I originally wrote this column for twodaymag.com — an online dating and social scene magazine for Millennials. This column appeared Feb. 11, 2013, at twodaymag.com.
With the onslaught of forced romanticism we’ll endure this week across social media, in the news, in the workplace and from family and friends, will come the anti-Valentine’s Day crowd.
Call them the 1-percenters, the love-haters or Occupy Valentine’s Day, but the growing number of singles is … well, actually growing.
About half of Americans are single, and ⅓ of all households are occupied with one person, The New Yorker said in a 2012 story.
Despite those numbers, floral shops are scurrying to fill orders of long-stem red roses, bakeries can’t keep “I love you” cookies and cakes in stock and store shelves of those heart-shaped candy boxes will move faster than bread and toilet paper with the threat of 1-inch of snow.
And I can only imagine how busy Kay Jewelers counters will be this week. Ugh.
So as half of America apparently will celebrate Valentine’s Day with a special love, the rest of us have the chance to celebrate Single’s Awareness Day — with its anything but true abbreviation of S-A-D.
“The goal of Singles Awareness Day is to let singles have celebrations, get-togethers, etc., and to exchange gifts with their single friends,” according to SinglesAwarenessDay.com. “The awareness day was established by single people who were just sick of feeling left out on Valentine’s Day, and support of the day is growing every year.”
The website touts Feb. 15 as the big holiday, but I’ve seen other references to Feb. 13 and Feb. 14 as well.
Some Singles Awareness Day events are lighthearted — happy hours, singles gift exchanges and dinner with single friends.
The folks at Smokey Bones even are pushing a Singles Awareness Day happy hour Friday in an effort to give single people a chance to meet others (or maybe allow post-Valentine’s Day couples a chance to test the waters, eh?).
But there really are some great activities you can do just to make someone else’s day special, SinglesAwarenessDay.com says.
“If you have the evening free, why not call a local hospital or nursing home to find out if there’s a patient who doesn’t have family visiting frequently and drop in to wish them a happy Valentine’s Day complete with flowers or a goodie basket,” the website says. “This might turn out to be the most rewarding day of your life. If you choose this route, be sure to have some tissues as it could turn into a teary experience for both of you.”
In previous years, I’ve written cards to cancer survivors through the American Cancer Society Relay For Life events I’m involved with.
Last week, I wrote that men will spend roughly $175.61 on everything from candy, jewelry and dinner for their companion, according to a National Retail Federation study. That same study says women will spend $88.78 on their sweetheart.
So if for nothing else, single folks have a chance to save some cash this week.
While stores, the media and friends likely will talk about the impending day, it is important to remember that if you are single this Valentine’s Day, it’s not the end of the world.
Whether you’re single by choice or by life’s agenda, don’t let that descriptor define who you are.
With half of the country considered single, it’s clear you’re not alone.