Thursday, February 15th, is Single’s Appreciation Day! As Valentine’s Day approaches, I want to remind our readers that all relational stations in life are to be celebrated! Being in a romantic partnership or relationship is a wonderful thing but society can overlook or speak down to our friends and family who are single for a variety of reasons. Regardless of why one is single, let’s find ways to care for one another as February 15th approaches:
For my single friends. As a fellow single person, there are so many ways to show appreciation for this relationship status and feel seen, heard and validated:
Take yourself out to do something fun. Just because you’re alone doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time. Go to a museum, see a movie, cozy up at a local coffee shop or local food establishment. Having alone time is a great way to check in on yourself, exercise gratitude and appreciate the things you have in your life!
Get your friends together! Whether a game night, a themed dinner at your place or a friend’s or an adventure to a new place, share yourself with people who you trust. Do something with friends and make plans in case being alone is a hard experience for you.
Practice gratitude. Like in Amanda’s recent post on gratitude, spend a few minutes on yourself to notice good things in your life. When we pause to notice things that felt good in a given hour, day or week, we can reframe our station in life as something we have versus seeing singleness as missing something.
For our “not single” friends. On days like Valentine’s Day, or any holiday/situation that implicitly or explicitly alienates single people, remember to think about and care for your single friends who might be having a rough time. Here are a few things that have served me from my married, dating or otherwise not single friends:
Send a card. One family in my life every year sends me a Valentine’s Day card with a giftcard to Starbucks. When I receive this, I feel really special and remembered. The card doesn’t have to have a gift in it - a simple message of care means a lot.
Schedule a time to hangout. Consider changing up your plans to include your single friends on Valentine’s Day. One year my friends and I (both married and single) met up for a trivia night in observance of the day and that is a time I still remember as special.
Make a phone call or text. A variation on a card - a message thinking of your single friends can go a long way in fostering a relationship or improving their mood if the holiday is hard for them!
Let’s find ways to love and appreciate the people in our lives we care about - celebrate them regardless of their relational status!
Lou Lim, LMHC, REAT is a licensed mental health counselor and registered expressive arts therapist (REAT) with a master's degree in Expressive Therapy and Mental Health Counseling from Lesley University. He is a member of the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association and on the committee for REAT credentialing. He has 13 years of experience in counseling and expressive therapy working with children, adolescents, teenagers, adults, and retirees.