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By Lia Blanchard

Being single on Valentine’s Day can really suck. I get it; I haven’t been in a relationship on That Day in years. This article is not about how to be happy about it, because no amount of gratefulness that you aren’t being dragged to a monster truck rally or a chick flick is going to make you happy. (If someone were dragging you to a monster truck rally or to a chick flick, it would be because you’re loved and someone wants your company, and that’s what we WANT, right?)

Focus on love, not romance

I figure that the whole point of Valentine’s Day is love. I can’t focus on romantic love that I don’t have, so I focus on the love that I do – the love of my family, my pets, my human brethren. I’m not alone in this approach, and several “alternate holidays” have popped up in response.

Many people have heard about “Singles Awareness Day”. It appears that this is more a catchphrase, although it does have an amusing “official” music video.

A much bigger and organized alternate – and one that I prefer, especially because it doesn’t smack of being “sad” – is International Quirkyalone Day. Described as “an invitation to create a great day for yourself… celebrate the things you love to do alone and the things you love to do with friends,” IQD celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. A “quirkyalone” is someone who is single because they prefer to be alone than to date someone just for the sake of being in a relationship. That’s you, right?

Take the philanthropic approach during Random Acts of Kindness Week, which runs this year February 11-17. The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation has several ideas for RAKs that make a difference.

Perspective and self-preservation

Remember: you’re not the only single person in the world, and despite what all of those jewelry commercials say, not every couple is happy. Many people feel the pain of Valentine’s Day because, even though they are partnered, they feel nothing like those jewelry-commercial people either.

Finally, a word of advice. If even a Cialis commercial pushes your emotional buttons, simply don’t go there. Don’t turn on the TV, stick to your own music, and definitely don’t log in to Facebook! If you have loved ones that are far away, give them a call or Skype, or send them a gift ahead of time.

At the end of the day, give yourself one last Valentine via a hot bath and maybe an early bedtime. Then smile and go to bed knowing that you’ve celebrated the day by acknowledging the most important love of all – loving yourself.

Valentine Single