Valentine’s Day is approaching which can only mean one thing: smug couples walking hand-in-hand, taking up way too much space on the pavement, as they exchange cutesy gifts and homemade cards. Sickening.

The perpetually single typically despise Valentine’s Day as a brutal reminder that they are alone in this world – without a person to buy stuffed animals and boxes of chocolates for. However, as someone who heavily romanticises singledom, I reject this embittered view of a holiday which – essentially – is simply one about love. This love does not have to be for a significant other; it can be for your friends or (most importantly) yourself!

I’ll admit that my past two Valentine’s Days haven’t been particularly brimming with self-care; I spent first year V-day crying in various parts of Bridge and second year V-day confronting someone I’d met the previous V-day (the universe was really out to get me) only to leave Fever in a state that can be best described as Tragic. This holiday has not been kind to me in the past, but it hasn’t stopped me loving its pink and red palette, cheesiness, and sentimentality. I love love! So, this year I’m planning to spend it right by indulging in a boy-free, drama-free Galentine’s Day with the girls who have got me through it all. Inspired in part by our own V-day schemes and by my own self-love rituals, I have compiled a list of activities and gifts (for yourself, obviously) for all the singletons out there who are ready to indulge in some self-spoiling.

GALENTINE’S DAY HOUSEHOLD SLEEPOVER: Noughties Dreamscape Edition

What You’ll Need:

  • Wine, lots of it.
  • Pyjamas; the cosier and more ridiculous the better
  • Facemasks to suit all of your respective skincare needs
  • A playlist of noughties queens; Britney Spears, Spice Girls, Gwen Stefani etc.
  • (see my friend’s playlist as a stellar example: the good, the bad, and the downright trashy)
  • ANY ROM COM – it can be as sad as The Notebook or as fun as Wild Child.
  • Snacks: popcorn, pic n mix, your favourite childhood sweets (really chase that sugar high)
  • Side-splitting giggles and astronomical levels of silliness
  • Your best friends <3<3<3

Maybe even throw some mattresses and duvets on the floors for this one, because you’re going to want to cuddle up and whisper scandalous secrets to one another between mouthfuls of strawberry laces. There will be a ban on bras, cumbersome lingerie, and all the other things we might normally adorn ourselves with to impress men. If you’re looking for a song to get you in the mood for a bit of Girl Time, I suggest you make your preparations to My Girls by Christina Aguilera.

BE MY OWN VALENTINE: Self-Love, Self-Care, Self-Devotion

What You’ll Need:

  • A Steaming Hot Shower (preferably with accompanied by a playlist you can dance to).
  • Lotions & Potions; whatever you need to make you smell and feel like an empowered, young, single individual in your twenties.
  • A Vibrator – for all my vulva-having people out there, I cannot recommend The Womanizer enough; it is expensive, but consider it an investment in your pleasure (particularly if you are a fan of clitoral stimulation)!
  • But if penetration is more your thing, then I recommend you check out Godemiche. Again, their products are bit of an investment, but their products are completely body-safe, high quality and come in a wonderful array of colours and styles!
  • Your favourite snacks & beverages – for me it’s Maltesers, a bottle of Pinot Grigio, and some luxury hot chocolate.
  • A pen and paper.

I’ve included this last item because, after you’ve showered, lotioned, wanked, and over-indulged to your heart’s content, I recommend that you sit down and write yourself a love letter. If you’re feeling crafty, this can involve some self-portraits, or personal collages, or just some photos you really like of yourself! No one has to see this but you, so don’t be shy – include nudes if that’s your thing! Regardless of visuals, I hereby grant you permission (not that you need it) to pour your heart out, to list all of the things – big and small – that you love about yourself. This can be a daunting task, as we’re so conditioned to dislike our bodies and to speak of ourselves with humility. Fuck modesty. Embrace narcissism. Pen yourself a sonnet if you’re poetically inclined. If you’re struggling to make a start, it can be helpful to think of your concrete achievements (i.e. ‘getting into Oxford’, ‘grade X on an instrument’, ‘making it onto X sports team’ etc.). You’ll find that these achievements reveal other things you love about yourself – all the things that enabled you to do whatever great thing it is you did. Whatever pops into your head, write it down, and before you know it you’ll have written yourself a love letter!

***

Whatever you do this Valentine’s Day – whether you’re alone, with friends, or with a partner – be sure to be kind to yourself! God knows it’s been a shit year and we could all do with some serious self-care; Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to feel engorged with self-love. I hope this piece provides you with some inspiration – as well as a reminder that Being Single is not some kind of social condition akin to leprosy. 

And if you’re really at a loss of things to do, you can always tune in to one of my best friend’s (and creator of the aforementioned playlist) radio show which I have the pleasure of featuring on in a Valentine’s Day special. If you’re looking for a carefully curated sex playlist, or even just a giggle at our increasingly drunken chat, find Sunny Parke’s The Shipping Whorecast on SoundCloud!

With illustration by Emily Perkins (@emp3_art)

Alice Garnett

Alice is our resident sex columnist whose interests include pints, pink, and all things love-related. When she's not evangelising Singledom she's busy hyping up her East Midlands home town, demystifying...