Valentine’s Day has always been quite interesting for me. From the time I was a college freshman all the way till about a decade after, I was always in a serious relationship with someone, so as you can imagine I’ve had my share of memorable and romantic celebrations whenever the 14th of February rolled around. There was the spontaneous walk on the beach, a slow dance in the university soccer field under the stars, a serenade in the middle of Filipino class, flowers from random strangers every hour culminating with my boyfriend showing up with the biggest bouquet of tulips I’ve ever seen, matching silver ‘promise rings’, driving to Clark to watch the hot air balloon festival, a hand made paper tole rose, a beautiful watercolor portrait… yes, I’ve been spoiled all those years. I used to be one of those giggly girls walking around with little hearts in my eyes, making greeting cards and spreading fairy dust and Valentine cheer to all…and yes, people were most supremely annoyed.
Things have changed considerably since I’ve become single for quite a while since I turned 17. Sure, there are still romantic gestures here and there, and I’m still excited at the prospect of finding a spark with a kindred soul somewhere, but I’ve realized it’s no longer the most important thing in the world to be with someone. For a girl who was addicted to being in love, that was quite a milestone. It’s really only now that I can appreciate who I am, what I can do, and explore what the world has to offer– and I’m enjoying every minute of it.
So this Valentine’s Day, although I am sincerely happy for those who have found their perfect match, I won’t be writing for the couples celebrating their love and togetherness— because you have lots of other sources for that and the entire universe is throwing Valentine’s gift and date ideas at you right about now. I am writing for the fabulous singles out there, who are celebrating being in love with themselves and the world around them. We are way beyond the stereotype of wearing all black, cursing Valentine’s day, playing sappy love songs and getting wasted. That is so not fun. Here are some ideas to remind yourself that yes, you are single and YOU ROCK:
- Organize a single’s night out– If you’re the type that enjoys going out, there’s really no sense in moping at home feeling sorry for yourself just because it’s Valentines. Round up your single besties, get all dolled up and go have an amazing dinner out. Make it a special occasion—you can give each other little treats, make sure the conversation is peppered with lots of laughter and entertainment, and after an unbelievably sinful dessert, go dancing and just have a great time. After a Valentine’s like that, you may even want to stay single for a few more rounds.
- Convert your house into a mini-spa– If you don’t want to deal with traffic issues, parking stress and dinner reservations, you can turn your stay-at-home-night from a pity party to a beauty party. Pamper yourself like never before—take a long hot bath, sip champagne, listen to jazz music, then put in all the hair treatments, face masques and skin treatments you can manage. You’ll come out of the bathroom feeling as lovely as a rose and happy as a clam. You can even call in for a masseuse or your single girlfriends to make it a real beauty and well-being night.
- Hold a slumber party– It doesn’t matter how old you are, this is still going to be a good idea. Order in pizza, popcorn, Balamban liempo, pastries, marshmallows, and whatever other sinful treats you want to devour. Then pop in a few romcom DVDs like Sleepless in Seattle, While You Were Sleeping, The Cutting Edge, Pretty Woman or (duh) Valentine’s Day and giggle the night away. If you own a pool—even better! Make it a barbeque pool party instead. Oh, and if you own a KTV machine, go all out and belt all those 80s power ballads a la Whitney Houston. Just send the neighbor some cookies the net day to make up for it.
- Treat your folks out– Either you organize a special dinner with your mom and dad (with you present), or you send them off on a romantic dinner together and plan some cheesy surprises while you stay home and get the house all to yourself. Whichever way, your parents are sure to have a nice time and good heavens, after everything they’ve been through, and after managing to raise you, they deserve it.
- Plan a trip– Why not just take off for a few days and plan an unforgettable trip? There’s no better way to declare that you love yourself. I’m all for going solo (one never knows the excitement and adventure that could occur on one of these trips), but if you don’t like travelling on your own, then get two or three more friends to join you and have a blast. Do something fun and crazy (not dangerous crazy ok?) for once.
- Buy something special– Just think of the money you’re NOT spending on gifts for a boyfriend or girlfriend (on a per year basis) and commemorate this Valentine holiday by buying something you’ve wanted for a long time. Is it a bag? A camera? An appliance of some sort? A piece of bling? If you have the funds for it, just go. It’s time you treated yourself like a queen.
- Catch up on things– If life has been crazy busy for you lately, it might be a good idea as well to unplug yourself from the hustle and bustle just for one night, and catch up on some rest or reading. You could sleep early, with the scent of lavender tucked under your pillow. You could have a quiet night and read the book you’ve been meaning to finish or get started on, with a cup of peppermint tea by your bedside. You could just blissfully watch tv and cuddle the dog. A quiet night of solitude can be a blissful thing.
- Make amends– Since Valentine’s is the day of love, it’s time to declare yourself healed and make amends with whatever has been bothering you. Call the good friend you’ve had a rift with or never have the time to see and get back on track. Say sorry to whomever you’ve hurt. Write a note for someone you love. Most importantly, be honest and truthful to yourself about the changes you need to make, the people you need to let go of, and the plans you want to fulfill.
- Be grateful– No matter what your circumstance is right now, there is always something to be grateful for. And there is no better advice this Valentines than to have a grateful, happy heart. Count all your blessings, from the minor things you’ve taken for granted to the people who have, at one point or another, touched your life, colored your world, and shaped you into the person that you are. Then smile and know that you are loved, always.