Are you finding yourself with no plans this Valentine’s day? Maybe you don’t have a romantic partner this year, you’ve recently gone through a breakup, or you’re trying to figure out the intricacies of a situationship. Either way, we all have, or will, experience the prospect of spending Valentine’s Day alone. This can be depressing and discouraging, as Valentine’s Day is a holiday all about love, and it can be very lonely to see practically everyone on campus have a special someone to spend the day with. Just remember, you are not as alone as you feel. 

Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love — more commonly, the celebration of romantic love. Love, however, takes many shapes and forms, and while different, all are vital and not more important than one another. The Ancient Greeks had nine different words for love– all describing a different aspect of love. Some, like Eros, sexual desire and romantic love, are the most commonly known. If you don’t have a romantic partner to spend the day with, you can lean into some of these other types of love. Specifically, Philia– love between family and friends— and Philauta– self love or self care. Often overlooked in favor of focusing on romantic love, philia and philauta are vital to your mental wellbeing and outlook. 

Courtesy of Pexels
Courtesy of Pexels

For philia oriented activities

On Valentine’s Day, call up your family, friends, and other loved ones. They would love to be reminded that you care about them, and reminding yourself of the people in your life that love you can help ease your loneliness. Even if you are lacking a romantic partner, you are still surrounded by love. You are never as alone as you think you are. 

For philauta oriented activities: 

Self love and self care are important and greatly overlooked. Especially in a college setting where you have to continuously push yourself to be successful. On Valentine’s Day do something nice for yourself– be your own date. Here is an idea for a relaxing night in to treat yourself. Maybe you want to dress up or put on some comfy clothes and unwind, whatever feels best for you! Then make (or order out) a nice dinner and dessert. It can be Valentine’s Day themed or not, but if you want to indulge in any Valentine’s Day candy, this would be the best time to do so. Next, set up a relaxing area for yourself. Dim the lights, light a candle (as long as you are not in a dorm), or spray some nice scents– anything to create a relaxing environment for yourself. If you are dorming or sharing a room, it could be tricky, but do what you are able to. Watch your favorite movie or TV show and relax. 

Another activity you can do is journal, or make a list of everything that you appreciate about yourself. It can be easy to be critical of yourself if you find yourself spending Valentine’s Day alone, so take this time to be kind to yourself!

It’s not fun to be alone on Valentine’s Day, but through appreciating yourself and doing something for yourself, you can make the day more tolerable. And don’t just save this for a special occasion, carve out some time throughout the week to take care of yourself. If you appreciate and love yourself, the rest will follow.