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Beyond Romance: 6 Ways to Own this Valentine’s Day, Single-Style!

Let’s face it, even the most grounded and self-assured among us can find themselves treading water in a sea of conflicting emotions as Valentine’s Day rolls around. Pummeled for weeks on end by the relentless marketing machine of holiday-fueled, happy couple-focused “love,” spurring an outbreak of candy-red hearts, popping up everywhere from the grocery store to your neighbor’s front yard. Yep, it’s easy to feel left out and like, maybe just maybe, burying your head in the sand and hunkering down until the 24-hour sap-fest has run its course.

Understood! And totally fine. But hey, why let the lovebirds rule the day? Here’s how to own your Valentine’s Day, single-style.

1. Embrace the love.

Focus all that unattached and unfettered grey matter on Valentine’s Day for what it is, a day of L-O-V-E! Feel it, share it and weave it into everything you do. Being single means you’re free (cue Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers) and blissfully unencumbered by the stresses of the day. You have no obligation to fulfill the romantic whims and expectations of a significant other. You, my single friend, are liberated and can embrace the true essence of love – appreciation, acceptance, gratitude and compassion.

2. Love your friends and family.

Why keep all that love to yourself when you can share it with the people who matter the most? Friends like hearing the “L” word, too. Parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles… send a card, email or string of “this is how much you mean to me” emojis. Spend some quality time together, just hanging out, no agenda. Or, get a few friends together for a sunset hike or a tromp in the snow. Follow it up with a home cooked meal, drinks or a classic friend flick. With so many great ways to partake in the holiday of love, you may find it hard to choose just one.

3. Love yourself.

We hear a lot about self-love on Valentine’s Day. We’re supposed to treat ourselves, buy something special, get a massage, have a gourmet meal, eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, etc. And yeah, all these things sound fabulous, but there’s an even easier and less pricey way to get that lovin’ feeling. Simply take a timeout to reflect on your awesome self and amazing life. Sure, there’s a thing or two you’d change or improve, we all have our lists… but in your heart of hearts you know you have much to be grateful for. So, get out a pen and write them down. Writing (yes, actual writing) is a powerful way to focus your mind and spirit and get your head and heart out of life’s emotional hamster wheel. Try it, list five things you’re grateful for. And if more than five come up, keep on writing! Putting it on paper reminds us who we are and how truly amazing our unique story is.

4. Love your world.

Take a look around – at your stuff, the place you live, your community, your city, your country, your planet. You’re surrounded by miracles and beauty, though it’s easy to take it all for granted as you hustle through your days, caught up in the action – work, news, people, events – survival itself. Reflecting on the world around you highlights the beauty and love that went into creating it. Look, really observe. What do you see? City and skyscrapers? Homes and yards? Trees, fields, sky, mountains? Whatever it is, it has magic in it. It originated from something humble and small. A single cell, a seed, an idea, a brick, a board, and people of all sorts working to shape and tend to it… nature and humanity growing and creating, something out of nothing. And all of it floating on a blue planet in a galaxy among galaxies as far as the strongest telescope can see. Wow! Appreciating the miracles that surround you is awe-inspiring, humbling and an insanely cool way to feel the power of love’s energy at work.

5. Love the arts.

Creativity is passion, the love in an individual’s heart expressed through color, music, imagery, sound, poetry, comedy, film, theater… immersing yourself in the arts is a wonderful way to fill your day with love. Take in an exhibit at a gallery or museum. Stroll through a park or botanical garden. Go to a venue with live music – a restaurant, club or concert hall. Attend a comedy show, film or theatrical performance. Whenever you feel the beauty and passion of creativity at work and you immerse yourself in love.

6. The gift of love.

You can’t go wrong when you put your energy into a good cause. Meals for the housebound or homeless, animal adoptions or rescues, city or park cleanups. Or how about practicing a little brotherly love with a few random acts of kindness? You’ve heard it a million times from people who have paid it forward… in the end, it was they who received the greatest reward. :)

Wishing you a love, appreciation, gratitude and compassion-filled Valentine’s Day! See you on National Singles Day – Saturday, September 23, 2017!

 

 

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NEW YEAR, NEW DATE! Hey, wait a minute, wasn't January 11th supposed to be National Singles Day? Yes it was! National Singles Day was originally celebrated on 1.11, a date chosen for its symbolic 1's. This year, we've chosen to do something even more symbolic and join forces with National Singles Week, founded in the early 80's and observed during the third week of September. So... mark your calendars, singles and single allies – National Singles Day is Saturday, September 23rd this year! :) #singlesolidarity #bettertogether #savvysingles Learn more at: nationalsinglesday.us/news/national-singles-day-is-moving/

Photo: Comedian Samantha Hale entertaining the crowd at Singles Day 2016, West Hollywood, CA. Photo credit: Tera Jean Photography
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SOUND FAMILIAR? "I think married people should be treated fairly. They should not be stereotyped, stigmatized, discriminated against or ignored. They deserve every bit as much respect as single people do." Yes, it's Bella DePaulo's epic, role-reversing intro to Chapter One of Singled Out, the book that so deftly debunked decades of myths and misperceptions surrounding singles and singlehood. Haven't read it yet? Get your copy here: www.belladepaulo.com/books/
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Happy New Year, Everyone! :)
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