How to Make the Most of Being Single on Valentine’s Day

It’s that time of year again. Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and it’s with very little surprise that I find myself still single 6 years and 3 months on from my last meaningful relationship – yes it really has been that long!

But am I miserable? Far from it. The past few years have been the best of my life, and it’s all because I made the decision to embrace being single and to focus on what truly makes me happy. The best advice I can give to anyone who’s miserable about being alone this weekend is to celebrate the most important person in your life – YOU! Here are a few tips on enjoying being single on Valentine’s Day, and every other day of the year.

Single on Valentine's Day - to me

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1. Exercise

It’s scientifically proven that exercise helps lift your mood by releasing endorphins. The fact that it also improves your health and your figure can only be a good thing. But lets not forget that participation in most sports is a lot of FUN! Think of something random you’ve never tried. Surfing? Fencing? Sledging? Fire poi? As long as it gets the heart rate up, it will make you feel good. Do a team sport and meet new friends (and potentially even a new partner!). Call me crazy, but I get my kicks racing the public buses home from work. Don’t treat exercise like a chore. Once you get used to it being part of your routine, it can easily become addictive. What’s more, there’s no question that having a cool sport as a hobby will make you instantly more interesting and attractive to others.

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2. Raise Money for Charity

Raising money for a charity is hugely rewarding. It also helps to put your problems in perspective. Maybe you are a bit lonely, but in the grand scheme of things, if that’s your only complaint life really hasn’t treated you that badly. Fundraising will also give you a focus. As you rush around organising cake sales and speed dating events, you’ll barely have a spare second to think about your solitude. You’ll also get a warm fuzzy feeling every time your account receives a donation. Choose an exciting activity as your fundraising goal. Run a marathon, jump out of a plane, or plan a completely unique challenge. There are plenty of crazy activities that will make you feel even better about yourself once you’ve completed them and, once again, in the process, you open yourself up to the greater possibility of meeting someone special.

Single on Valentine's Day - marathon

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3. Travel Alone

Who cares if you don’t have a significant other to take your annual holidays with? Solo travel is actually more exciting. If you’re not confident about going it completely alone, consider an organised tour where you will meet a group of interesting people from many different countries. Otherwise, hop on a plane and launch yourself straight into the single backpacker hostel life. It really is surprisingly easy to meet friendly, interesting people this way, and travelling alone will force you to make the effort to be sociable. Not only will you have some incredible experiences, you will increase in confidence, you will learn to be more self-sufficient and less dependent on anyone else, and you will come home with great stories to regale future dates with (not to mention a sexy tan).

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4. Volunteer Overseas

There are thousands of projects you can take part in overseas, but actually finding a good one isn’t as easy as you might think. A lot of them are run by organisations that charge you a small fortune just for the privilege of offering your time. It’s no surprise that this puts many people off. Choose a well-run organisation that understands how to make the best use of your skills and time. For Europeans, Pueblo Ingles is an incredibly rewarding opportunity to teach Spanish speakers English. Not only do you receive free accommodation and food for an entire week in Spain, you will meet incredible people and laugh harder than you ever have before. If you fancy going further afield, Hostel Hoff is a hostel in Tanzania at the base of Kilimanjaro, where you can stay with other volunteers while working on a wide range of community projects.

Single on Valentine's Day - volunteer

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5. Spend Quality Time  With Your Friends

We’ve all been guilty of ditching our friends in favour of a quiet night in with the other half. When you’re in a relationship, nights out don’t give you the same sense of anticipation because you’ve already found ‘the one’. That’s all very well, but your close friends are some of the most important people you will ever have in your life and reconnecting with them will remind you why you clicked in the first place.

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6. Start a New Hobby

You have more spare time when you’re not in a relationship and you also have more freedom. You don’t have to consider someone else’s opinion whenever you make an important life decision. There is no compromise and this can be dangerously liberating. Sit back and think about what truly makes you happy. Then try to figure out a way of introducing more of it to your life. This blog is my example. I loved to travel and I worked in publishing. By starting a blog, I was killing two birds with one stone – adding new skills to my CV and increasing my opportunities to travel more in the future. A little fate intervened and, thanks to meeting a fellow blogger on Pueblo Ingles (see point 4) and taking an extended solo trip through South America (point 3), my blog has become more than a hobby to me. In the past two years, I’ve met hundreds of amazing people through blogging events, learned a great deal about travel and reached a point where I’m sometimes sponsored to experience tours and activities I never would have dreamt of doing before. With enough initiative and effort, plenty of people have turned their hobbies into new careers, and there’s no reason to think that you can’t do the same.

Single on Valentine's Day - hobby

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7. Reinvent Yourself

Relationships make many of us slip into the ‘comfort’ zone. We’ve won the other person over and we’re no longer competing with others for that special person’s attention. Unfortunately, this can make us complacent and the amount of effort we put into making ourselves desirable can dwindle. When you find yourself single, why not have a little fun? Get a dramatic makeover, or better yet, try developing aspects of your personality. I’m not saying ‘Don’t be yourself.’ Just see how working on your best traits can make a difference to your relationships. If you’re naturally reserved, try approaching more strangers. If you’re confident and outspoken, see what happens when you tone it down and introduce a little more romance. Often, the biggest barrier to change is fear of the way people who know you will react. When you’re surrounded by strangers, they won’t know any differently. Reinvent yourself while trying out new hobbies or travelling and as you test out new versions of yourself, you’ll get a better idea of the person you want to be and the person you want others to perceive you as.

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8. Enjoy the Dating Scene

Remind yourself that the first few months of a relationship are often the most exciting. As a single person, those wonderful butterflies might be just around the corner. Try to perceive dating as an opportunity to meet interesting people, rather than a route to finding the person you’ll end up marrying, and you will get so much more out of it. More and more people these days are resorting to online dating or apps like Tinder. You have to be realistic when meeting up with someone you only know from a limited profile. The chances that you’ll be a perfect match romantically are pretty slim, but you can still have a fun date.

Single on Valentine's Day - new romance

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9. Make the Most of Your Personal Space

As a single person, it’s easy to forget that spending a lot of time with someone else can sometimes make you feel smothered. Enjoy the simple benefits to singledom. Stretch out your limbs from one side of the bed to the other. Forget the frustration of listening to your partner snore. Eat a litre of ice cream straight from the tub in the blissful knowledge that no one is judging you. Watch re-runs of Geordie Shore if that rocks your boat. Walk around your flat in your ugliest pyjamas. Chat openly with your friends about new crushes and old conquests. You no longer have to compromise on anything. Make the most of it!

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10. Accept That You Are Amazing!

If you work on steps 1-9, you won’t have time to pine over ex-lovers or to pity yourself for not having found a new one. You’ll be too busy having fun. Your life will have focus. You will be spending more time on the things you love to do. You will be rewarded by the smiles of people whose lives you have touched along the way. Your friendship group will grow so big you struggle to decide which social invites to accept. You will develop new skills. A lack of enthusiasm for your daily routine will be replaced with excitement and anticipation. You’ll be such an inspiration that your married friends will wish they were still single. You will open yourself up to new ways of meeting future lovers and you will have hundreds of interesting tales to tell when you eventually do meet someone worthy of your attention.

You, yourself, as much as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection. – Buddha

They say you find true love when you stop looking for it. While I don’t believe you should give up the search, I think it’s much more important to focus your energy on doing what makes you happy. This free-spirited approach will make you more attractive. Confidence, self-contentedness, independence, enthusiasm and optimism are all positive traits that will ensure that when you do find the one, they’ll never want to let you go.

Comments

    • says

      Yes, I know! I’m the same. I definitely don’t want to be in a relationship just for the sake of it. And the more I make the most of my single time, the more of a compromise it would be to give it up! Some guy will really have to sweep me off my feet to get me to settle down!

  1. says

    Hooray for this, especially coming up to my first Valentine’s Day single in a while (luckily working at the Olympics is a very good distraction). Also while I read this all I could hear was Beyonce: All the single ladies, put your hands up!
    Edna recently posted..UpheavalMy Profile

    • says

      There’s no reason why you shouldn’t do whatever makes you happy when you’re already in a relationship, so go right ahead! I think that’s the ideal – managing to juggle all these activities and a relationship. One can but hope!

  2. says

    Love this post. I am in love with your thinking about this Valentine celebration as a single. Really, this is my first reading where I find some activities for single person otherwise everywhere there are thinks, gifts and activities related to couples.
    I am with you…:)
    Shailesh jangra recently posted..Top 10 Android Mobile AppsMy Profile

    • says

      That’s what gets to me at this time of year too. There are articles, adverts and signposts everywhere telling you you should be buying flowers and arranging something exciting and romantic for Friday night. I don’t care that I’m single, but the extent of it all gets to me a little!

    • says

      Thank you Kae! I agree 100%. My only concern is that sometimes I think I overdo it. I think I’ve taught myself so well to enjoy the single life that I don’t have time to bother with dating any more. Perhaps I need more of a balance – but not for a few years yet!

  3. Kirsten says

    This is such a great post. Sometimes when we’re in a relationship, we stop pursuing happiness because we feel happy when we’re with the person we love. Both are important – to be happy when you’re with that someone and to also be happy when you’re without them.

    • says

      Thanks Kirsten! Yes, I think it’s important to learn to be happy whether you’re on your own or not. I may just have become a little too comfortable with the single life!

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