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Valentine’s Day has become a Hallmark holiday filled with red roses, boxed chocolates and romantic dates only couples in love seem to experience. At the climax of cuffing season (that period of time between October and March where everyone seems to feel the need to get “tied down”), it can be a struggle for singletons—like me—who are watching couples around them being extra lovey-dovey.
Being single on Valentine’s Day can be hard for anyone, but as a transgender woman, I feel especially pressured to find love during this time of year. I’ve only spent one Valentine’s Day with a boyfriend before—but that entire relationship only lasted two weeks and was, frankly, doomed from the start.
Over the years, I’ve realized that one vital practice can guard us all from feeling lonely: practicing self-love. And I have some ideas for how we all can embrace the self-love spirit this Valentine’s Day.
1. Be your own Valentine
In preparation for Valentine’s Day, buy yourself a card—and fill it with your favorite inspirational quotes and mantras. Open it day of, when you’re in the feels.
2. Treat yoself
Buy yourself a present. Or a bouquet of roses. Shave your legs just so you can feel them. Take yourself to lunch or dinner. Have a binge-watching night with your favorite snacks. End the night with a face mask, candles and a great book. Being single doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of February 14.
Taking care of your exterior is important, but so is minding your interior. Take deep breaths and reflect on the year that’s passed since last Valentine’s Day. Think about how much you’ve grown, how you’d like to further improve and how you can take steps to do so. Just because Valentine’s Day is supposed to be romantic doesn’t mean you can’t work toward your goals!
Make a plan, so that when the time comes for you to celebrate February 14 with a special someone, you already feel complete, independent and self-sufficient. Be your best self with family and friends—with your career.
And if being alone is too hard on your soul, invite your friends over for a Galentine’s Day celebration. Being surrounded by your closest friends might help you take your mind off your relationship status—and it’ll remind you how much you’ve already got.
4. Never underestimate the value of a good cry
Sometimes, there’s nothing more productive than watching your favorite romantic movies and crying about how much you long for that picture-perfect, cinematic relationship. Watch The Notebook, or Titanic, or 10 Things I Hate About You, or Love Actually, or When Harry Met Sally. Watch every Nicholas Sparks novel that’s been made into a movie if you want.
Let those tears out. Then, relish in how much better you feel having released those pent-up emotions.
5. Write it into existence
Write down what you want from your future partner and relationship. Think about it, write it out, talk about it, work toward it and manifest it. Bring your vision into reality. I believe that if you ask the universe for things, you’ll receive them—when it’s time for you to. And even if you don’t, you can’t argue with the importance of clearly articulating your goals so you know exactly what to work toward—and how to do so.
No matter what you choose to do for Valentine’s Day, remember that you don’t need a relationship to make you complete, happy or loved. You are all you need. So celebrate yourself this Valentine’s Day—give yourself some love.