Editorial: How I singularly survived Valentine’s Day

As some of you may have seen in the city this week, shops were splashed in hues of red and the atmosphere was dense with love.

Valentine’s Day was here again, and your social media feeds were filled with photos, videos and praise of coupledom, with dating apps reporting an expected surge in membership and usage as well.

For those who are single and don’t quite fit the ‘template’ of life, they’re often asked why they’re still alone.

Perhaps those asking are scared that single folks’ choice to go solo and feel OK about it could threaten the sanctity of the popular worldview that being in a committed relationship is the best way to derive happiness.

But for folks who find themselves single – whether by choice or circumstance, temporarily or forever – they too can revel in a day dedicated to love rather than dwell in despair for not meeting social expectations.

The day could instead be one of practising self affirmation and solitude. Indeed, philosophers and psychologists praise the value of doing things for yourself, by yourself, before you can love others.

The Jungian Centre states that “succumbing to these extraverted pressures means we never make our own acquaintance, never come to know the characters of our inner city, and never develop the self-sufficiency that allows us to know we are never alone”.

It is only when you’re comfortable in your own skin can you truly find the beauty within others.

Instead of having splurged on posh nosh and scented peripherals of a too easily commercialised occasion, why not consider having sent some of that to charity, family or friends who need it?

Indeed, our close-knit community feel could be a reason to give – time and money – to our many charities and not-for-profit groups on February 14 next year. The day could be seen as one to celebrate love of humanity through kindness to others.

Or, instead of setting up a perfect date-night photo for Instagram, next year, go take a hike and a long walk in nature where the conditions and environments are already perfect for social media photos. When you’re alone, introspection helps you hear yourself think, rather than be deafened by the noise of what Valentine’s Day is mostly about today.

Celebrate coupledom, but also know that singledom is worth the time and effort.