With restrictions throwing everyone off this year, is this finally the lowkey, no fuss, non-romantic Valentine’s singletons have been waiting for?
With the current lockdown restrictions set to be in place until at least the end of February, Valentine’s Day is likely to look different for everyone this year. Since the annual “galentines” antics are off the table, is a Valentine’s lockdown kicking single people while they’re down? I say the complete opposite.
If you’re a Valentine’s hater, you’ll probably enjoy the distinct lack of Instagram snaps from romantic getaways and lavish meals this year, since nobody's going anywhere. I think it’s also important to remember that not everyone is as happy as their social media posts lead viewers to believe. It’s often framed that single people are missing out on a wonderful night of affection and being showered in gifts, but in reality, I don’t think it is as perfect as it’s made out to be - and that’s okay. After all, no one’s going to post about the waiter getting the cocktail order wrong or the hotel room being way smaller than the website advertised. Social media will be quieter on the extravagant romantic gestures this year, and I don’t think single people will be too upset about it. Not to be overly cynical, but just remember when users are posting their remote flower deliveries or distanced drop-offs this year, it’s probably not as magical as the filter leads us to believe.
With Valentine’s Day comes pressure. There’s the pressure to meet expectations of good gifts, to impress your partner and organise something special to do. All of which is nerve-wracking to pull off at the best of times, let alone under pandemic restrictions. This year, singles can relax and save some cash instead of rushing to Amazon Prime to pull off the perfect gift under less-than-perfect circumstances. And let us not over-romanticise the government-approved, two-metres-apart lovers' strolls, since the February temperatures don’t exactly make for the most tropical picnic experience.
This year, with everyone in the same socially distanced boat, singles can do pretty much everything a couple is able to do to celebrate the day, whether that’s a movie session via Teleparty (formerly Netflix party), ordering in dinner, or making cocktails. I think the divide between couples activities and solo affairs is less prominent for once.
Alternatively, couples who’ve been locked down together for the last year may not even be feeling the sexy Valentine’s vibes. Since pretty much every night has been date night or filled with cosy quality (or not so quality) time, making this 14 February extra special may not be high on the agenda.
If you do feel heightened loneliness around this time of year, there’s no shame in that. Romantic gestures are thrown in our faces and there’s nothing worse than being told to focus on ourselves by drinking water and meditating instead as if that’s the equivalent to a fancy getaway with a doting admirer. But this year, I think those flying solo will appreciate the more lowkey Valentine’s Day since you can take comfort in the fact that you really are not missing out on much.
In the current climate, why not spread a little love to your flatmates, friends, parents, the dog - whoever is home really. You don’t need a partner to have a nice day and make other people feel a little bit more loved in these locked down times. Valentine’s Day isn’t automatically great just because you have a partner. There are plenty of loveless, unfaithful, or untrusting relationships out there, and I think it’s better to be single and caring for yourself rather than forcing a relationship with the wrong person just to cure a bit of FOMO.
I know a vast majority of single people are sick of the self-care narrative surrounding their relationship status. If you want to have a bubble bath and pop on a face mask and treat yourself this Valentine’s, by all means, go for it. But if the self-care advice makes you cringe, then you don’t have to do it.
The bottom line is, whether you’re single, taken or “it’s complicated” this Feb 14, just do what makes you feel good, and do it all year round. Valentine’s Day really is just that, one normal day.
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