10 tips for surviving Valentine's Day
There is no shame in being alone, but Valentine's Day and the weeks leading up to it can make you feel that you are doing something wrong, and that's just not so. More than half the world is flying solo, and many are happy. The trick is to keep your life full and to share who you are with the world. Here are some quick tips to get you through the day.
1. Watch "War of the Roses" and be grateful that you are alone. Being coupled is not always the right situation. Just remember that it's always better to be on your own than with someone who isn't right for you.
2. Stare at the Mona Lisa, and realize that her smile is no mystery; she just dumped her ex and is enjoying her alone time. Hey, those of us who are alone have reasons for being single; the best one is that you do it by choice. At the very least, don't blame yourself and don't succumb to desperation. You deserve better.
3. Invite some friends over and tell heartbreak stories. Share a bottle of wine, so after each story, everyone can make a toast; you'll laugh all night. And if you are consuming alcohol, make sure everyone Ubers home, or have a slumber party.
4. Order a pizza (it's the biggest pizza delivery night of the year). Ask them to shape it like a heart and cut a jagged line down the middle. Your friends will laugh till they cry. Celebrate life. Love will come soon enough.
5. Revel in your independence. Do things that you can't do in a relationship. Hang out all night in your PJs (hopefully with other singles) and know that it's really OK to not be in a relationship at this point in your life.
6. Watch a movie or binge on your favorite show. Staying occupied when you are a little lonely is a good tool, and thank the heavens for television (and film)! Going out by yourself would most likely be uncomfortable, so if you're choosing to be on your own on VD, plan something that's entertaining.
7. Just hang out and enjoy the fact that you don't have to deal with anyone's issues but your own. The toughest part of being in a relationship is when your partner is throwing a tantrum and you just don't get it, and you both go to bed unhappy. Instead, enjoy your clean sheets and a quiet night.
8. Remember Scarlett. When Rhett left her at the mansion, her last words were, "Tomorrow is another day," and the same holds true for you. Don't give 2/14 so much power this year. It is just another day. You don't have to let it make you feel bad.
9. Enjoy puppy love. Think what you like, but this year I'm hanging out with my dog. It's almost our one-year anniversary, and I think a celebration is in order. I'll have her best friend over, and I'll watch them play. They'll jump on the furniture and me, and I'll love every minute of it.
10. Pamper yourself. Make this day about being good to yourself. Shop online, get a mani-pedi or a massage. Allow yourself to indulge a little in your favorite whatever and make the night all about you. Treat yourself as you would want someone else to treat you.
This day can go sideways and give you lots of room to feel sorry for yourself, so please make a plan to keep that from happening. There are many singles events, things to do, and people to be with if you want to go out. Congratulate yourself that you are not with the wrong person.
(Dr. Barton Goldsmith, a psychotherapist in Westlake Village, Calif., is the author of "The Happy Couple: How to Make Happiness a Habit One Little Loving Thing at a Time." Follow his daily insights on Twitter at @BartonGoldsmith, or email him at Barton@bartongoldsmith.com.)