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How to Love Valentine’s Day When You’re Not in Love

Two Hearts And Original Hand Lettering Happy Valentine's Day.There is so much hype around Valentine’s Day every year. Red and pink everything, in every store, and all over the internet. Don’t get me wrong…I LOVE Valentine’s Day! But what about those years when I wasn’t in love, or didn’t have a significant other to share it with? I wish that someone would have given me some ideas on how to celebrate myself, and some  ideas to experience self-love and self-compassion. Well, that’s exactly what I’m here to do! You don’t have to be in love or have a significant other to enjoy Valentine’s Day. And not only that, but Valentine’s Day could be any day to be able to show yourself some love and compassion.

  1. Give yourself the gift of special time for you. Maybe this could be cooking yourself a special dinner. How often do you actually take time to make a special dinner from start to finish? And then the key is to take the time to enjoy it when you are eating. For me, most often during the week, it’s a quick dinner and then off to some task at hand. If you are by yourself, still set the table for your special meal, maybe have a glass of wine if that’s something that you enjoy, put on some relaxing music, and enjoy! Get a massage, facial or mani/pedi. Take the time to relax and pamper yourself. Do something that you may not normally do on a regular basis. You don’t have the extra cash or don’t want to go somewhere for this? Do an at home spa evening. You can get some great facial masks or give yourself a foot or hand massage, or take a long hot bubble bath.
  2. Invite some friends to spend the day or evening with you. Turn dinner for yourself into a friend’s get together. Have everyone bring their favorite dish. This, of course, would have to include some fabulous desserts to complete your meal. At least for me, that would be the icing on the cake, no pun intended!
  3. Watch a feel-good movie. You know, one of those movies that make you laugh and cry at the same time.
  4. Do a random act of kindness for someone, whether it be a stranger or someone you know. It can be a no cost/low cost act you do for someone. You can volunteer your time at a nursing home, offer to go to the market for someone who is unable to, pay for a cup of coffee for the person behind you. These are just a few ideas. Studies have shown that “…participants who performed acts of kindness, whether for the world or for others, were more likely to report feeling happy or to experience improvement in their mood…”
  5. Lastly, embrace yourself for who you are! Being in a relationship is not what defines you. You are special, unique, and wonderful! Do something to provide yourself with some self-compassion. Read a book, or search through some self-compassion quotes. You can also watch a TED talk on self-compassion from Kristen Neff.

If you are wanting to explore more about yourself, or need some support with self-compassion, feel free to contact me.

How to Love Valentine’s Day When You’re Not in Love

Norine Vander Hooven, LCSW

Norine Vander Hooven is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Westlake Village, California, and has been in practice for 30 years. Norine views the decision to enter therapy as displaying strength and courage. Norine specializes in suicide prevention, depression, anxiety, mindfulness, and life transitions. Norine is also EMDR trained and uses this to work with people with PTSD and severe anxiety. Norine works with youth, adolescents, adults, and families.

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APA Reference
Vander Hooven, N. (2018). How to Love Valentine’s Day When You’re Not in Love. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 23, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 14 Feb 2017)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.