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3 Ways to Celebrate Love Regardless of Your Relationship Status

Valentine’s Day tends to be a holiday that is either met with a response of total excitement or total disgust. In many cases, what seems to determine an individual’s response is their relationship status. I used to be someone who strongly proclaimed how much I detested the holiday, which for me, did in fact correlate to my singleness. For many years, I viewed February 14th as a day that clearly reminded me of what I was lacking in my life and left me feeling lonely rather than loved. However, just a few years ago, I decided to change my posture towards Valentine’s Day. I made a pact with myself to use the holiday each year to highlight and celebrate the different forms of love in my life regardless of what my relationship status may be.

Here are three ways I like to celebrate love on Valentine’s Day:

1. Start With Self-Love

With or without a significant other in the picture, loving yourself is essential and should be prioritized. Yes, I know it is cliché, and it is not easily done, but it is important, so let’s try our best to do so together! I really enjoy starting my day off simply by adding a little sparkle to my makeup and dressing myself in an outfit that I know will make me feel confident. Also, as I’m getting ready, I like to repeat affirmations to myself in the mirror (for example: “I am beautiful and lovable just the way I am”). Some of you may be skeptical of this practice, but as cheesy as it may seem, I swear it does wonders! Another way I like to show myself love on Valentine’s Day is by preparing a delicious breakfast for myself. Who says you have to have someone by your side to eat heart-shaped chocolate chip pancakes and drink mimosas? Not I. How you show love to yourself on Valentine’s Day can be as extensive or minimal as you want it to be. When you prioritize and start the day loving yourself, it takes away some of the power others have on your experience. Also, I highly recommend incorporating acts of self-love in to your daily routine, not just on Valentine’s Day.

2. Volunteering

This idea may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it is responsible for profoundly changing my view on Valentine’s Day, so I want to share it. As I mentioned before, Valentine’s Day used to remind me of all that I was lacking, but making the decision to volunteer on this holiday helped me alter this way of thinking. One way I have done so in is by spending some of my Valentine’s Day volunteering at a local retirement home. Often retirement homes will put on Valentine’s Day events, and they are always looking for volunteers to come and spend time with their residents. Whether you are single or taken, Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to show love by volunteering your time, and there are so many different ways to do so. If you have any interest in using the holiday to give back, here is a great place to start.

3. Plan a Celebration

When I was at the prime of my dislike for Valentine’s Day, nighttime felt the most daunting. As soon as the sun began to set, the cinematic depictions of the holiday began to flood my mind. “I should be sitting in a candle-lit restaurant, sipping red wine, and staring in to the eyes of an attractive individual that loves me”, I would think to myself, making myself feel lonely. I know that the whole romantic and intimate evening experience is great, but you know what is as equally as great? Planning a Valentine’s celebration that includes all of your loved ones. One fun way to do this is by planning an interactive dinner at someone’s house. My friends and I like to include a make-your-own pizza station, board games, a white elephant gift exchange, and an abundant amount of desserts. The amazing part of this idea is that is inclusive to singles and couples alike, and it lends itself to an overwhelming amount of love and laughter being fostered.

For some, Valentine’s Day can be a hard holiday to cope with for many different reasons. I am not trying to diminish that fact or provide quick fixes. Rather, I simply wanted to share some of the ways I celebrate Valentine’s Day in hopes that it may remind you that you do not have to be in a relationship to celebrate love. What are your favorite ways to make the holiday sweeter?

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