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ALONE on Valentine’s – dread, dud, or DELIGHT

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Singing “All by myself”? A countdown to the terrifying day has begun… ½ of the commercials on TV, tons of email/social media prompts revolve around it, “Big”plans are being shared… Put aside how hard it is to be alone for a moment. Valentines can be soooooooooooooooo different this year! Want to ENJOY it? A few tips are in order!

As your couple friends pair up, don’t panic! Desperation’s odor wafts miles away, it drives the GOOD ones even further away… Unless one thinks “booty calls” are compliments, resolve to set high standards with NO SETTLING involved.

Young and old alike, potential romantics over the decades continue to experience many extremes. Those that find themselves year after year binging on a box of chocolates, partaking in a movie cryfest, rushing into a blind date (or a coupling under normal circumstances they would never consider), being a 3rd wheel, or…. DECIDE to LEAD an ANTI-Valentine movement!

Ever read the original story of Valentine? Wikipedia or the library or … History combined with myth, the essential ingredients prove that the holiday is more than Hallmark selling cards. It’s not about dating at all! The opportunity to celebrate a love that was willing to express sacrifice onto death is outstanding!

For over a decade, a few combined ministries have been promoting an ANTI-Valentine’s for single teens and college/young professionals. It takes the pressure off, with enough food and fun that no one is left wanting.

We’ve also witnessed individuals that have a wonderful time on Valentines! How do they do it? They use the annual holiday to review the year, and life’s goals. Might seem somber, yet when the average marriage only has a 49% chance of success (83% divorce rate with military couples is even worse), the odds are not in our favor.

Still time to maximize Valentine’s Day. The following Highlights a 3 point mission for Singles:

1. PLAN

a. Gather other single friends, coworkers, church members….. those in similar circumstances, who might be “left out”. Better yet, is there someone who seems to handle VD with extra confidence? Get them to be the Ring Leader of the Love Revolution!

b. Gather resources: Don’t be afraid to TREAT yourself… You are a “Child of God” , Even if it’s only a new book you’ve been dying to get, homemade spa ingredients…

c. Is there something in common? Racquetball, Indian Food, Gaming, Indie Music, ….

d. Is there something on a “bucket list”? Skydiving, Novel writing, Painting Class, Understanding how to play chess, 1st wine tasting, learn French or another love language, …. Doesn’t have to be a big ordeal, can just resolve to “hang out” and let it happen naturally…. Make it memorable!

e. WHO might be willing to speak to a small group of singles, or to you 1:1? Is there a happily married couple who got married LATE in life? A heart surgeon? …

f. LOOK for un-romantic places: Higher end Restaurants maybe full with couples, so enjoy a local deli. How about a park hike? Gameworks? Go Kart Racing? Laser Tag?

g. LOOK for a place to serve. The homeless and hungry are still with us… serve together or on your own at a soup kitchen, make CARE packages for the military, knit scarves, write thank you notes h. Is there someone you know who just lost a spouse? Or has had a spouse leave for an overseas tour in the military? Nasty Divorce (careful with this one… not an opportunity to hate all men/women in a bitchfest)? Or …. Prepare and deliver a Love Care Package to someone!

2. PARTY

a. Possible Theme(s) on the fly = For 1 or a group!

i. Archery vs. Cupid (have target practice on a stupid cupid 

ii. Health & Wellness (take blood pressure, go for a swim, … talk about reducing stress , introduce yoga or meditation, or ….)

iii. Masquerade (provide paper masks to make, wear a Toga, &/or look at how so many wear masks everyday, afraid to be authentic…)

iv. Hunger Games Stadium (May the odds be ever in your favor… compete at _____) …

v. Legos (Go to the current Lego movie, and discuss “What are we building in our lives?”)

vi. For the Sci Fi crowd: Star Trek ( which Captain are you?), Star Wars (Our only hope), Game of Thrones (status?), Walking Dead (how many are in dead relationships), …. Let your imagination run wild…

b. Treat yourself and/all your guests (even the guys) with a card, pocket flower, small chocolates .. Bible verse collection on hearts/love (I John 4:16, John 3:16, Psalm 119:11, Mark 12:30, I John 4:7, Romans 12:9, Psalm 37:4, Psalm 119:11, …)

c. Make a videotape to show. Perfect interviewees include elementary kids and/or senior couples as they answer the question “What is love?”

d. Bright and cheery decorations of upside down hearts “Turning Valentine’s on it’s head”

e. Food and drinks (go light on the alcohol, remember “not to excess”) to reflect the theme

f. Change the venue to a hospital, heart clinic, children’s home, pet rescue, retirement home….

3. PRAY

a. Relax, take a deep breath….. ASK God for comfort (guaranteed He will allow you to feel it… sometimes a physical hug will be sent in the most peculiar of places too).

b. Ask God for you to embrace your singleness, and His plan for your life!

c. Ask God to provide opportunities to find that special someone, then TRUST it will happen (seen couples find each other in Amazonian jungles, short-term missions, concerts, class, work, …).

d. God will give us the “Desires of our heart” (Psalm 37:4), once we are aligned to His Plan…. So what is missing? Where can I improve? Do I truly love my neighbors? My enemies? Are you ready to sacrificially love another? What is God currently teaching me?

e. Pray reading through the amazing love story of Ruth (imagine a whole book of the bible devoted to her story)… Husband & father dead, famine in the land, clung to her mother-in-law, risk death traveling to a strange land with stranger people… her faith=kinsman redeemer and ends up being in the direct lineage of Christ!

f. Ask for wisdom/insight in defining a life that is FULL!

g. Grace, yes grace…… Everyone enjoys the thought of redeeming the “bad boy” or “hot girl” from ____________. Looking in the wrong places? Attracted to the wrong fit because of dysfunctional ____________. Let God help you establish uncompromising standards. Then consider giving the nice guys/gals another chance in your life. Stability and a future can overcome boring (Bill Gates was probably not the 1st one picked in dodgeball). Who shares my faith? My future (goals)? My vision of family? Ask God to give you CLEAR VISION.

No love can be perfect in human form! Warm fuzzies soon fade, and are quickly revealed as mere lust. Chemistry, while tons of fun….. is made too much of. Generations of arranged marriages show sacrificial love, and a wonderful life can be forced. Not that I promote “mail order brides”, yet oftentimes, expectations far exceed reality. Or…. Don’t model, what we say we believe???

Love is primarily work (harder than anything you’ve ever done), and compromise. Yes I said it! It’s not all prime rib dates, cheek to cheek dancing, flowers, and serenades. Another person can NOT “complete me”. Only a meaningful relationship with Christ can fill that hole. God has NOT abandoned you in your singleness.

God loves you, be comfortable in your own skin, and realize there is a wonderful plan for your life! Help yourself and others this Valentine’s day by celebrating with an Anti-Valentine’s Day!

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