It’s February and if your nearest Target or Wal*Mart is like mine, it’s been drowned in a sea of red and pink for Valentine’s Day since Christmas. Some of you ladies may be brimming with delight at the thought of having flowers delivered to your job by that special someone or having a romantic dinner with the beloved boyfriend or husband. Others aren’t. Valentine’s Day serves as a means to celebrate the gift of love, yet remind the single that they are—ahem, single. Who says that’s a bad thing?

So this year, instead of re-enacting the dinner scene from Something New with your girls, try something new. The day is what you make of it. Try these tactics to make it special.

Throw a singles party.
If you aren’t the only one of your friends who doesn’t have a significant other, why not celebrate that and possibly make a love connection? Get each of your friends to invite another person who’s single and meet up for a house party. Make it a potluck, bring games that keep grown folks’ attention (what’s a house party without Taboo?), some great music and of course, libations! Check out www.evite.com or www.ehow.com for more ideas on how to make your party a hit.

No matter what day it is, there’s always someone in need. Before you begin your one-woman pity party, get off your tush and lend a helping hand. Make someone’s day special by assisting with a Valentine’s Day party at a children’s hospital or nursing home. Look for volunteer opportunities in your area at www.volunteermatch.org or www.idealist.org.

Take time to reflect.
Whether you like it or not, there’s a reason you’re single. Did you invest too much in a previous relationship? Were you addicted to relationships (It’s possible!)? Have you been reluctant to get involved in a relationship again? Think about those questions and answer them honestly. If you own a journal, read entries from Valentine’s Day last year and evaluate past events and progress. Being single is not the end of the world. In fact, it’s what women and men sometimes need to find clarity.

Find the positives of being single and write them down. Follow it up with a list of things you would like to accomplish before getting back into a committed relationship. Sign up for that dance class you’ve been thinking about, get your crochet on or hit up the latest nightlife spot/restaurant in your city. Try the unthinkable—go alone (gasp!).

Use this time to complete that dreaded eHarmony or Match.com profile you have put off for months. Hey, what do you have to lose?

Hang out with friends.
If house parties with co-ed friends aren’t your thing, get out and get active! Plan activities with friends that don’t include plotting on your ex or watching Love Jones for the 25th time. Try a competitive activity like laser tag or cosmic bowling. Be creative and don’t forget to have some fun!

Treat (love) yourself.
You cannot truly love someone else until you love yourself. Being single doesn’t mean your physical or mental being should suffer. Pray and meditate before you begin your day to clear your mind. Treat yourself to a new hairstyle, a manicure and pedicure or a massage. If retail therapy is your niche, find some cute, yet inexpensive gifts for yourself at www.thisnext.com.

Finally, look in the mirror. Smile. And say “I LOVE you!” It sounds just as good coming from you as it does anyone else!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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