After an hour of Googling, I decided the only thing to do was to go on holiday. That, at least, was the advice from Google when I searched, “Things to do on Valentine’s Day if you’re single.” Every link I clicked on told me to jump on a plane and flee the country – as if selling me a bunker in which I could survive the upcoming apocalypse.
However, after much consideration (and consultation with my dwindling bank balance), I decided to stick it out in Blighty. I’ve never wanted to run away from Valentine’s Day before – in fact, I’ve often found that being single on February 14 can, to quote Marie Kondo, spark joy.
Every year – minus the two freak occasions I’ve had a boyfriend – I have spent Valentine’s Day with my friends, making them Palentine cards. And it has always been a hootfiul day of self-love and friendship.
But this year I was not feeling as happy in my singledom. The main reason is that, unlike in previous years, most of my friends are now in happy, mature relationships. While I am, of course, happy for them, I can’t deny that this has changed the dynamics of many a night out. Instead of wingmanning each other and keeping an eye out for anyone pullable in the club, most of my friends now prefer to sit with their partner in a booth, kiss them at the bar and then, ultimately, go home with them within an hour (either due to uncontrollable lust or an argument).
Nights out have now become more formal, classy affairs. But I am still stuck in the uni mentality, where I will unashamedly drink cheap (but strong) rosé out of a bottle on the tube with the intention of being legless by the end of the night.
Valentine’s Day is now another reminder that I am not as mature and adult as my pals. I’ve never celebrated an anniversary with a boyfriend and I’ve forgotten what it’s even like to be a girlfriend (unfortunately that does not stop me from drunk-texting my exes).
But yesterday I reached a turning point. I realised I could either mope about not being mature and adult-like, or I could just embrace myself for the mess that I am. And I have chosen the latter.
So this Valentine’s Day, I will not be jetting off to Lisbon or Los Angeles. Instead, I will spend it drinking (many, many) cocktails with one of my best friends. But there is no right way to “do” Valentine’s Day as a singleton – you may fancy an evening of self-care, a film night with friends, or a rendez-vous with a beautiful stranger on Bumble. Whatever you decide to do, nobody can judge you for how you survive the apocalypse.