Modern, conscious living offers us the opportunity of challenging traditions and customs, or at least trying to understand them. However you may be celebrating this February 14th–aptly named Singles Awareness Day, Palentine’s Day, and Galentine’s Day–we’re here to make sure this rose, by whichever other name–smells just as sweet. We’ll provide context and ideas for making the most of this seemingly arbitrary day for celebrating love, and you should trust us here, because at Tawkify, we think about this holiday quite a lot.
Why Valentine’s Day?
The origins of Valentine’s Day trace back to ancient Rome, where February 14th was celebrated as Lupercalia, a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus. During this festival, young men would draw names of young women from a jar, and the pair would be coupled for the duration of the festival, sometimes leading to marriage.
It wasn’t until the 5th century that Pope Gelasius I recast Lupercalia into a Christian feast day and designated February 14th as the day to honor St. Valentine, a priest who defied Emperor Claudius II’s ban on marriage for young men, secretly marrying couples in love. St. Valentine was martyred for his actions, and over time, his feast day became associated with love and romance.
Our take on this? This day celebrates rebellion against norms that don’t serve us, and real love in all of its forms. We believe the meaning-making work of our lives comes through our relationships, with others and with ourselves–so, if you’re single, we’ve prepared some awesome, alternative ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
Self-Love and Care
We’d love to start here. Celebrate your singlehood this year! Whether happily single or not, you deserve to feel special today, too. You could do this by indulging in a relaxing spa day, practicing mindfulness and meditation, or treating yourself to your favorite activities–whatever it is, just make sure to nurture your mind, body, and heart. Remember, you’re perfectly deserving of love and kindness, both from others and from yourself.
Matchmaker Tip: Self-love doesn’t look the same for everyone; not everyone wants bubble baths and manicures. Go back to basics and fill your free time with things that make you feel happy and whole, whatever those things may be, and if you’re looking for a laugh or some context going in, check out our Valentine’s Day quotes for singles to put you in the right frame of mind.
The lowest hanging fruit we could find, and perhaps the most important. Whether you’re single on Valentine’s Day or not, consider celebrating your chosen family and besties, and consider organizing an event or meet-up for everyone (couples and singles alike). This is also where your Galentine’s Day and Palentine’s Day options might come in handy. Whether it’s a themed party or game night, a special meal, or simply sharing some laughter and stories over coffee, the best Valentine’s Day ideas for friends are simply the ones in which you take the time to show your friends how much they mean to you.
Matchmaker Tip: You can even prepare and dish out some special Valentine messages. Remember elementary school? Nobody ever got upset to receive a card on this day.
This staff writer’s mother sends him a Valentine card every year, so we’re paying that energy forward to let you know: it’s really nice. Consider joining in on this tradition, or just making extra space and time for your family to remind them that you love them.
Matchmaker Tip: We encourage doing this for you, to make you feel closer to those that matter, but if you’ve got particularly single loved ones, they might especially benefit from the extra love today. Remember, “Singles Awareness Day” might not be everyone’s favorite annual event.
The Joy of Pets
Our furry companions matter a lot more than a lot of people might care to admit, for whatever reason. Take this opportunity to pamper your pets with extra cuddles, treats, and affection, or consider organizing a pet-friendly outing or simply spend quality time together at home. Alternative ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day might include the celebration of any relationship that keeps you feeling connected, important and loved, and if you’re lucky enough to be a pet caretaker, you’ve likely got an abundance of love in your life–or even on your lap–every given day. That’s so worth celebrating.
Spread love and positivity beyond your immediate circle by getting involved in your community. Volunteer for a local charity, participate in community events, or simply reach out to those in need. Small acts of kindness can make a big difference in the lives of others, and contribute to building a stronger, more compassionate community. While we need these connection-fortifying acts every day, days of celebration are a perfect time to give back a little or to show up for those who aren’t as fortunate.
We love roses and chocolates and cards and romance, but we’re resolute in understanding that these are not the metrics that define joy, meaning, and loving relationships. If you’re single, if you’ve just lost someone, if your partner is out of town–you’re not by yourself. You are not alone, but days like this might make that fact hard to remember.
Now that you have a variety of ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day, choose what resonates most with you, and make the most of this special day dedicated to love and connection. Whether you’re spending it with friends, family, pets, or flying solo, remember to take a moment to feel gratitude for any of the relationships that make your life beautiful; they come in all shapes and sizes. And remember, cherish this stage of your singlehood before you find your person—it’s just as important.