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What to keep in mind if you are single and stressed ahead of Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day can be a stressful and overwhelming time for those who are single. Here’s a handy guide of do’s and don’ts to consider

The fuss around Valentine's Day only reminds singles that they are not in a relationship, and some singles feel extremely lonely and some openly detest the day.
The fuss around Valentine's Day only reminds singles that they are not in a relationship, and some singles feel extremely lonely and some openly detest the day. (A stylised photo of a Wall-E toy, by Yancy Min on Unsplash)

It’s been two months of great progress with my client P, who is recovering from heartbreak. We had decided mutually that she should pause her search for a partner till she is ready to start dating again. However, in our session last weekend, P said she wanted to go on a date on Valentine’s Day.

I asked her if she felt ready to get back into the dating scene. P said she was unsure about being ready – but she did want to get out of baby-sitting her best friend’s child while the friend and husband headed out to celebrate Valentine’s Day. It was also a depressing time, P said, as Valentine’s Day had been a big deal for her and her ex.

P is among many of my single clients who almost dread Valentine’s Day. Another one of them, K, explains to me why that is the case. In a matter of fact tone, K tells me what really happens the week prior to Valentine’s Day: If he opens a delivery app, it, by default, opens to a full screen notification that says “Order Sweet Treats for your Valentine''. If K goes to any online retailers app, they have a Valentine’s Day sale. When he steps out to a restaurant or a bar all of them are promoting specials for Valentine’s Day. Not only that, even OTT platforms like Amazon Prime rent romantic content listed as “Valentine’s special deals”.

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K feels like there is no escaping the Valentine’s Day marketing mania as it has infiltrated, for at least a fortnight ahead of 14 February, most of what one does outside of work. It’s not just all your not-single friends who are making plans or asking you to baby-sit since you don’t have a date, it’s the entire ecosystem getting fired up by “love”.

There was a time when Valentine’s Day was on no one’s radar in India. Now, it’s made its way to every big or small business calendar as a promotional event. After all, what's not to love about Valentine’s Day – a day we celebrate love.

Except if you are single. The fuss around this day only reminds singles that they are not in a relationship. Some singles feel extremely lonely and some openly detest Valentine’s Day. Then, there are some singles who feel hopeful, and despite the general disdain for Valentine's Day, they take steps to improve their odds at finding someone on a dating/matrimony app. Around Valentine’s Day, these singles re-work their profiles on such apps, increase the time spent on them, and like P, try to get a date on Valentine’s Day.

Whatever the case may be, here is a list of do’s and don’ts for singles on Valentine’s Day:


…wallow in self-pity, let the marketing gimmickry get to you, baby sit your friends children, drink yourself silly, get desperate to go on a date or contact an ex, watch romantic films, stay back late at work to escape feeling lonely, feel jealous about friends who are in relationships, or set some sort of a challenge wherein you promise yourself that you will change your single status by the next Valentine’s day.


…treat Valentine’s Day as just another day. If you can’t, then distract yourself by doing any of these: go out with other single friends or have them over, attend a non-Valentine’s Day event (like a talk, stand-up comedy, music event), pamper yourself at a spa, exercise, paint, listen to music, or play video games. Essentially, do something that you enjoy, and which will lift your spirit, making you feel good about yourself.

As much as single people might get irritated, overwhelmed, saddened or envious of the excessiveness around Valentine’s Day, in my experience as a relationship coach, this day can be stressful for couples as well, especially for many men. Figuring out creative ways to keep surprising your partner on every Valentine’s Day requires effort. Add to that the expenses that one has to bear as gifting and eating out has become a big part of how one is expected to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Everything in life has its pros and cons.

The fact is that Valentine’s Day will come and go every year. This is not the right reason for you to stress about your relationship status – the impetus to want to change it should be love itself.

This is a limited series by Simran Mangharam, a dating and relationship coach, who can be reached on

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