Dealing with Loneliness on Valentine's Day
Every year, it seems like the Valentine’s Day supplies hit the shelves just a little bit sooner. The Christmas trees and ornaments come down. The chocolates and chalk-like candy hearts go up.
Some will say that Valentine’s Day is nothing more than a sales tactic created by corporations.
There’s no denying the commercial aspects of the holiday. Flower, card, and jewelry companies all see massive spikes in sales during this time. In the next two weeks, restaurants will experience a significant rise in reservations.
Still, it’s not inherently wrong for two people who are in love to appreciate each other, buy something pretty for each other, go out somewhere nice, and take a moment to celebrate what they have together.
That can certainly be a beautiful thing.
But what about those who are single on Valentine’s Day?
There is a dark side to the day of love, and it’s not the commercialism. It’s loneliness. One in ten young adults say they feel lonely, depressed, and unwanted on Valentine’s Day. Additionally, 40% of people feel negative about Valentine’s Day.
That includes people who are actually in relationships.
This day can build expectations, whether a person is single or not, and when people find themselves unable to meet those expectations, they can start to feel some serious negative emotions.
Though many believe that Christmas and winter sees the peak of depression and suicide, it’s actually springtime. And professionals say it starts right around Valentine’s Day.
If you’re in a relationship, you can (hopefully) turn to your significant other. But what about the single person? The first thing you should do is remember this:
Being single in no way makes you less of a person.
I know, as a single person, you’ve probably heard that a lot. But it’s important to remember, especially on Valentine’s Day. A day that usually leaves you feeling a little more single than usual.
There’s nothing wrong with being single. In fact, the Apostle Paul would generally said it’s better to be single:
“An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please him. But a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife.”
And that’s just one of many verses. But Paul also acknowledges it isn’t easy being single. People long for relationships, intimate or not. We don’t want to be alone. It’s not good for us to be alone.
In the book of Genesis, it says:
“Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone.’”
So if you’re lacking a relationship, and you’re feeling alone on Valentine’s Day, try surrounding yourself with other people.
Have a few single friends? Why not enjoy the day with them? Invite some people over or go out somewhere, and have some fun. I’d recommend avoiding fancy restaurants, and any other popular Valentine’s Day locales, unless you want to be surrounded by couples.
Don’t have any friends available?
Make it your own special day.
You can use Valentine’s Day as a day to treat yourself. Whether it’s getting your favorite take-out, watching that movie you’ve been meaning to get around to, getting a massage, or just sitting at home and playing video games for a few hours, you do you.
This is an opportunity to enjoy the freedom that comes with singleness.
Maybe you start a tradition where you get fast food tacos and watch a horror movie every Valentine’s Day. I’m not saying this is what I do, but…okay, yeah, this is what I do on Valentine’s Day. And it’s a great time.
Of course, you don’t have to do anything at all.
Treat it like any other day.
Holidays only carry significance because we give them significance. If Valentine’s Day has a tendency to bring you down, try treating the day like any other day. It’s not a strategy that works for everyone, but it certainly can for some.
Recognizing when you need help.
Feeling alone on Valentine’s Day may be normal, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a serious problem. Especially if it lingers past the holiday. If you’re struggling with constant loneliness, emptiness, depression, and/or sadness, you need to talk to someone.
Maybe it’s as simple as talking to a friend or church leader.
But if you feel unable to do so, or that still isn’t helping, consider talking to a professional counselor experience with depression and anxiety. They can help you find the root of the issue and establish a plan for change.
To find a Christian counselor that’s right for you, use Torrch. It’s a free way to find the perfect counselor for you.