Don’t you just hate Valentine’s Day? If you’re single, you wish you had someone to share it with, someone to bring you flowers and chocolate (or to bring to) and kiss and cuddle with on a cold February evening. If you’re in a couple, then you feel like you ought to do something special, but everywhere’s booked up and expensive and really you don’t want to make such a big deal out of it. Or if you’re like me, married but alone in London, drinking a glass of red and writing a blog post instead of cozying by the fire with your husband who’s back in France then nobody would blame you for thinking that Valentine’s Day sucks, right?
When I was single, I hated Valentine’s Day with a passion. More than I hated Christmas (which is a big deal for someone who’s nickname is also Grinch). Being alone on Valentine’s made me feel like such a loser, like an absolute failure in the romantic department. Every year I’d tell myself the next time would be different, and yet year after year I found myself alone at home writing another bitter blog post about how I didn’t care about Valentine’s Day or something like that or forcing myself to go out at some speed dating event or a bar with dirty toilets and sticky floors in search for thrill and fun involving tequila shots and handsome (appearing) strangers.
But you know what, I didn’t know any better. I didn’t know that the only possible way to deal with Valentine’s Day (single or not) is not to fight it but to have unconditional love for yourself. There weren’t many people out there preaching the importance of self-love. And even if they did, how does one begin to love yourself after years of neglect? Do you eat activated almonds, stuff your face with chia seeds and get muscle cramps after a vigorous session at the gym, just because it’s supposed to be good for you?
You spend some alone time with a notebook and write three pages of uninterrupted thoughts about a fantasy, a happy memory or a forbidden dream, in order to discover what your heart most desires. And then you find a beautiful story to get inspired so you can make the first step towards that thing you want so much. Such as:
- If it turns out that what you really crave is a big medium rare stake accompanied by a good glass of Rioja or oysters and champagne at a fancy restaurant then, on Valentine’s Day, go ahead and watch The Last Holiday with Queen Latifah for a lesson in how to successfully eat at an expensive restaurant by yourself.
- Or if what you’ve been missing lately is some spiritual attention, reach for Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert’s classic memoir, if you haven’t yet and go straight to the Pray section (as we’ve already covered eating).
- Or if it is spending more time in nature, Wild (the book by Cheryl Strayed or the movie with Reese Whiterspoon) will inspire you in so many ways, from buying the wrong hiking kit to learning that battered feet really do take your mind off grief.
- Or if you simply can’t figure out what you want, but need a helping hand from the Universe, watch Yes, Man with Jim Carrey for a hearty dose of laughter and a reminder that the Law of Attraction does work (ask anybody who has actually used it, if such a mythical creature exists in your life).
- And lastly, if what you really want on Valentine’s Day is to find The One, then I recommend reading The Love Project, a highly educative and entertaining memoir written by moi. Wait, you can’t do that, as I am still fuffing around with it. Well, in that case, feel free to give me an electronic kick in the behind and I promise I’ll send it to you for free via email.