Sometime in the second week of January, in supermarkets and stores across the country, I began to notice bears. Lots and lots of bears. Big bears, little bears, bears with clothes on, bears with hearts in their hands, bears holding flowers and even bears that played a song when you pressed their bellies. These bears were surrounded by chocolates, flowers and all sorts of other trinkets that give the signal to people everywhere: Valentine’s Day is coming!
Like several other Hallmark-hijacked-holidays, Valentine’s Day has escalated from a celebration of love, with an annual opportunity for romance, to a multibillion-dollar industry. Take a look at these mind-blowing stats from USA Today:
What we will buy this Valentine’s Day
- Jewelry: $4.7 billion
- An evening out: $3.7 billion
- Flowers: $2 billion
- Clothing: $1.9 billion
- Gift cards: $1.5 billion
- Greeting cards: $894 million
Valentine’s Day seems here to stay. Sometimes February 14th isn’t the dreamy wonderland we’re told it should be. It’s an annual glaring reminder that, unlike many of their friends, they have not quite found that special person yet…
I’m married, but several of my closest friends are single. If you’re like me, married or in a relationship, it can be easy to overlook them during Valentine’s Day and even the days surrounding it.
With that in mind, here are three easy and appropriate ways that you can love and cherish your single friends during this Valentine’s season:
1. Go “anti-social”.
Social media has given us a platform to express our affections publicly, which can be great. But, scrolling through Instagram on February 14th can be very depressing if you’re spending it alone. Maybe this year, rather than posting a picture with a long, eloquent caption about your SO, perhaps write them a letter instead. It’s more personal and intimate, anyway!
2. Open your home.
Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to just be dinner and a movie for the two of you. Why not have a romantic lunch date or breakfast and then use the evening to invite over some friends who don’t have plans?
3. Love through listening.
Open, honest conversation is essential to any friendship. Ask your single friends how you can be a good friend to them this year. Then, actually listen to what they say! Ask if they are feeling lonely or if Valentine’s Day is something they find difficult. If they are praying for a relationship, add that to your prayer list. This isn’t the time for your best advice or for you to reminisce about being single. This is about you taking the time to lean into them and their experiences.
Every person is different – and you know your friends. They might want to talk and hang out or they might not. Regardless, this February, you have an opportunity to intentionally love them – which is really the best gift of all.