’m sure many of you already have plans with friends, but just in case you’ve been sitting around moping about how you have nothing to do on V-day, call up your friends. They make the best dates!
Valentine’s Day was never meant to be “Bitter Singles Awareness Day”, but it typically has that connotation when people talk about it. Even if you are a bitter single, be a confident bitter single! Spend the day loving your friends, loving your family or, most importantly, loving YOU! If the person that you want to love you doesn’t love you, then you go ahead and love yourself. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Let’s play word association! I’ll say “third wheel”; what just came to mind? If you were thinking “awkward”, then we’re on the same page. Many times, when we reflect on the concept of being a third wheel or recall instances when we have been in such a scenario, we are often met with feelings of discomfort and awkwardness. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Although no one wants to be a third wheel, at some point or another, it’s going to happen and you may want some tips and pointers on how to remain confident in your singleness.
In my 23 years, I have never once had a romantic relationship of any type, but all of my friends have, so I certainly have ample experience being a third and even fifth wheel. There can definitely be an initial discomfort when hanging out with your friend and their significant other aka S.O., especially if it’s the first time you are meeting him or her. Both of you will be vying for your friends affection and attention and it may be difficult for your friend to navigate the situation. There may also be unspoken feelings of jealously on your end and on your friend’s S.O.’s end, which can create tension and an uncomfortable situation. Don’t create a competition between you and your friend’s boo. Your friend loves you both in different ways and obviously has a different relationship with both of you, so try to keep that in mind if they are treating you differently than their S.O. Hopefully, if they’re a good friend, they will try to tend to both of you and make the space you’re in a positive and peaceful one.
Sometimes, especially in the beginning of a relationship, our friends may be so into their new boo that they seem to focus all of their time and attention on that person and unintentionally neglect their relationship with you. This is not usually malicious; it happens to the best of us, even with new platonic friendships. Understand that if he or she is behaving this way, your friend is probably in the “honeymoon phase” and probably has no idea that they are ignoring you or not hanging out with you as much. If this bothers you, and it’s okay if it does, gently remind your friend that you still want to spend time with them. In some cases, this may result in a third wheel situation, where you get to spend time with your friend, but also must spend time with their boy/girlfriend. If they are dating a mutual friend, you’re in luck! But if they are dating someone outside of your friend group, and this is more often the case as you age, you may initially feel awkward about the situation. Support your friend’s relationship and new boo (if appropriate), but don’t feel obligated to force friendship with them. Let it happen organically. My best friend is currently dating a great guy and although he and I aren’t close, which would probably be inappropriate anyway, we are definitely friendly, cordial, and enjoy each other’s company. And we share an amazing best friend, which is a great thing to have in common!
My last piece of advice when dealing with a third wheel situation is keep an open, positive mindset! If you go into the situation thinking, “This is going to be so awkward and weird”, then it probably will be! Instead if you go into it thinking, “There may be a few uncomfortable moments, but we’re going to have a great time” you probably will! Most friends will want to share the important aspects of their life, such as a romantic relationship, with you and will want to share YOU with their partner because you’re awesome. Keep that in mind, and again, don’t be afraid to approach your friend if something is concerning you when you three hang out. If you’re not super comfortable with your friend and their boo being overly touchy and affectionate, let him or her know. I’m sure your friend would be willing to tone it down and accommodate you so that they can spend time with their love and their bestie. Be confident and secure in your friendship and when you get into a relationship, keep this in mind for your friend.