How to survive ‘Single’s Awareness Day’

Elizabeth Polsdofer

I would be lying if I said I was excited for Valentine’s Day this year.

Between bonding with the content management system of the Daily and being a physics major, I don’t get out much. I have the great fortune of never having the time or energy to contemplate my singleness too much before some mini-crisis or homework assignment arises that I need to take care of.

When I realized that Feb. 14 fell on a Thursday this year, I gave a huge sigh of relief.

I can do another night with my other (mostly) single coworkers going about business as usual. While a part of me wishes that I had a significant other to buy me chocolate or give me flowers, I’ve devised these rules for myself and others to survive Valentine’s Day, or as we single folk call it, Single’s Awareness Day.

1. Stay away from people in ostentatiously happy relationships. Valentine’s Day is the one day of the year where commercialism tells us that we should have relationships and that we need a significant other in order to celebrate this holiday. Ergo, being around people who are (or at least pretending to be) in fulfilling relationships makes us feel worse about ourselves because we feel lacking in comparison. Steer clear of happy couples if Valentine’s Day is a struggle.

2. Live vicariously through other’s personal lives via television. “Grey’s Anatomy.” “Ally McBeal.” “How I Met Your Mother.” “Felicity.” There’s something fulfilling about empathizing with fictional characters and their problems. They’re like reinforcements, assuring us that life has its ups and downs and that it’s not just us. Yell “Seriously!” with Meredith and Izzy, scream at your ex with Ally McBeal, laugh at the shenanigans of Barney and feel the heartbreak of Felicity’s unrequited love for Ben.

3. Eat in. Restaurants are going to be crazy full of people who are on date nights. Order a pizza and crack open a couple of cold ones. Order Hickory Park to go. Experiment with strange flavors and brands of Ramen noodles. Be a culinary genius. Eat an entire container of Nutella. Spend quality time on Pinterest food boards. If there were any excuse to take a break from a diet, this is a good one.

4. Visit a nursing home. No matter how terrible your last breakup was or how lonely you are on Feb. 14, there is at least one person in a nursing home who has not received any visitors in weeks or even months. As undergraduates, we take for granted the amount of life we have left ahead of us, but there are people who do not have the luxury of time. Be a family to someone who needs one.

5. Be kind to yourself. It’s easy for us single folk to beat ourselves up on Single’s Awareness Day. We start to think things like, “Maybe if I were thinner” or “If that person can get a girlfriend and I can’t, then what is wrong with me?” Unfortunately, it’s easy to find spending Valentine’s Day without a significant other a negative reflection on ourselves. There are worse things than being single, like being in an emotionally or physically abusive relationship.

6. Thursday night is Mug Night, which means you won’t be the only single person going out. If you’re really that bitter about being single on Valentine’s Day, then you won’t be too hard pressed to find someone else who is in the same situation. I’m not promising you’ll say “I do” one day, but it’ll do for Valentine’s Day. If anything else it’s excuse to go out because, hey, Mug Night.