I've only ever had two real Valentines. I've had some imaginary ones, though. I used to buy myself a heart-shaped box of chocolate and bring whatever stuffed animal my mom got me that morning to school and act as if I had a secret admirer. It worked. I was also 15, and at 15, being single wasn't such a big deal. We were all just coming off the middle school mark of guys no longer having cooties and most girls I knew were a few months away from getting their braces off and their first kisses on.
I'm 25 now and being single on Valentine's Day is harder to ignore. Social media and married friends and having a CVS on every single corner have become constant reminders that I'll most likely be spending the day shoving Hershey Kisses in my mouth and watching the new season of House of Cards on my couch, alone.
Here are 10 realistic and important ways to not just survive being single on Valentine's Day but to enjoy it.
1. Do something to pamper yourself. Something you wouldn't do any other day of the year.
"Being single on V-Day makes me want to treat and pamper myself. Twice I've been to AIRE in New York City for a spa session and it's pretty much the best day of the year for myself." — Justin C., 26
2. Combine three of your favorite things and do them all in one night.
"I learned that eating a Chipotle Burrito Bowl in the bathtub with a glass of wine is the best (and messiest) way to spend Valentine's Day." — Sarah F., 24
3. Valentine's Day is NOT just about romance. Appreciate the ones you love to love.
"Besides last year, I spent every valentines day practically alone, no cards, nothing. But for the most part I didn't get really upset because I spent it with my mom, and the more I realize it I learned Valentine's Day doesn't have to be about romance it's about being with someone you love." — Niki R., 19
4. Treat yourself to the giant chocolate hearts from CVS.
"I don't do anything differently on Valentine's Day except buy myself chocolate. It really makes a difference and makes me feel as special as everyone else." — Emily F., 21
5. Take yourself out on a "you" date.
"I've made a tradition out of taking myself out to dinner and a movie and stopping at a drugstore on the way home and buying some chocolate. I just do it for myself and everyone's happy in the end." — Nicole G., 24
6. Gather the troops together.
"I send out a Facebook invite to my friends and invite all of them over for a potluck dinner. That way, everyone has a place to go." — Michelle P., 28
7. Surround yourself with other singles.
"I usually go out to a local bar with my other single friends. We dance to the music and flirt with the other single guys. If anything, it makes us all feel less alone." — Samantha D., 23
8. Give back to others.
"Since I was younger, I spent the night of Valentine's Day doing some kind of community service. Last year I worked at a homeless shelter." — Marissa S., 27
9. Remind someone of how much you love them.
"I've been single on Valentine's Day more times than I haven't. The only reason I'm okay with that is because I make it a point to tell everyone in my life who I love that I love them." — Brian F., 29
Have any others? I'd love to hear. Post them in the comments below.
Jen Glantz is the author of All My Friends Are Engaged, a book of dating disaster stories. She's the heart behind the website The Things I Learned From. She'd love you to say hello: @tthingsilearned or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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