Saturday marks Valentine’s Day, alternatively known as “the day before every drugstore sells giant boxes of candy for 50% off.” We’ve talked about the most unique gifts to get your partner for a holiday, but what about the person closest to you? No, not your therapist or your best friend or even your cat–I’m talking about you! You deserve to be your own Valentine. Whether you’re recently single, prefer to binge date, or are a happily eternal loner, you can always be your own date. My lovely Glossy friends, there are so many ways to have fun all on your own.
1. Understand that “alone” does not auto-translate to “lonely.”
First of all, acknowledge that you are alone on this, the most silly yet bizarrely treasured of the holiday–and that isn’t a bad thing!
From youth, we’re taught that being on our own means we are somehow defective–that we are unlikeable, that something is inherently wrong with us. On television, in movies, all over editorials and magazine covers and music videos, we are shown image after image of sexy people having fun with dozens of equally sexy friends and a proportionately sexy partner, but this isn’t real. We are all lonely sometimes, and that is totally normal, but we shouldn’t have it drilled into our minds that being on our own means we should feel lonely.
Fun fact: this was my first holiday season without a boyfriend since I was 15. I am 25. I realize this sounds ridiculous to anybody who’s comfortable being on their own, but man, I was terrified. I assumed that without a partner, Christmas shopping and holiday dinners, and traveling would all feel so meaningless. Instead, it meant I was able to focus on my family and on actually resting rather than running around, feeling obligated to hang out with one person on top of everything else. Having a partner is lovely, but being on your own can be equally lovely–and is often necessary.
2. Make a dinner reservation for one.
Pick a restaurant you love. Pick one that has the foods you crave. Order your favorite dish accompanied by awesome cocktails and an amazing dessert. I guarantee the server won’t judge you; after all, they are on their own for the evening, too, and are probably sick of couples at this point. Oftentimes, the waitstaff is even nicer to those who dine alone. Seriously, I’ve gotten more free dessert and wine when sitting alone at a restaurant than anytime I’ve gone with friends, family, or a partner.
Bring a book to read, a journal to write in, a copy of SkyMall to create a ridiculous fantasy wishlist from–whatever makes you happy! Or just focus on the food, if that’s more your deal—my biggest recommendation: do not spend the whole night on your phone. Just enjoy your time alone; don’t preoccupy yourself with texting or checking through your Facebook/Instagram/Tumblr feeds. You are your own partner for the evening! Treat yourself the way you would treat any other date.
3. Give yourself gifts you actually want.
Oh, dear friends, this is your time to shine as a date. Give yourself some seriously awesome presents. As a beauty lover who likes to occasionally spoil herself, I have a few recommendations of where to start, as shown above:
- MAKE Matte Finish Eyeshadow ($25, NastyGal)
- Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar in Vintage ($18, Beauty.com)
- Too Faced Soul Mates Blushing Bronzer ($34, Sephora)
- Manic Panic Semi-Permanent Hair Color Cream ($10.49, Sally’s)
- Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit ($40, Sephora)
- La Prairie Cellular Treatment Gold Illusion Line Filler ($170, Bergdorf Goodman)
- Elizabeth and James Nirvana White Solid Perfume Compact ($48, Sephora)
Dye your hair. Learn to do contouring. Put gold on your face and the most delightful perfume on your wrist! Whatever your heart desires! Well, within your budget, at least.
Oh, and don’t forget to book a massage. You deserve a massage, buddy.
4. Pick up the perfect bouquet.
As I have mentioned in the past, I primarily date emotionally unavailable stoners. One Valentine’s Day some odd years ago, one of said emotionally unavailable stoners got me a sad Rite-Aid bouquet of wilted carnations. Nice gesture, I guess, but at the time, I was admittedly a little bummed. What I should have done instead of sulked was go out and buy myself the bouquet I wanted.
Whether your personal perfect arrangement comes in the form of chocolate-covered fruit a la Edible Arrangements or 25 calla lilies, get it for yourself and put it on your table. You deserve it, buddy.
5. Get fancy.
We’re always talking about how we don’t put on our makeup “for” men; we just do it because we like it. (That’s why when guys are all “I love natural beauty!!!” it’s hard not to roll our eyes like crazy.) Well, whether you love makeup or don’t, this is your time to achieve your personal version of “fancy.” Whether you feel most confident in a faux fur coat, red lipstick, and high-waisted jeans like a pinup girl, or bare-faced in a pink floral gown, or just wearing shorts, a leather jacket, and a ponytail, this is your night. Wear whatever you want to because the only person you need to impress is yourself.
6. Listen to awesome music while you get ready.
Make a playlist filled with songs you absolutely love and play it as you get all done up. In the event you just went through the end of a relationship, may I point you in the direction of these 50 empowering post-breakup songs? They helped me get through work when I felt like I was drowning after my last awful breakup, so perhaps they’ll help you.
Other recommendations of music you can hang out to: AlunaGeorge, Disclosure, Tensnake, Jessie Ware, and “Firework” by Katy Perry because duhhhhh.
7. Remember that you are a whole person.
You are not empty. You are not “missing your other half.” You may be alone, you may even be lonely, but you are not incomplete because you are on your own right now. Marilyn Monroe once said, “I restore myself when I’m alone.” Treat yourself and restore yourself–you deserve it.
P.S. If you’re feeling lonely on Valentine’s Day, tweet at me. I promise that no matter what, I will tweet you a hilarious GIF chosen just for you. I’ll probably be hanging out at home eating stuffed crust pizza with my cats and roommate, so holla at me anytime.