Being Happily Single on Valentine’s Day Means Embracing Solitude

February is the month that celebrates Valentine’s Day, but this year it’s going to be a different kind of holiday. COVID has turned the world upside-down and one of the things that have changed is the dating scene.

Restaurants are at half-capacity and prices have sky-rocketed. There’s still the risk of catching COVID when the masks come off. As a result, only seriously-in-love couples are going to want to bear the risks and part with their hard-earned cash this coming February 14th.

Many people will choose to stay home and have a quiet evening, whether they’re part of a couple or on their own. It could be a night of reflection about love and a contemplation of future romantic goals. Or maybe not.

Over the past two years, all the forced isolation and mostly online interactions have created many opportunities for people to seriously reconsider what they want in dating and relationships.

man dating woman online

New dating trends

In 2022, there are a few emerging trends in online dating, according to an article on NewsHub. The first trend is something called, “explori-dating,” which is all about connecting with different types of people than you would have dated in the past.

The pandemic has provided all of us with plenty of time to reflect on what we want out of our lives, and to rethink some of the dating and relationship choices we’ve made in the past. Explori-dating is a way of putting aside the old approaches and dating different kinds of people to see if they might be a better fit.

Another trend is being “consciously single,” which is when people hold off starting a relationship until they find someone who they really want to be with. They’d rather be single than in a relationship that isn’t giving them exactly what they want. They choose the single life over being unhappily coupled-up.

Photographer: call me hangry 🇫🇷 | Source: Unsplash

Single at heart

And then there’s the opposite trend. Author Bella DePaulo, writes about the choice of being single at heart. This describes people who are happiest without a romantic relationship and for whom being single is the path toward their “most authentic, meaningful and fulfilling life.” She even offers a brief questionnaire for anyone who wants to know if they’re “single at heart.”

What all of these ideas have in common is that there’s a lot more flexibility in how people can approach dating and relationships these days, including opting-out altogether and being perfectly happy as a single person.

Bella DePaulo stresses that being single doesn’t mean being alone, and she describes a life filled with friends, family, and social activities — just without a romantic partner and with a lot more solitude — something she sees as highly desirable.


Solitude is essential for happiness — whether single or in a couple

In fact, Ms. DePaulo has written about a segment of the population who “cherished their solitude before the pandemic” and who had “already cultivated the kinds of interests that have turned out to be pandemic proof.”

She mentioned a woman who has been thriving during the pandemic because she’s spent her time “reading, meditating, writing, running and strength training.”

This woman’s friends “prefer to spend most of their free time on dates, at various live shows, and at bars or nightclubs” and DePaulo said that these folks have been “more distressed about the isolation” during the pandemic than the woman who was comfortable with her solitude.

From where I stand as a psychiatrist, it’s clear that whether you choose to be single at heart, consciously single, or actively dating, being comfortable with solitude is an essential ingredient for happiness and success.

You should never date from a place of loneliness or desperation, as that is likely to set you up for all sorts of unpleasant experiences. Being okay with solitude means that you can choose to date, hold off on dating, or never date, knowing that you’ll always feel fine.


Being okay with solitude

Being okay with solitude means enjoying your own company and having a lot of self-love. It means never staying in a bad relationship because you’re afraid of “being alone.”

It means never being afraid to confront someone about their bad behaviour for fear that they’ll get angry at you. If you discover that the person you’re involved with is an unreasonable jerk who can’t take responsibility for their actions, you’ll be perfectly comfortable with walking away.

Being okay with solitude means that you’ll never jump too quickly into a relationship without really knowing the other person, and that you’ll never ignore the red flags you see at the start.

Being okay with solitude gives you the freedom to take the best possible care of yourself and do whatever works best for you in all of your relationships. It prevents you from wasting your precious time on people who don’t deserve it and it’s a whole lot safer, too.

In 2022, when there are so many options to explore in dating, relationships and being consciously or inherently single, being good with solitude is your super-power for happiness and success.

As Valentine’s Day approaches, whatever you choose in terms of dating or singleness, I invite you to work on enjoying your solitude, so that you can make the best of your relationships and your life.


Sign up here for my free biweekly wellness newsletter that brings you fresh, thought-provoking content.

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel where you’ll learn simple tips for taking the best care of yourself and your loved ones.

Tune in to my Ruthless Compassion Podcast where I go in-depth about topics like mental health, trauma, and loneliness.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store