How to Be Your Own Valentine and Love It

Even the proudest members of the “Single and Loving It” Club know that being unattached doesn’t mean there's no fun to be had on Valentine’s Day. Kaneisha Grayson, author of the forthcoming book Be Your Own Boyfriend: Decide to Be Happy, Unleash Your Sexy, and Change Your Life, shares eight ways to enjoy yourself and your friends tonight.

Charli Penn Feb, 14, 2013

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The relationship you have with yourself is the most important one you’ll ever have. So if Valentine’s Day is all about celebrating love, how can you not want to spoil yourself? Author Kaneisha Grayson’s book teaches women how to cherish and cultivate self-love, and it’s filled with tactics that can help single ladies survive a holiday like Valentine’s Day. “Valentine’s Day is not about celebrating being in a relationship; it’s about celebrating the beauty of love,” Grayson insists. “Whether you choose to celebrate by yourself, with some friends, or with a special someone, one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself this Valentine’s Day is to take some of that love energy and give it back to yourself.”

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“There’s no need to drop $75 on a bouquet of roses,” says Grayson. “Give yourself the gift of beautiful flowers by going to your local florist or natural food grocery store to create your own custom bouquet. Take your time leisurely picking the flowers you want, and then the florist can prepare them to be put in a vase. Creating your own custom bouquet of a variety of flowers that are in season often slashes the price in half of what you’d pay if you bought a ready-made bouquet of roses.”

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“Going out to eat on Valentine’s Day can be way more hassle than it’s worth, with all the Valentine’s Day ‘specials’ and long wait times,” says Grayson. “Why not whip out one of your old issues of ESSENCE and tackle one of those recipes you’ve been meaning to try? Once your masterpiece is finished, don’t scarf it down standing at the kitchen counter. Put on some Ledisi, light some candles and savor the scrumptious meal you’ve just made for yourself.”

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“There’s no need to stay at home alone on Valentine’s Day if you feel like going out — lots of dance venues around town will have salsa lessons on Valentine’s Day, knowing that there are plenty of singles itching to go out and meet new people," suggests Grayson. "Don’t fret if you don’t have a partner to bring with you. There are always other singles at salsa lessons in need of a partner. And remember, you can always dance with the sexy salsa instructor!”

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“Going out to the movies alone among the hordes of couples might be asking too much — even I have my limits — but theaters will be buzzing with throngs of people out to see a movie on Valentine’s Day,” Grayson says. “Gather a group of friends, whether all women or a co-ed group, and go see a psychological thriller or action flick. Two films I recommend for this Valentine’s Day that won’t make you pine, won't bring you down, and that both men and women would enjoy are Gangster Squad and Warm Bodies.”

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“You can take advantage of massage and other spa promotions for Valentine’s Day or make your own at-home spa," Grayson recommends. "For the highest impact and least amount of trouble, I suggest making your own at-home sugar scrub and taking a luxurious bath. Then give yourself a pedicure and manicure while listening to the spa radio station on Pandora.”

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“One of the most fun things I’ve ever done is have a professional photo shoot,” Grayson reveals. “Local wedding and engagement photographers may be offering special discounts for Valentine’s Day, or you can do a simple search on Google and hire the person who fits into your budget and works with your schedule. You can use your fabulous new photos on holiday cards, your online dating profile, or frame them and give them to close family members. It may sound a bit self-indulgent, but trust me, you will be very glad to have those fabulous photos of yourself.”

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“A surefire cure for loneliness and self-pity, something all of us singles are at risk of on Valentine’s Day, is to spend some time helping out others,” Grayson says. “Whether you go read to the elderly at the senior center, help deliver meals to the homeless, or help clean up an area of your community, being of service is a great way to spread love and joy on a day when it’s easy to get wrapped up in romantic love as the only type of love that matters.”

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“When I say write yourself a love letter, I’m not talking about the same old, same old journaling you’ve been doing,” Grayson explains. “To celebrate, write a long, detailed love letter to yourself on beautiful stationery. What do you love about your personality, your spirit, your character? What are your physical attributes that you like most and why? Be as detailed and flattering as you want. This is just a letter for you to enjoy. It’s something you can go back to whenever you’re feeling down or are forgetting just how wonderful and lovable you really are.”

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Kaneisha Grayson is the author of the forthcoming book Be Your Own Boyfriend: Decide to Be Happy, Unleash Your Sexy, and Change Your Life. Signed copies are available for pre-order here.