Activities for the perfect single Valentine’s Day

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Photo by Isabel Bonebrake (isabel.bonebrake@marquette.edu)

Valentine’s Day is about platonic love too.

It’s that time of year again.

Grocery stores have devoted aisles to heart-shaped boxes and various shades of red and pink while human-sized teddy bears smile at shoppers waiting to be plucked from their cardboard home, purchased and given to that special someone with a dozen red roses that say ‘I Love You.’

Yes, it’s almost Valentine’s Day. And for those who may not have the aforementioned special someone to spend the day with, the holiday can still be a fun day to treat and pamper yourself. According to a 2020 survey done by Pew Research Center, 41% of all people 18-29 are single, so you are definitely not alone. With that in mind, here’s a list of things for singles to do by themselves or with their other single friends this Feb. 14:

Celebrate your pals with a nice dinner

While cooking for yourself or having a meal in a dining hall may be enjoyable, Valentine’s Day calls for a change in scenery. Time to take a page out of the V-Day handbook and head to a nice but budget-friendly restaurant with a few of your closest gals or pals. Think Olive Garden breadsticks or a trip to the nearest Cracker Barrel for chicken and waffles (bonus if you buy yourself something from the gift shop). Celebrate your friendships with a good meal and conversation — just like a date, but with more people.

Buy yourself something nice

This is an opportunity to splurge! Take yourself to Mayfair or Southridge Mall or your favorite online store and finally buy that one thing that you have been dying to have. This is a day to show yourself some love. That dress that you saw in the window? Buy it. That new video game that everyone is playing that you don’t have yet? It’s yours. And don’t be stingy about it, treat yourself in the best way you know how.

And if you’re looking to shop locally, check out Med Gen in the Third Ward or take a trip down by the lake to visit Boswell Books. Both shops offer something for everyone and you’re sure to find something in either place that you just cannot live without. For more ideas on where to shop for yourself, check out this list curated by Visit Milwaukee.

Share the love (just not the romantic kind)

The world needs a little more love, so take Valentine’s Day to tell your friends, family or a special, platonic, person in your life how much you appreciate their presence in your life. Remember those paper valentines that you used to share with your classmates in elementary school? Buy a box with your favorite animated characters and hand them out to your closest friends. And if they are single too, it may make their day! This could also mean sending them flowers to a grandparent or mentor that you respect, or even just calling your mom to tell her about your day.

Stay off social media

Yeah, this one is pretty much self-explanatory. Love is great and all, but do you really want to scroll through post after post of your friends and people you know being nauseatingly happy? In general, social media been linked to feelings  of depression, anxiety and loneliness, according to Penn Medicine General Health. For this reason, use Feb. 14 as a day to unplug and do a little self-care. Curl up with a good book, do a paint-by-number, maybe finally start working on your New Year’s resolution of going to the gym more. Just stay away from Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter.

Throw a Valentine’s Day watch party

Now that the semester is underway, you probably haven’t had that much time to watch television. Well, here is an option for you: “The Bachelor.” Grab your friends and your favorite unhealthy snacks, and gather ’round to watch the newest chapter in Clayton’s journey to find love. Enjoy all the drama and hilarity that ensues, and, oh, don’t forget the shrimp (if you know, you know).

And if a dozen or so women chasing after one man isn’t exactly your cup of tea, maybe try something new. ABC’s “Abbott Elementary” is a new feel good comedy sitcom series that is sure to make you laugh, and episodes stream next day on Hulu. And even if that recommendation doesn’t stick, as long as you are relaxed and enjoying yourself with your friends and snacks, the night is a win no matter what you stream.

Love you for you

And this is probably the most important activity on this list: LOVE YOURSELF! Valentine’s Day is not a day to feel sad or less confident about who you are just because you do not have a significant other. You are amazing just the way that you are, and one day someone will come along and finally notice it. But for now, love the single life, love being you.

This story was written by Kim Cook. She can be reached at kimberly.cook@marquette.edu.