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I wish I could be as blasé about this as everyone in the comments so far but, if I’m honest, in previous years I’ve found V day incredibly challenging. All through my 30s I kept trying to be optimistic and upbeat about finding love. I went on SO many dates. I spent SO much time on apps. I was always happy for my friends but it was hard to keep losing them to marriage and kids (many are still in my life but our relationship is very different). Every Valentine’s Day was just a reminder that nobody wanted me. This year I’m 41 and, although I don’t feel as emotional as I have in previous years, I am deliberately avoiding social media for the next 24 hours. Yes, I know there’s other types of love and yes, there’s other things in my life I’m grateful for but the fact is I still want to find the love of my life - I’m not going to pretend that I’m ‘happily single and having an awesome time with all this free time,’ when I’m not.

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Sending a big hug if you want one. It’s so tough even without the pressure of doing fine, so I can imagine how isolating it must feel when everyone around you is happy with where they are at. I know I’m just a random stranger on the internet but I’m proud of you for being so vulnerable with us and for putting yourself first by avoiding social media instead of wearing a fake brave face <3

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Couldn't have put it better myself Alexis xx

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Feb 14, 2023Liked by Nicola Slawson

I hear you. I was doing pretty well as a sometimes-happy-usually-content single woman, but then I had a brief relationship with a guy I still think is wonderful. He broke up with me a couple of weeks ago (two days after my 41st birthday), and I am very much not okay. I don't think Valentine's is much worse than any of the other days in the past two weeks, but I also decided to stay away from social media.

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I’m so sorry Steffi! That sounds really tough to deal with. Avoiding social media today was probably very wise xx

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I’m sorry you are feeling like that and I hope you don’t for much longer.

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Feb 14, 2023Liked by Nicola Slawson

Pretty indifferent to it to be honest, the only reason I tend to note it is so I can remember to hit the shops later in the day (or the next day) so get all the valentines day themed chocolate on sale (then spend the rest of the week in a sugar coma). I did one year buy the massive Reece's peanut butter love heart and write on it 'To Linda, from Linda' and put it on the mantelpiece for a couple of weeks before v-day. That did bring a smile to my face (and reminded my housemates not to eat it).

The big day I am very excited about is Pancake Tuesday next week! Now there is a day which needs planning!

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Omg I love pancake day! Best day of the year xx

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Pancake Tuesday! Now there's a day worth celebrating!

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Feb 14, 2023Liked by Nicola Slawson

To me Valentine’s Day is like Eid or Chinese New Year. It’s for a world I’m not part of but I will happily enjoy some of the festivities. Bargain dinners in supermarkets, new types of chocolate etc. My favourite activity though is as a voyeur. I love watching other people take part. I love seeing rafts of men clutching flowers on the home commute. I just hope that they are all going home to happy partners who will be delighted rather than taking a societal driven sticking plaster to a miserable home.

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Your last line perfectly encapsulates how I feel about the day (and romantic gestures in previous relationships). Then again my primary love language is acts of service, maybe it’s a holiday for the gifts types

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Love this. I also love people watching on days like today!

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Feb 14, 2023Liked by Nicola Slawson

Being single on Valentine’s Day is way better than being in a relationship. When you’re with someone you have to stress about what you’re going to get them as a gift, and they get you a gift but it’s unlikely that you’ll like the gift as much as a gift you can get for yourself if you’re single! I have occasionally got myself gifts on Valentine’s Day if I find something I like, but overall I’m usually just happy to not have to participate in the commercial bullshit that goes on on this day!

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Yes so true. I always felt quite flat when I was in relationships on this day.

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Sarah, I couldn't agree more with you. It's too commercial I think.

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Feb 14, 2023·edited Feb 14, 2023Liked by Nicola Slawson

I like the efforts made in recent years to widen it out to be about love more generally, rather than just romantic. The US seems to be ahead of the UK on this - no doubt encouraged by big companies trying to increase sales, but the principle is still a good one. It’s good to have a day on which love in all its forms is celebrated. I used to feel sad and left out on Valentines Day - now I think of all the love I have in my life from friends and family. And treat myself to the M&S Dine-in for 2 nights of feasting!

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Oooh good idea on treating yourself to a nice meal (for two days!). I agree, it is nice that it is becoming broader. One of my fave recent Valentine's was when my friend's little girl painted me a picture. It had been her idea as she loves Valentine's. I had to hold back tears!

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Feb 14, 2023·edited Feb 14, 2023Liked by Nicola Slawson

Just been to M&S. The menu for tonight is prawn cocktail, cod with peppers with a side of asparagus, and creamy berry dessert. And Prosecco. This is me trying to eat fairly healthily too - there were some much more outrageous options available!

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Nom! Hope it was good xx

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Oh it was! Thankyou for this thread - a geat idea.

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Feb 14, 2023Liked by Nicola Slawson

I’ll either order myself a takeaway with my furry feline valentine by my side or I’ll put on a daft comedy movie tonight. Never really cared for V-day but six years being single has made me somewhat immune to it… unless I hear people talking about their soppy romantic plans with their partner. Then I get a little bit bitter 😬 not because I want to do them too, but just because I don’t remember how it feels to be loved by someone who isn’t a friend or family…. Not even sure if I’ve really experienced it before and I’m 33 now. But hey ho! Happy to be where I am and grateful for my health and having a cosy home to snuggle up in.

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I totally relate to this. Remembering what it is like feels like another life or a distant universe and I also can't be sure either! xx

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I absolutely hate Valentine’s Day. I hated it when I was 20 and single, and boycotted it all the way through my 22-year relationship. I still hate it now I’m a widow. I don’t feel any worse about being single today than any other day, but I never love seeing people gushing about their partners... What really enrages me though is all those patronising social media posts from coupled up people telling us singles that it’s really all about friendship and self-love. Ok, rant over 🙈

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I’m right there with you. Some days I feel like I’d appreciate it more if I had been alive at a time without social media because I like holidays as a general thing. It’s the posturing that gets me 🙈

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Feb 14, 2023Liked by Nicola Slawson

It doesn’t bother me, I didn’t care when I was in a relationship and I don’t mind it when I’m single. I’ll be at work all day and there’s no time for mushy stuff there anyway! I’ll spend it with my cat when I get home

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Happiness is an evening spent in the company of a beloved cat xxx

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Even when I have to sit on the floor beside her bed to keep her happy 😹

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Someone has you wrapped round their little finger (paw!)

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Thanks for asking this because it's made me realise I really do feel indifferent to being single on Valentine's this year and I think that's something new for me. I'm not doing anything extra special for myself as I try and treat myself with love every day.

I've noticed a lot of self-love stuff around at this time of year and I am doing Kirsty Gallagher's free self-love challenge and also did a self-love workshop on Zoom with Selina Barker last night. It is nice to remind myself of the basics but it also makes me realise how I have become so much kinder to myself in recent years. Wishing everyone love whatever that looks like for you x x x

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Awww I'm so proud of you Becky! Yay for being so much kinder on yourself. The challenge and workshop sound really good! xx

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How did I miss Kirsty Gallagher doing a challenge, she’s one of 3 IG accounts I follow I actually look at 😅 I can relate to the self-love shift. I happen to have done an energy healing this AM but not because it was Valentine’s Day but it feels appropriate. The Universe works in mysterious ways, as they say

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Feb 14, 2023Liked by Nicola Slawson

Thanks for starting this thread. I'm liking the 'jump on the bargains' and self love ideas. It's a mixed one for me and tbh it's hitting me harder than I thought it would! I had not strong thoughts or feelings on it in the lead up, to me it was just another day really; I was happy for friends if they were able to take some time to be with their partners...but then I think because I'm away from home, and I'm also a bit... I've been on the apps for a while and not found anyone...and feeling a bit lonely about it. Someone else said it well - I'm happy with my life most of the time but I would still like to meet someone and yeah, today I'm sitting here feeling a bit like I would love there to be someone I'm spoiling today. I used to love just finding the right little card or gift....I'm travelling home this evening but I have booked a yoga class for lunchtime as my treat to myself.

Just be gentle with yourselves, today and every day!

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Sending lots of love. I think this feeling is so relatable. Enjoy the yoga and safe travels home xx

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Feb 14, 2023Liked by Nicola Slawson

I used to feel like there was something wrong with me on v-day when every one else was coupled up, but nowadays I'm very happy living on my own. Love is love, so I'm spending the evening having dinner with my friend and her husband and two kids, one of whom is my goddaughter.

I feel like a lot of v-day marketing is aimed at propelling the myth that a human being can't be whole or complete without their other half, which I think is totally b-s, so I like to celebrate love with those who love me as a single entity complete person. This goes for New Years and birthdays too.

To me self love is less about homeopathic bath salts and more about feeling proud of my small wins, like changing the outdoor light bulbs in the evening and generally having my stuff sorted.

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Yes I so agree. One is a whole number! Have a lovely evening xx

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Sofia, I feel similar. Since being single I have noticed that by default, my time has been dedicated more to me than before. My friendships have also become much more deep and time is now spent on me rather than constantly negotiating hazards in a relationship - makes me regret a few wasted years! Loving singledom and richer friendships.

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I'm glad you started this thread, as I will go write over on my Substack about how I reframed Valentine's Day for myself more than 10 years ago. After a relationship blew up in a very painful way, I found myself getting so angry and bitter about the day, wanting to set shop displays on fire with the power of my mind, and realized that much anger wasn't good for me. Now my Valentine's Day (and several days leading up to it) involves handing out kids-style valentines or leaving them in random places for people to find.

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Awwww I love this idea! I might steal it for next year.

And I so agree on anger. It just ends up harming yourself not the other person. Xx

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Feb 14, 2023Liked by Nicola Slawson

I’m pretty indifferent to Valentines’ Day and usually use it as an excuse to buy myself chocolates! This morning I had pancakes for breakfast and I went to a ‘Galentines’ event at the weekend where we all danced and sang to Miley Cyrus’ ‘Flowers - it was great. I have to admit the barrage of Insta posts to ‘my other half’ can be a little intense but also I find it a bit warped...imagine life without the love of friends, family, pets, of nature, hobbies, creative pursuits and so much more. I say celebrate whatever it is you love, and whoever you love in your life!

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Love this! The Galentine's event sound brilliant too xx

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I once was in a relationship and was asked to take the night off work so he could take me out for Valentines Day. Then he booked a show. Don't date comedians I guess? But that was the first time it occurred to me to "celebrate".

My mum does always send my sisters and I a text though and when we were little she would buy us a flower each, which I found pretty cute and would take to school with me all day.

This year I worked all day because I am 30-something single gal who supports herself in a world where I have just one income coming in. So I feel you! This is reality, and I don't mind it.

It was my birthday last week and everyone asked how I was celebrating and honestly it's hard to say when you treat every day like a gift to your magical self and allow yourself certain luxuries like a little ice cream walk or a mani pedi when I let the budget stretch. I think what I am trying to say is I love myself every day *cue Flowers by Miley* and I love this thread and I love you!

Thank you!

<3

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Lauren, how did I miss your birthday? Happy belated birthday! I love this line: "..honestly it's hard to say when you treat every day like a gift to your magical self.." YES! So relate to everything you said.

Love you too. You've put a big smile on my face which is a lovely Valentine's Day gift. Thank you xxx

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Ahhhh thank you lovely friend this is so so kind <3 <3

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My birthday was last week, too - was there a period of time when you were given more hearts/Valentine's themed birthday gifts? That seemed to happen a lot when I was a kid. I love your philosophy on life! May the year ahead be full of more gifts to your magical self.

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Happy belated birthday to you too xxx

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Happy belated birthday! I never got heart shaped birthday cards and now I wish I did! haha <3

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Feb 14, 2023Liked by Nicola Slawson

I've always seen Valentine's Day as a marketing ploy by card and chocolate makers. We all spent big for Christmas, have the "I'm broke blues" through January and finally have a bit of money again by Feb. So let's get people in the spending habit to start the year off right!

When in a relationship, I show my love all year round, don't need a special day for it. Also, I'm allergic to nuts, so not a fan of 99% of the chocolate out there.

Just another day.

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Feb 14, 2023Liked by Nicola Slawson

You're absolutely bang on. There was too big a gap between Christmas and Easter so they had to get us with something!

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I am not allergic but I hate nuts in chocolate! I like your point about people having a bit more money in February and maybe they want an excuse to go out for a nice meal and let their hair down after a month of being skint and sitting at home. Plus of course big businesses play on that and encourage everyone to spend loads of money!

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Feb 14, 2023Liked by Nicola Slawson

I use to loath this day when I was younger but now I take joy in it. I definitely agree that we need to celebrate love in all its wonderful forms and not just the romantic kind. I know this day can be hard for many and for all of you that are struggling please know I’m sending LOTS of love your way 🥰!

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Feb 14, 2023Liked by Nicola Slawson

I'm making myself a creamy pasta dish, buying myself a delicious desert and I'm going to treat myself to an evening of tv on the sofa!

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Oooh yum! Hope you had a lovely chilled eve xx

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Feb 14, 2023Liked by Nicola Slawson

My feelings have oscillated between indifference and dislike. Never celebrated it, as an observer it seemed fake and a bit tacky. In the last couple of years it seems to be shifting to be more about love in general than romance. And while I appreciate it's inclusive, it also seems a bit meaningless. We show different people that we love them in different ways throughout the year. No need for a special day for that.

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Yes I see what you mean! This gives me permission to stop beating myself up for not sending my friends postcards, which had been my plan. I can do it any day! xx

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Feb 14, 2023Liked by Nicola Slawson

I've never had much luck with romantic relationships and at 49 this year, I'm starting to think I never will meet my mr right. I've not thought too much about today and tried to just treat it like any other. Buy every year I think to myself there should be a recognised day that celebrates singles. If couples get one, then why not singles? Then I think how much I dislike commercialising everything, so realise I'm wishing for something I'd ultimately not like. But if the commercial aspect wasn't an issue, it'd be great for us singles to be celebrated in society the same way couples are.

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I so agree Hannah! Although given how much we spend on celebrating our friends in couples (hen do, wedding, wedding gift etc) we certainly deserve some presents 🤣

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Feb 14, 2023Liked by Nicola Slawson

I'm perpetually single and have learned to be OK with Valentine's Day. Love comes in many forms, not just romantic relationships, so I've learned to celebrate that. As a kid, my favorite part of the day was the Valentine card exchange in school, for which we brought in decorated boxes from home for our cards to go in. Now, I send cards to friends and family members, and I enjoy doing that. I like the phrase "take what you want and leave the rest", and for me, that certainly applies to Valentine's Day.

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Awww I love this! Thanks so much for sharing. I love that philosophy xx

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Feb 14, 2023Liked by Nicola Slawson

I hate it. It’s commercial. I find ways of telling people I love when I want, without a shop making me do so. It is a day which alienates so many (largely ignored) people and really is impossible to escape no matter how hard you try.

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It really is impossible to get away from. I forgot for parts of the day and then would go on Instagram and it would be all over there or when I went into shops to grab stuff, it was all over the shops. Then you get all the emails from businesses too!

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Feb 14, 2023Liked by Nicola Slawson

During lockdown I made some fused glass hearts in my kiln, wrapped them in cloth bags with a note and a chocolate. Just before Valentine’s Day I stashed them around the town I live in and along some walks that I regularly take, even posted a couple to independent shops that I like to use and who had to close at the time. They were all found and taken at some point and it felt good to be sharing something that people may be excited to find.

I honestly feel that the marketing has jumped the shark this year. I even had a valentines text from a car hire company I used once two years ago. I send every good wish to people that are celebrating and taking some time together today but tagging every single product and service whether romantic or not is coming across as desperate.

Like many who have suggested it, I’ll be heading for the meal and chocolate clearance sections tomorrow

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Oh Angela! I love the idea of the hearts you left for people. That’s so special. I also feel like businesses are jumping on the Valentine’s bandwagon a lot this year. I’ve had loads of marketing emails (need to unsubscribe!)

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Oh Angela, what an absolutely gorgeous thing to do. If I'd found one of your hearts it would've made my day, nay, year! 💚

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Feb 14, 2023Liked by Nicola Slawson

I have loved Valentine's Day my whole life. I used to love making a box to hold all the valentines I got at the school exchanges, and assigning valentines from the package to different classmates, putting them in envelopes, writing their names on them. This was just one preview of my adult life, I became an artist and for almost ten years I sent out hand printed valentines to as many people as I had addresses for (and as many stamps as I could possibly afford). The last year I did it, I sent over 300 valentines, and last year I sent none (I now live far away from the printing presses I used to use). I know I could make them another way, but I just haven't felt up to it the last couple of years--but also I'm feeling sad today that I didn't send any out! So maybe next year I'll start again. I want everyone to know they are loved, and that that has nothing to do with relationship status (I've also been single for my whole life). I'm meeting a friend for lunch today and then we're going to go to the bookstore and buy ourselves *new* books.

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I love this! It’s amazing how many you sent out! I’m quite jealous. I’d be so touched to receive something like that in the post. Your friends and contacts must have loved it. Hope you can do it again sometime.

Also hope you had a nice day! Yay for new books! Xx

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I have mixed feelings about it. One part of me thinks it's an over commercialized holiday but the other part of me has started to enjoy it as a chance to treat myself and indulge in some self-care. It was actually terrible when I was in a relationship too. So much pressure that my significant other and I could never live up to. I didnt do it this year, but I like the idea of sending all my friends and loved ones those old school Valentines like we used to exchange in school. This year will be buying myself a nice meal and watching a silly romantic comedy so I guess I've come to enjoy it more than I thought over the years.

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I love the idea of sending out cards to friends too. I’m going to do it next year. Just need to get organised.

Hope you had a nice evening xx

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I’ve been largely indifferent to it always and the only time I was in a relationship I specified that I didn’t really want to make it a thing and he took that to mean that I wanted to meet his sister and her partner for the first time and then it became all about him trying to impress me again. Made worse by the fact that the following day I then had to meet his friend and her partner and I had to deal with the whole cycle again so I finished that weekend feeling exhausted. The barrage of emails is a bit annoying though, but I love a discounted chocolate box

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Argh that sounds very draining!

I agree on the emails. Someone on the Facebook group said companies should give you the option to opt out like you can for Mother's Day/Father's Day.

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Feb 14, 2023Liked by Nicola Slawson

Completely indifferent, as I was when I was in a relationship! Tonight I'm going to dinner and a gig with a friend, which we'd organised ages ago without even clocking what day it was.

I find the whole hoo-ha around Valentine's Day really strange. It's just another day that's been invented by some marketing person somewhere to try to get us to spend money.

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Oh your evening sounds great. Who are you going to see?

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Damn, I said 'gig' to make myself sound young and cool but actually it's the music of Radiohead performed by a string quartet. 🫣

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Pahahaha! But that does sound good to be fair. Have a great time xx

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Feb 14, 2023Liked by Nicola Slawson

That sounds like an amazing gig!

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Feb 14, 2023Liked by Nicola Slawson

That sounds awesome! Have fun!

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Feb 14, 2023Liked by Nicola Slawson

I’d go to that!

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Feb 14, 2023Liked by Nicola Slawson

This sounds amazing!

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Feb 14, 2023Liked by Nicola Slawson

My only adult interaction with Valentine’s Day, as the corporate overlords intended, came in the form of a first date in 2020 and damned me with false hope. Well, the day didn’t, the person did but it’s difficult to untangle to the two considering that was the inception of another failed dalliance. But actually, what I found myself lamenting on today is what the first Valentine’s without a great love must feel like.

My stepfather passed away in late December and his loss is more profound than I can ever hope to put into words; I lost my dad, one of my best friends, one of my anchor points in life. But my mother lost her husband, her actual best friend and literal other half. Their love survived significant hardships that came their way, a change in dynamic from spouses to care giver and care needer, and the loss of so many touchstones that other couples may take for granted as given (personal privacy, being able to speak and converse with one another, physical and sexual intimacy and so much more).

She’s only just beginning to pierce through the shock and trauma to unearth the pain of separation congealing to every thought and breath and movement. But I find myself hopeful that if their love could evolve to meet the tests thrown their way, then maybe it can survive this test too and provide her some scant comfort in her grief and mine.

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Oh I’m so sorry for your loss. That’s so hard for you and of course for your mum like you say. Thanks for sharing your reflections. So beautiful and moving. Xx

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Feb 14, 2023Liked by Nicola Slawson

I was with my ex for 22 years, who was the romantic one, showered gifts, sent flowers and balloons to my workplace at first - got to admit it was a brilliant feeling. Over time, we lost our way, telling ourselves it’s all commercial. It’s my second Valentine as a single person, like Christmas and NYE, I cannot wait for the day to be over.

Thanks for the inspiration within this community, you’ve inspired me to reframe it, I will go my usual Pilates night and I will treat it as a celebration that the day is almost done. Self love is bliss and I really do hope everyone finds it too.

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Awww thanks for this comment Mary! And well done you made it through the day and it’s almost over. Hope Pilates was good. So agree on self love xx

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Completely recommend it! Love yoga but I find Pilates wins as they’re more chance to be in the zone 🙏 😀

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First time in years that I didn’t get to send a present to my virtual idol boyfriend because they closed down the global server of the game in question so I only realised it was Valentine’s Day when I went to log my tarot card of the day in Labyrinthos and it said 14/2 😅 I thought I was team Bah Humbug but apparently I now shifted to “it’s not even on my radar”. It was the Page of Cups, for anyone familiar who can appreciate the irony of it.

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Oh no!

Love this line: I thought I was team Bah Humbug but apparently I now shifted to “it’s not even on my radar”. Brilliant!

I need to dig out my tarot book to find out what that one means! xx

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Ahh, love it! Whenever that card comes up for me I have to remind myself, after I'm done groaning, that the Page of Cups is not necessarily someone else bringing me love or emotional richness, but me overfilling my own cup. Now thinking of Lizzo and "About Damn Time":

"In a minute, I'ma need a sentimental

Man or woman to pump me up

Feeling fussy, walkin' in my Balenci-ussy's

Tryna bring out the fabulous

'Cause I give a f**k way too much

I'ma need like two shots in my cup

One to get up, one to get down

Mm, that's how I feel right now"

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YES. I take the pages to be about looking at things with fresh eyes like the excitement of a first experience, if I took the court cards to be about other people I’d live with a dark cloud following me 24/7 as that’d be wretchedly inaccurate 😅

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Feb 14, 2023Liked by Nicola Slawson

I cannot say I take much notice of Valentines Day especially now I am retired. Even in my later office days it wasn't much of a thing. Maybe the odd couple at work would be going out in the evening for a meal. Many years ago, Valentines Day would see a flurry of anonymous cards being left around and occasional bunches of flowers being delivered but not for more years I care to remember.

BTW, I did post an intro from myself on the Facebook page but it has disappeared. The stats say 'not posted yet' but I certainly did although I think it needed admin appro. Paul

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Oh so sorry Paul. Not sure what happened there. I’ll take a look. X

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I know we singletons are all supposed to be all anti-Valentines Day, but what's not to love about love?!

Happy Love Day to all of you blessed with romantic love.

Happy Love Day to all you hopeful souls who love yourself enough to know it'll happen when it's right.

Happy Love Day to all of you who are happy being solo.

Happy Love Day to all of you who find today a painful reminder that you're alone. I love you, others love you. You may be alone, but you don't have to be lonely!

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