Valentine’s Day as a single: Be a fabulous girlfriend to yourself

The word single with candy heartsBY CANDY PARKER

Valentine’s Day is near! The celebration of love is upon us!

Yes, kids, it’s that fantabulous time of year when couples express their undying affection for each other via the purchase of cheaply made red teddy bears, heart-shaped boxes of waxy chocolates and price-gauged floral arrangements. For my money, nothing says “I love you” like a rock-hard stuffed animal that can double as a weapon.

What was that? What did you just call me? Oh, “single.” I thought you said “cynical.” Funny how those words sound so much alike this time of year.

In any event, yes; I am single and will be celebrating my fourth consecutive Valentine’s Day as such. Yep, I said “celebrating” and I’m here to encourage other singles to do the same.

Don’t worry — I’m not going to give you that speech about how you have to learn to love yourself before you can love someone else. Rather, I’m going to put a little twist on that ideology by telling you to simply be good to yourself even if you haven’t completely mastered that loving yourself thing yet.

Simply put, and in the words of a good friend who offered this advice to me a couple of years ago, be a good girlfriend to yourself.

What does that mean exactly? Well, I suppose it means something different to each of us since we each have different expectations of our girlfriend, right? For me, it’s simply meant giving myself permission to pamper myself now and again – and being grateful for the fact that I can, rather than bemoaning the fact that I don’t have a partner to do it for me. It’s all about changing your perspective — and isn’t that really the key to almost everything?

So how do you apply the “be a good girlfriend to yourself” mindset to Valentine’s Day? I’m not suggesting you become one of those women who sends herself flowers with a faux suitor’s name signed to the card (though no judgment here if that’s your thing). But you wouldn’t want your girlfriend spending the holiday (manufactured or otherwise) cleaning the house all evening, so why do that to yourself just because all your friends are coupled up and you have no plans for Friday night?

There are lots of things you can do alone: go to a movie, luxuriate in a candlelit bubble bath with a glass of wine or schedule a massage. And you’d likely not invite your significant other over for a fast food or just-add-water type dinner either, right? So make yourself a special meal — go all out for yourself! Personally, I don’t recommend visiting your favorite restaurant — I don’t even like to go out to dinner on Valentine’s Day when I am dating someone because of the crowds and the limited option, pre-fixe menus — but that doesn’t mean you can’t tickle your own taste buds. It’s date night solo style, baby!

For the sappier types out there like myself who might otherwise be penning bad love poetry or pouring their heart out in a card to their better half on the holiday, use those creative juices to make a list of things you’d like to do for yourself throughout the upcoming year. After all, you don’t want to be one of those girlfriends who only breaks out the good behavior on Valentine’s Day, right?

As with most things in life, Valentine’s Day is what you make of it. And we all know you’re a perfect catch, so why not be the most amazing girlfriend to yourself ever and make the day all about you?

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