Single this Valentine’s Day?

Oh, being single on Valentine’s Day. As if we hadn’t just run the gauntlet of family questions at Thanksgiving and Christmas and spent New Year’s Eve wondering if maybe next year we’d have somebody to kiss when the ball drops,  here we are.

Valentine’s Day is the last mile in the marathon of holidays that seem designed solely to give people a reason to look at you and say, “It’s okay, sweetie. You’ll meet somebody when you’re not expecting it, that’s always how these things work.”

I can’t be the only one thinking, Okay, but I haven’t been expecting it for years now, sooooo…, can I?

But honestly, the single life can be incredible. We have this tendency to act like it’s the most terrible thing in the world, but when else in your life do you get to spend holidays wherever you want, take a promotion without worrying about the impact on your partner’s career, and never deal with the purest kind of morning rage: the feeling you get when somebody else hits snooze on the alarm clock?

Whether we’re going to be single for a season or a lifetime, it’s worth trying to do it well. So if you’re struggling with how to balance enjoying this season of your life while still hoping it’s only a season, I have a few ideas:

  1. Find your people

If all your friends are in couples, it can feel really isolating to be the odd one out. Luckily for us single people, there is a ton to do in Charlotte! Join a run club or a book club or a small group. There are numerous happy hours or networking events you can go to, and it’s never been easier to volunteer at church or with a charity. You’ll meet people who share your interests and who are also looking to meet cool people along the way.

  1. Focus on your priorities

What excites you? What makes you want to go home at night or get up in the morning? Being single is a free pass to focus exclusively on that if you want to. So do it! This can take a million different forms, but for me it looks like going home and working on my novel, hitting the gym more often, and learning how to cook. And with the advent of Amazon Prime and every subscription box under the sun, it doesn’t even have to add any kind of planning stress if you don’t want it to. Chase what excites you!

  1. Create your own rituals and routines

Since moving in together, my roommate and I have created a few of these and it’s amazing the calm and structure they bring to my life. Whether it’s making stove pop popcorn and watching Hallmark movies on Fridays, going to “our” classes at the Dowd Y, or going to our friend’s house every Sunday to watch Game of Thrones, we make a point of keeping our routine as much as possible. Maybe you like having a huge project to work on and chip away at every night, or you like to wake up early and make yourself a nice breakfast every day – or maybe you like to hit snooze four times every morning just because you can. Do it! This time is really just for you, so enjoy the little luxuries.

I won’t pretend there will never be days when it’s hard to be single, but surrounding yourself with the right people, focusing on what’s important to you, and having a routine you look forward to every week can make this season of your life truly joyful like…80% of the time.

And as for that other 20%? Well, boxes of chocolate will be half off starting on the 15th.