How to manage dating if you're single on Valentine's Day
BY Angelika Koch
13th Feb 2024 Dating & Relationships
4 min read
Spoilt for choice over how to spend Valentine's Day? You lucky thing. Here's how to communicate what you want from the day of love if you're single and dating
Valentine’s Day is a beautiful time to celebrate the ones you love. Everywhere we look, we see shops decorated with hearts of all colours and sizes.
Because of this, many people have relationships on their minds, but not all of us are in one. There are many people who are single and dating.
When it comes to those who are dating, Valentine’s Day can be a complicated experience, which is why conscious dating is important.
If you have been seeing someone for just a short time, you might not be sure what their expectations are for this day and how you should navigate this occasion.
What makes it even more complicated is if you are not exclusively dating anyone and you are talking to several people at once.
It then poses the question of whom you should ask out on this day and how you can let the other people you are dating know without destroying the chances of getting to know them better.
Too soon to spend Valentine’s Day together?
Before considering anyone else, it’s important first to do a deep dive into yourself and see how you are feeling. This holiday should not be a burden, and it is unfair to you to do something you’re not ready for or comfortable with.
If you don’t feel ready to celebrate Valentine’s Day with someone you just started seeing, reach out to them and let them know beforehand so you are both on the same page about what you are and are not comfortable with.
Letting them know you don’t feel comfortable spending Valentine’s Day with them doesn’t have to come across as a rejection, and there are healthy ways to communicate your feelings.
"There are healthy ways to communicate your feelings"
An example of letting someone know where you’re coming from can look like, “Hey, I have enjoyed getting to know you and would love to continue to date you. I know Valentine’s Day is coming up, but I am not ready to go out on that day. It feels too soon for me.
"Would you be open to going on a date next week with me? I have found a special place I think we both would enjoy.”
Wording where you’re coming from in this way helps the one you’re dating know how much you’re enjoying being with them. It sets a boundary while also giving them something to look forward to.
If you are promising something like a “special place,” make sure you do go through with that and find something fun for both of you to do. It could be a wine and painting night, or perhaps there is a new brunch spot that opened, and your special someone loves brunch.
Spending time with friends or alone instead
It is perfectly okay if you would much rather spend the day with a group of your single friends or treat yourself to some time alone. Even if you want to treat Valentine’s Day like it’s just a regular day, there is nothing wrong with that.
It’s important to honour how you feel and not give in to the pressure of taking someone out or spending time with someone before you’re ready to. This is an intimate holiday, so it’s understandable if you don’t want to spend it with someone you’re just getting to know.
Dating on Valentine’s Day and your boundaries
If you decide you do want to spend the day with the one you are seeing, then before even reaching out to see what their plans are, ask yourself what you would like to do and what your boundaries are.
Sometimes, people feel pressured to sleep with the person they started dating because it is such an intimate holiday.
"Communication allows both people to know where the other person stands"
It’s important to make sure you don’t feel pressured in any way, and if you do, talk to the one you’re dating before you go on a date with about what you are and are not comfortable with.
Make sure you ask them what their boundaries are too if you find that you are ready to take things to the next level.
Communication allows both people to know where the other person stands and allows you to respect each other.
Communication is key
Suppose you are in a situation where you are dating multiple people, and you want to take one of them out without hurting the feelings of the others.
In that case, it’s best to communicate in advance that you're not going out with them on that day, but you look forward to seeing them again. Then, set a date to see them when it’s not Valentine's Day.
If you would like, you can send them flowers or chocolates to let them know you’re thinking about them and that they are special to you. This can help them feel more secure while also enjoying the romantic gesture.
Disrespectful responses and staying firm on your boundaries
If someone you’re seeing responds in a disrespectful or toxic manner when you let them know your boundaries, it’s important to make a strong mental note of that and ask yourself if they are the right fit for you.
You should never be disrespected or treated in a toxic manner over communicating a boundary. If someone does this, then it normally points to a red flag that can become problematic if the relationship continues.
"You should never be disrespected or treated in a toxic manner over communicating a boundary"
If you genuinely want to continue this relationship, talk to this person about why they are reacting in this way and see if you can both work through this while still honouring and respecting your boundaries.
How they react to the boundaries you set is their responsibility. Staying firm with your boundaries, no matter their reaction, is your responsibility.
Have fun on Valentine’s Day
No matter what you end up deciding to do, Valentine’s Day should be a fun experience. It should not feel like a burden.
The best way to navigate through this holiday is to ask yourself what you are OK with, and once you have established this, communicate to the other person to see where they are on their side.
Angelika Koch is a relationship and break-up expert at Taimi, a fully inclusive LGBTQ+ dating app. She's a Master-certified life coach, certified relationship coach, and certified meditation instructor and the author of the book The Asshole Pandemic: A Field Guide To ID'ing, Deleting, and Healing From Toxic Relationships
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