For some, Valentine’s Day is one of the happiest days of the year. For others, it is just another day to be reminded of their relationship status. As much as I love pink, red, and white flowers, heart-shaped balloons, and the large Valentine candy section at Walmart, there is still a part of me that has mixed feelings about “love” day. I have been the one with a sweetheart on Valentine’s Day and I have also been the one without.
One year I recall being “okay” on Valentine’s Day was my first year in college. My three closest friends and I were all single, so we celebrated together. My only vivid memory of that day was driving back to my dorm and seeing a young guy with a single rose cross the street in front of me. Instead of grumbling about being single, I remember smiling. There is something sweet about the gesture of a single rose. I think the reason I had a good Valentine’s Day that year regardless of my single status had much to do with my friends. Having them made being “single” okay.
Do you have single friends? Maybe you are still single. Either way, I encourage you to connect with your friends this Valentine’s season. There is more than one kind of love and Valentine’s Day is a great time to share your affections with those special people in your life. Here are a few ideas for how you might connect with your friends this week:
Have a Party.
Not a Valentine’s Day party – just a fun time with friends. Unless you know your friends want to exchange Valentine’s cards and have a “love” theme, just plan a good, old-fashioned, get-together. It can be a movie night, a game night, or a big party with 50+ guests. The type of party is up to you. You know your friends and what they enjoy. Unless they bring up being single on Valentine’s Day, don’t broach the topic. If they want to talk, be there to listen. If they don’t, just be there to have fun with them.
The date of the party is up to you. If you want to have it on Valentine’s Day, you can, but don’t feel pressured to do so. You may want to spend Valentine’s Day with your sweetheart and that is completely understandable. If you have the party the day before or the day after, that is fine. Some of your friends may even prefer it that way. ~smile~ Some would consider Valentine’s Day a great day to be alone with a box of chocolates, a bubble bath, and a movie. In fact, that even sounds pretty good to me!
Send Cards or Letters of Appreciation to those who have Deeply Impacted your Life.
Kind words go a long way. I still have a box filled with special cards and letters from friends and family and it is fun and uplifting to go through and read them every so often! Putting your hand on someone’s shoulder and saying, “I love you!” may seem completely awkward to you; and, depending on the relationship you have with the person, it may be! ~smile~ Thankfully, the written word is different. You can tell your loved ones how you feel without unnecessary mushiness.
If you want to send actual Valentine’s Day cards, you certainly can; or, you can get plain “glad you are in my life” cards and send those out instead. Around here, Walmart has a great $0.47 card section – perhaps they have something like that in your area. Add a stamp to that and you can share your warm thoughts for less than a dollar! ~smile~ No one ever said sharing your love with others had to break the bank!
Consider sending cards or letters this year. People need evidence that they are loved and they need to know they have been a blessing. When my former student advisees e-mailed me and told me how much I had helped them, it made me feel like I was making a difference. Your loved ones need to know they are making a difference in the world. Let them know. ~smile~
Enjoy a Christmas Classic with a Valentine’s Day Twist – Dirty Cupid or White Elephant, Valentine’s Style.
My only beef with White Elephant parties is that they only come at Christmastime! In my humble opinion, we need to have more excuses to sit in a circle, exchange gifts, and then steal them from each other. ~smile~ Instead of everyday gifts, you could tell your friends to bring Valentine related gifts – perhaps the sillier, the better. Guests can bring the ugliest stuffed animal they can find, the sappiest card, or the most ridiculous pajamas. Valentine’s Day does not have to be a sacred event. You can make it entertaining instead of mushy. ~smile~
These are just a few ways to connect with your family and friends this Valentine’s Day. There are many other ideas you could think of if you set your mind to it! The bottom line is this: Don’t forget your friends (single or otherwise) and make it your mission to connect with them.
What Not to Say to Singles on, or near, Valentine’s Day
However, in connecting with singles on or near Valentine’s Day, remember to keep the below well-intended verbalized comments to yourself:
- “Don’t worry. You will have a Valentine next year.” It is a sweet thought, but the truth is, you do not know when your friends will meet Mr. or Mrs. Right. What your friends need is for you to be there for them and to listen if they want to talk. Just have fun with them, and don’t act as if their singleness is a tragedy. It is not. There is so much single people can do that married people cannot. God’s timing is perfect. But don’t tell them so…. (speaking of that…)
- “God’s timing is perfect.” Your single friends spend a lot of time thinking about God’s timing and such. Telling them that God is always on time may be a nice reminder; or, it may come across as though you are making light of their pain. If the mood is right, a simple, “I’m praying for you, Friend” means more than many other well-intentioned phrases. It says “I care about you enough to take time to go before God on your behalf,” but it does not say, “Get over it already. You need to trust God more!”
- “Count your blessings. Being in a relationship is overrated.” If there is one attitude single folks cannot stand in those who have a significant other, it is this: “I have someone, but I do not appreciate him or her.” No matter how much you think you would like to be single again for a while, think back to how you felt when you were. The last phrase I would want to hear from a mom of a big family is, “Man, I wish I didn’t have these kids. They are so annoying.” Such a comment would infuriate me as I would love to have children of my own. In the same way, acting as though having someone is “no big deal” or even “aggravating” will likely irritate or anger your single friends.
- “You should go out with (name of significant other) and me!” It is sweet of you to suggest it, but your friends probably don’t want to go out and be a third wheel on your Valentine’s date regardless of how hard you try to make him or her feel welcome. If you want to spend time with your friends on Valentine’s Day, make it a less lovey-dovey setting, like a party or dinner with several people; and, be sure it is not a dinner or party loaded with happy couples. Make it a setting where your friends would feel comfortable and welcome.
- “Just go out with anyone and have fun! It’s not like you have to get married!” Almost every modern day marriage begins with a first date. Some think going out with anyone beats being alone, but I beg to differ. It is not easy to be alone on Valentine’s Day, but it passes in just a matter of hours and then life gets back to normal again! If your friends go out with people they think they would never marry, they may choose to go out with the same people again. Then again and again. Don’t play around, or recommend that your friends play around, with dating. A first date – even a horrible first date – can eventually lead to marriage. Compromising their standards to escape loneliness for one night is not the way to go. There are so many better ways to spend the evening! ~smile~
Valentine’s Day does not have to be a day to forget all but one person in your life. If you choose to keep February 14th between you and your sweetheart, that is okay; but, it is not a rule! ~smile~ If you decide that Valentine’s Day is going to be especially for you and your honey, you can make the surrounding days great days to spend with your friends. Use this season to spread the love around!
How will you and your sweetie connect with your friends this Valentine’s season?