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  • Chloe Bayliss

The Pressure Social Media Adds To Valentines Day

By Chloe Bayliss

As soon as the New Year hype has died down the seasonal aisle in the shops is full of two things: Easter and Valentines Day.

Valentines is one of those holidays that is received by the public with a mixed reaction. For those in happy relationships, it is a day to celebrate the one you love, but for those of us single pringles, it is just a reminder that we are spending the day alone. The media puts so much pressure on Valentines, covering stores in hearts and roses and adverts on the tele trying to sell you flowers to that someone special.

Social Media has been one of the biggest contributors to Valentine's promotion. I turned on Facebook just now and had an ad for Valentine's sales. The same thing on both Instagram and Twitter, the internet is buzzing with the incoming day of love and pushing products on to viewers who need ideas for what to get their partner.

But, it is not just company adverts that fill the virtual world with Valentines Day content. Your friends and family are posting pictures, couple photos, telling the world about how lucky they are. Like with any social media post, this manifests into a culture of jealousy and heartache for those in the population who feel as if they are missing out. There is this toxic fear of failure for some who spend another year single on Valentines Day, and this feeling is fuelled by social media.

Galentine’s Day is a different story. On some sites, it is mocked as a sad way for single people to feel better on Valentines, but on others, it is a celebration of you and your friends living life in a fabulous blur of independence. I prefer the second one. I’ll be having a Galentine's Day this year, and look forward to the experience. Surround yourself with your friends. Whether it is a night in or a night out, being around your friends is always the best way to keep your mind occupied and have fun. A cheesy rom-com may be the best step forward or a night in the club - different people have different tastes, just take it slow at first and feel out your mood to see how you need to spend the day.

What we often forget is that it is okay to be alone. We do not need a partner, it is definitely a perk but in order for you to be happy in love, you need to love yourself and be happy alone. I went through a bad breakup late last year and have been on a journey discovering who I am as an independent person - it has not been easy! The freedom you have when you are single is something unmatched, you have more time for friends and family and for you, your dreams and goals. So, if you are spending Valentines alone, take the day for yourself - you do not need Him or anyone else.

Here are my tips for doing valentines - the single way:

  1. Avoid Social Media if you can

I know we are all addicted to our phones, and sometimes mindless scrolling is a good way to switch off and relax, but if you know Valentines is going to be a hard day for you this year then it is time for a detox day. Turn off the devices, go out and enjoy nature, read, bake, pop on a movie - just avoid the happy lovey-dovey posts from the rest of the world.

  1. See your friends

As I mentioned, Galentines Day is a great alternative that is just as fun and a great way to bond with your friends. A night in or a night out - just don’t be stupid or make any bad decisions, perhaps have at least one friend sober for the night just in case.

  1. Make it a day for yourself

Get up early, have a good breakfast, go for a walk, journal, shower, face mask, read. Clean your room, your kitchen, that splodge on the mirror you’ve been meaning to scrub but haven’t gotten round to yet. Today is the day you are going to ignore the men in your life who have hurt you and focus on healing.

Remind yourself that it is better to be alone than in a bad relationship, but remember you are also never truly alone.

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