• Emily Nagioff

Be Your Own Valentine This Valentine’s Day

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Oh, Valentine’s Day, that ol’ day. The day of flowers, grand declarations of love, chocolates and feeling appreciated. Or if you’re me, a few years ago, a day of tense conversations and a lack of chocolate. That’s right readers, I’ve never really had the best Valentine’s day, even when I was in a relationship, which is kinda sad I guess.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not that big on Valentine’s Day at all. I would have been happy with a 10p Freddo and a post-it note saying “Hey girl, you rock my socks!, but I’ve found myself with people where even a Freddo was a little bit too much to handle. That also wouldn’t have been a problem, if affection was given here and there but it wasn’t, and here I am, learning from that and realising what traits I value in a relationship; traits I won’t let pass me by.

I don’t believe Valentine’s Day is the be-all and end-all. I don’t believe there should be solely one day dedicated to love, and a commercial day at that. I believe if you’re lucky to have someone who supports your goals, is kind and genuinely makes you happy, then that can be celebrated whenever and however you want. I do believe though, that if Valentine’s Day IS important to your loved one, there is nothing wrong with making them smile - although some people don’t share that view.

What I’ve realised from being single for a while, and meeting other single people on my travels around the world, is that you cannot give your love to someone, without loving yourself first. Yes, it’s the oldest cliche in the book, but it’s true. So I ask you this, what if on this day - and ALL 365 days of the year - the special someone that needs to be celebrated is YOU. Then what? Have you thought about that? Where’s Clinton’s with the 'HEY I’M THE BEST DAMN VALENTINE THERE EVER WAS' cards at? This day, my friends is about YOU. Wonderful you, reading this very post. Despite the fact you should really be making yourself feel good every day, if you’re feeling particularly lonely on Valentine’s Day, here’s what you can do to remember it’s all good in the hood and you deserve all the love.


If you’re going to be viewing this day as the day that couples give each other presents, then gift yourself a face mask, or a bubble bath….or a box of doughnuts. WHATEVER you want, you go get it. This day should be yours, to treat yourself, press the reset button and relax. In these uncontrollable times, the one thing you CAN control is making time for yourself, and being kind.

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This year has been a year of change, both in a positive and negative way. Some of us have found this period more challenging than others, but we’ve risen above it and kept pushing forward. What are you proud of this year? What have you done for yourself this year? What do you love about yourself today? Even if it’s difficult, start digging deep. In the words of RuPaul, and as my best friend regularly tells me, ‘if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?’ Amen.

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SEE YOUR BUDDIES (virtually)

I think we're extremely lucky that connecting with people is so accessible with the development of mobile phones. Despite the fact that we're unable to leave our houses, there are still lots of ways we can see our friends - and we need our friends right now. This is a lonely period, and connection is key. Buy yourself a bottle of wine and have a Netflix party with your buddies, make a quiz night (come on, it's been a while since our last one!) or simply just spend some time catching up with each other. Valentine's Day is a celebration of love - and love isn't restricted to just a partner.

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I’m no doctor, but I feel like laughter is the cure to everything. There’s some damn good movies out there on Netflix (which at this point we’ve probably already watched this year, but bear with me) that still make me laugh out loud. Also, despite the vast majority of films showcasing a relationship as the be-all-and-end-all of life, there are some which show that it’s not everything. ‘Something Great’ is SUCH a funny movie to watch if you’re single on Val’s Day, as is ‘Bridesmaids’, ‘I Love You Man’ and despite not being a comedy, ‘Wild’, if you want to feel inspired.

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Did you know that INCREDIBLY it’s quite easy to do everything you did with a partner, for by yourself - FOR yourself? The best part of it is, you don’t need to share ANYTHING - I know, mind blown. In the past, maybe you’ve gone out for a romantic meal for two? If we weren’t in a major pandemic, I would have recommended taking YOURSELF out for a romantic meal and treating yourself. I went out for tapas by myself in Barcelona a few years ago and met the most fabulous couple - one of them is a famous author and the other is a wonderful pianist! Both guys were so friendly to me, warm and welcoming and I ended up having a blast. Now that Covid-19 has scrapped those plans, why not make yourself a three-course meal - for one? No sharing that carrot cake, that’s all for you, my friend.

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I think all jokes aside, Valentine’s Day when you’re single can be quite triggering for some people. I find it interesting how for many, one day can make you doubt your worth, and make you wonder if you’ll ever be in a relationship again. This year hasn’t helped. Pre-2020, dating was fun for young people, whether you were using dating apps or just meeting people at bars. Ultimately, with a global pandemic on, there’s no chances to meet people and less of a chance of finding love - if that’s your goal. Stop being hard on yourself. Remember your qualities, remember that the right person will be lucky to find you and there is NO rush. Things happen when they happen. For now, give yourself a break. We’re living through an epidemic and life is tough right now. Life happens, and love happens - sometimes when you least expect it. Be kind to yourself first and foremost, the rest will fall into place.

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