It’s 2021 that may cause troubles for Cupid and his quiver of arrows.
Slowly but surely, Americans are being vaccinated for COVID-19, but the vaccination’s timeline doesn’t look that good for Feb. 14, when intimate dinners at fancy restaurants are usually the norm.
“We’ve been social distancing and staying at home so much that this Valentine’s Day may feel more like any other day than it ever has before,” says Acamea Deadwiler (www.Acameadeadwiler.com), author of Single That: Dispelling the Top 10 Myths of the Single Woman.
At this time a year ago, the pandemic’s impact on the United States was still relatively muted, so donning masks and avoiding crowds wasn’t yet de rigueur. Valentine’s Day played out under normal circumstances, with couples making dinner reservations, exchanging cards, and enjoying romantic time together.
Singles, too, had a normal Valentine’s Day in 2020, which for some meant feeling left out as the holiday played out all around them, Deadwiler says.
“Although Valentine’s Day could feel like any other day this year, singles still may wish they had someone for a more intimate celebration, like candlelit dinner at home or a local hotel staycation,” Deadwiler says.
“Feeling forced to spend the day alone is different from choosing to be alone. Sometimes you at least want the option to go out and meet someone new or enjoy a Valentine’s Day event that’s especially for singles.”
Deadwiler has a few tips for those singles as Valentine’s Day approaches:
- Treat yourself to something. Buy chocolates and a teddy bear for yourself. Or you could go bigger and buy a pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing. “Even better, spend the day getting pampered at a spa if there’s one open near you, masked up, of course,” Deadwiler says. “Be your own Valentine and engage in an abundance of self-love.”
- Know that you may not be missing out on all that much. Being single may feel less noticeable this Valentine’s Day because there wouldn’t be much to do even if you were coupled up, Deadwiler says. “Love fests will be more intimate and contained,” she says. “So, you won’t be missing out on any big celebrations or events commemorating the occasion. Plus, most restaurants aren’t able to operate at full capacity. Even the basic Valentine’s Day outings like dinner may be limited.”
- Be aware of the potential effects of “lockdown loneliness.” After nearly a year of limited social activities, plenty of singles may be inclined to throw caution (and discretion) about relationships to the winds, Deadwiler says. “If you’re already tempted to get serious with someone just to have a partner around, Valentine’s Day will likely magnify that feeling,” she says. “It will increase the self-imposed pressure to lock someone down because now you have a deadline. To beat the clock, you may be tempted to rush things or even reach out to an ex just to have someone occupying that space.” Deadwiler says that could prove to be a bad idea because once Valentine’s Day passes – and certainly once the post-pandemic world opens up – you may have trouble remembering why you felt the need to be with that person.
“Couples and singles both may need to make alternative plans this Valentine’s Day,” Deadwiler says. “But that doesn’t mean it has to be a bad day. Just a different one.”
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