As a single woman, the approach of Valentine’s Day usually comes with an ‘oh no, not again!’ I could literally wake up every February 14th, dress in black (or blue, or purple, or who cares), roll my eyes at the overt display of cheesy affection while scrolling through my feed, secretly smirk at the couples in red taking selfies at Marine Drive, stare down every person trying to sell me roses at traffic signals, pass over the heart-shaped handmade chocolates on display at my favourite cafe, and simply do nothing out of the ordinary. Except probably avoid watching TV (my single heart can only take that much of Love Actually, TBH!) After all, I ain’t one of those poor suckers who bought into the commercial hoo-ha that is V-Day, right?

But then again, romantic love isn’t the only form of love out there. You love your parents, friends, pets, nephews and nieces now, don’t you? So, even if Valentine’s Day is geared towards couples and couple-y things, there’s nothing stopping us from claiming it for ourselves—no matter the status of our love life. So, how do you enjoy a day that’s dedicated to love? Read on to find out.

1. Don’t Be Bitter

Let’s address the elephant here. How much ever you would love to point out that those celebrating V-Day are just indulging in consumerism, don’t. Even if you feel that ‘you can’t buy love’ or ‘you should love your partner each day, not just on February 14th’. Even if that’s true, what’s wrong with it? If someone wants to express their love through a gift (yes, yes, even heart-shaped balloons!) by all means they should do that.

2. No Pity Parties, Please

Yes, you’re alone. So what? You were alone for 364 other days. No, I’m not asking you to pretend that being single makes you perfectly happy. I’m saying don’t indulge in obsessive thoughts of why you’re single, whether you shouldn’t have broken up with your ex, whether you should call that guy you dated once and found him to be utterly boring. Nope. Be kind to yourself. Just because you’re single right now doesn’t mean you’re unlovable. And please, oh please, don’t call that ex.

3. Galentines Party

Sound the horn and gather up all your single friends. Drink up (or not) and celebrate each other. After all, just because you’re single doesn’t mean you have to be single alone. Plus, who doesn’t love a good girl’s night! Pro tip: You could send out cute little Valentines to your single friends, or better yet, write them a love letter!

4. Celebrate Loving Yourself

Pamper yourself to a V-Day special manicure or head to the spa for some R&R. Buy yourself your favourite flowers, some nice wine or some high-end chocolate. Gift yourself those earrings you see on display every time you pass the corner jewellery shop. Put on that dress you’ve been saving for a special occasion. Or add some cute heart-shaped accessories to your outfit. After all, you don’t need validation from a partner to love and appreciate yourself.

5. Take Action

If being in a relationship is of top priority for you, then use Valentine’s Day to take charge of your dating life. Update your profile on dating apps with new pictures and a compelling bio. Don’t have one? Then do some research and download an app that fits what you’re looking for. Look for singles-only mixers happening in your city and head there. Don’t discount hobby clubs and activities happening near you—hiking, dancing, beach clean-up, etc. Many relationships start with a shared activity. Even if you don’t find ‘The One’, you’re sure to make new friends while having a ball of a time doing what you enjoy!

6. Spend The Night In

If the V-Day hoopla is really not your thing, and you’d rather just ignore the day (like you do each year), we’ve got you covered. Order in some delish pizza (or Chinese, or sushi, or whatever you like), curl up in your raggiest pyjamas and put on that movie you’ve wanted to watch for the longest time. Because when you’re single, it doesn’t matter if you have garlic breath or holes in your PJs!

7. Remember It’s Just Another Day

Whether you choose to celebrate it or not recognise it at all, whether you’re single or in a relationship, go into Valentine’s Day feeling empowered and ready to have a good time. After all, it’s no different from any other day.

So, how are you planning to spend Valentine’s Day? We’d love to know! Please share it with us in the comments below!

We often have such conversations on Malini’s Girl Tribe. To be a part of them, join the group here.