Valentine’s Day is mainly celebrated for the type of love between couples. Over the years, the observance has expanded beyond romantic love, encouraging families and friends to join the revelry.
Perhaps because of the world’s increasing population of singles, going through Valentine’s Day is no longer as arduous as before for the unattached. You can ask your parents on how they used to dread February 14th as adult singles. People had a way of making them feel as if it’s their fault for not getting flowers or staying at home on that forsaken day. So thank you, 21st century, for embracing millions of solitary hearts.
If you’ve been going solo for much of your life, Valentine’s Day isn’t different from any other day. Sure, the streets turn red (and pink), prices of flowers and chocolates skyrocket, and commercial hubs are teeming with patrons. But everything else is the same—you go to work, go home, cook dinner. It may be a different story if you’ve been alone only recently.
Here are 15 self-date ideas this Valentine’s Day based on how long you’ve been single. (Note: These tips promise no bliss for the heartbroken.)
Fresh from a heartbreak: Day 1 to week 4 of being single (Tip #1)
Some of the most popular literary works are about the tragedies of heartbreaks. There’s Leo Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina,” Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “Love in the Time of Cholera,” and Kazuo Ishiguro’s “Never Let Me Go.” But the reality is that there’s no poetry in a heartbreak. There’s just pain blocking your air passage. Breathing has never been that difficult.
For someone fresh from a heartache, Valentine’s Day is like scratching a healing wound. Face the day on your own or surround yourself with family and friends. You don’t have to bear the silence of your room alone. There’s no shame in admitting that you’re still hurting. Invite your parents for dinner at home. Nothing warms the heart more than a parent’s unconditional love.
Fresh from a heartbreak: Day 1 to week 4 of being single (Tip #2)
There are people in your life who accept you regardless of your decisions. Your best friends may have been vocal about your poor judgments, but they were there to mourn the cadavers of your past relationship with you. Make Valentine’s Day a tribute to your non-blood family—your barkada. Throw a themed party in your condo community. What about a sci-fi-style get-together in the Function Hall? You can have a quiz show for your nerdy troop. It’s time to retake your Star Trek captainship.
Keeping it together: Month 1 to 3 of aloneness (Tip #1)
You’re no longer as vulnerable as the first weeks, but you still tear up a bit whenever Toto plays on the radio. What to do on February 14th when malls and restaurants are blasting ballads that remind you of days you’ve been trying to forget for the past months? Stay at home, microwave popcorn, and binge on your all-time favorite shows. Let the crazy crew of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” be your V-Day date. Oh, it’s going to be a night of witty jabs c/o Netflix.
Keeping it together: Month 1 to 3 of aloneness (Tip #2)
People in the office are on date-mode. Many are leaving early for their restaurant reservations. This means you can work on pending projects in peace.
On Valentine’s Day, expect traffic jams everywhere. You have two options: work in the office to “kill time” or bring your pending tasks at home. Your condo home is a quick travel from the office, so you have the luxury of choosing what to do with your spare time. Condo living allows you to do lots of things without wasting hours on end in traffic. Put in your summer playlist on Spotify while you finish your sales presentation.
Regaining your life: Month 4 to 6 of being single (Tip #1)
It’s been almost half a year since your painful separation. You only rarely cry at night, but you’re still yet to fight the urge of stalking your ex on Facebook. Valentine’s Day is especially tempting for this unhealthy activity.
If you’re feeling vulnerable, stay away from alcohol and the internet. The last thing you’d want is to drunk-tweet him/her on February 14th of all day. Worse, you might be sending text messages you’ll regret in the morning.
Get busy offline. DMCI Homes features a number of lifestyle amenities you can use. Why not sweat it out in the fitness gym? Everyone might be on dates, so lucky you. You have the leg press to yourself.
Regaining your life: Month 4 to 6 of being single (Tip #2)
The first six months of a heartbreak is like walking in knee-high mud. It’s tough, almost insurmountable, but you’ve made it. Don’t let Valentine’s Day and the old-fashioned connotations that go with it ruin your momentum.
On February 14th, do something productive. Declutter your home with everything that reminds you of your recent painful past. Call it a therapy of sorts. Put her stuff—books, old jacket, favorite mug—in a box. Leave the package at her door, donate it, or throw it away. You need the space in your house—and in your life.
Getting the hang of the solitary life: Month 7 to year 1 (Tip #1)
Get into your running shoes and jog around your condo community! Feel the warm afternoon sun against your face, breathe in the fresh air, and embrace February 14th gloriously.
Getting the hang of the solitary life: Month 7 to year 1 (Tip #2)
It’s been nearly a month since you’ve last seen her in person. A part of you still misses her and how her eyes sparkled whenever she reads her paperbacks by the window. Sometimes, you long to hear her laugh at your jokes or cry on sappy YouTube commercials. You miss her, but not the reasons why you decided to move on.
On Valentine’s Day, celebrate the good times of your past relationship and the bliss of your new single life in art forms. Write a poem, compose a song, or make an artwork. Find inspiration at the Sky Lounge, overlooking the majestic Manila skyline.
Winning the solo life: Year 2 (Tip #1)
February is regarded as Single Awareness Month. It’s not a protest against Valentine’s Day. On the contrary, this observance is a tribute to our society that’s striving to rid of the stigma of being unattached.
It’s been two years since you’ve joined the Single’s Club, and February 14th is no longer a date you dread. In fact, you look forward to it. Your condo neighbors are likely in the movie theaters, restaurants, or out of town. This means you can have the swimming pool all to yourself. Decompress in the pool, under the stars, on this love-filled night.
Winning the solo life: Year 2 (Tip #2)
Do you know who don’t really care about the fuss of Valentine’s? Little kids. They wouldn’t ask if you have a date or whether you received flowers from anybody in the office. The only judgment you may get from these youngsters is how you overcooked the baked macaroni.
If you’re feeling a bit lonesome, host a party for your little siblings and cousins. Organize a weekend Valentine’s pool party in your condo community or an afternoon of outdoor games in the park. If you need a reminder of how good it is to love and be loved, spend time with children. Play, laugh, and get sunkissed with them.
Staying strong: Year 3 to4
Three years of being single and Valentine’s Day may become a bit of struggle again. You’re over your last heartbreak, but a bit of you wants to spend this day with someone. Sam Smith crooning in the radio isn’t helping. Your easy option is to go out with your single friends.
But if you’re feeling vulnerable on this day, coming home alone after a night out can push your depressed button. Here’s an idea: host a barkada sleepover in your condo. Play poker all night, exchange gossips, and indulge in carbs.
Simple luxuries for the happily single: Year 5 (Tip #1)
This will be your fifth Valentine’s Day alone. The only thing you want this year is to avoid the monstrous traffic and continue the rest of “Star Trek: Discovery.” But don’t you deserve something special on February 14th? You’ve been single for three years and really, you’re killing it.
You need something more than a pat on the back. What about a chocolate mousse cake and a bottle of champagne? This is your version of a bubble bath (unless you have a tub, then go for a bubble bath). You don’t have to finish the entire bottle, though.
Simple luxuries for the happily single: Year 5 (Tip #2)
Do you know that YouTube is a gold mine of life-changing content? If you’re spending your Valentine’s Day at home browsing the net, at least make it worthwhile. Explore music genres. Discover new artists. Check out NPR Music channel and get to know Tank and the Bangas, Alice Smith, and Vicente Garcia. You can also watch poetry slam performances by poets from all parts of the world. Listen at how artists bleed their souls into spoken words. The verses hit home? Oh, feel free to bawl to your heart’s content.
You stopped counting
Condo living in the Philippines is changing the urban lifestyle. It allows busy professionals to attain a work-balance with its strategic location, lifestyle amenities, and a peaceful environment for real relaxation.
You’ve been single for years you don’t bother to count anymore. On February 14th, invite your family to home-cooked dinner, book the Function Hall for a karaoke night with friends, or throw a party for one in your home. It’s a day to celebrate the love you choose.
Whether Valentine’s Day is just another day depends on how you choose to go through it. Celebrate it with your family or indulge in luxurious me-time. What matters is you acknowledge the love around you in whatever form it comes into your life.