Of all the special days of the year, Valentine’s Day is the one day reserved exclusively for couples. And you know what, Hallmark? Not everyone is loved up, married, dating someone, or engaged in a serious relationship. Some of us are single and loving it. Some of us are single and dreading it. Some of us are in weird, complicated relationships, and we honestly have no clue how V-Day is going to pan out.

Valentine’s Day is notorious for bringing up feelings of comparison and loneliness. And we all know comparison is the thief of joy. So, if you’re not exactly stoked about the arrival of Feb 14th this year, prepare yourself with our 5 tips for dealing with loneliness this Valentine’s Day.

Allow yourself to feel lonely

Okay, this may seem like the opposite of what you think you should do but hear us out. When you give yourself time and space to experience feelings of loneliness, you enable yourself to process any unexpected negative thoughts or feelings that may arise. By ignoring feelings of loneliness and bottling them deep within, you’re opening yourself up to a situation where you’re likely to snap or project those negative feelings onto someone else. So, sit with your feelings of loneliness and remove their power to control how you act and respond towards situations in the lead-up to Valentine’s Day.

Stay off social media

We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again: comparison is the thief of joy. Social media can be a real prick when it comes to making you feel lousy about the state of your life in comparison to every other person in the universe. The thing is, social media only displays a tiny percentage of everyone’s lives. So, if you think a social media detox will help you avoid feelings of loneliness and envy around Valentine’s Day, start deactivating those accounts now.

Understand that loneliness is fleeting

Like waves in the ocean, feelings ebb and flow. Sure, you may experience feelings of loneliness when everyone seems like they’re okay, but that’s fine. That’s a normal human experience. By learning to recognise feelings of loneliness as impermanent, you gain greater perspective and avoid feelings of overwhelm.

Hang out with other single pals

News flash; it’s not likely that you’re going to be the only single person on the planet this Valentine’s Day. Chances are that some of your friends will be feeling lonely around Valentine’s Day, too. So, the best cure for loneliness is to organise a galentine’s event with your single pals. Surround yourself with a different form of love. Rom-com slumber party, anyone?

Be your own Valentine

Valentine’s Day single lady discrimination got you feeling sad, mad, lonely, or all three? Our advice is to be your own Valentine. You heard us. Buy yourself the flowers. Take yourself out for dinner. Treat yourself to some sexy lingerie and a new sex toy while you’re at it. Then, confidently stride into V-Day like a woman who knows what she wants (*ahem – an orgasm*) and how she’s going to get it (cue the sex toy). And that, single ladies, is exactly how Valentine’s Day ought to play out.