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Embracing Your Single Expat Life on Valentine’s Day

As a single expat, Valentine’s Day can bring a slight feeling of dread as you’re reminded of your relationship status. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be this way! We have a few suggestions to help you embrace being single abroad on the day of love.

Sometimes, being single can seem like the absolute worst, especially when you’re living in another country away from close friends and family. Dating is a challenge at the best of times, but it can be even more difficult to put yourself out there abroad, as you’re faced with a different culture and language barrier. Moving to a new country can also make you prone to feeling lonely because you find yourself having to deal with any obstacles on your own. So, a day which reminds you that you are alone might not be your favorite. Despite this, there are still ways to make Valentine’s Day an enjoyable experience for both yourself and those around you. Learning to embrace the holiday, even if you don’t initially like the idea of it, is a great way to turn the day into a positive one!

Even if you don’t have a partner, this doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate the occasion, too. Love comes in a variety of different forms so here are a few ways for you to embrace 14 February and spread the love to those nearest and dearest to you!

Treat Yourself

This holiday is a perfect excuse to indulge and treat yourself. Use the money you would spend on a fancy meal with a partner to buy something you’ve wanted for months — this can be something which you might not need but want! You could put the money towards a new wardrobe to freshen up your look, or practice some selfcare, put on a facemask, and relax for the evening.

Spend the holiday with your true on-screen crush and have a movie marathon featuring all of your favorite actor’s films! Why not try a new recipe and cook yourself a delicious meal? If cooking isn’t for you, then order a takeout meal and stay cozy at home. Pampering yourself will give you a boost and banish any negative thoughts surrounding Valentine’s.

It is the perfect opportunity to work on the relationship you have with yourself! Spend the day being kind to yourself, looking at how far you’ve come, what you’re proud of, and think of goals to motivate you for the future.

Living in a foreign country is a courageous step and you should be proud of yourself for taking the plunge. Enjoy this time of being single and make the most of it — you have the luxury of being free to do whatever you wish with your time and money. 

Unplug for a While

The overwhelming number of social media posts about love and happy couples can make you feel even more alone, especially if you’re living away from your loved ones. If you find it all too much, it might be time to unplug and give yourself a digital detox. Put down your phone, relax, and enjoy the time away from it all.

Swapping technology for a good book, a walk outside in the fresh air, or even just a day spent in bed can be what you need to stop any negative thoughts taking over. Social media can create unrealistic expectations, so take a break if you find yourself comparing your life to others.

Appreciate What You Have

Valentine’s Day might remind you that don’t have a partner but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have other things to be grateful for. Reflect on what you do have, be it your close friends, adorable pet, supportive family, or your career — spending time appreciating the good things in your life, instead of what you’re “missing”, will help to put things into perspective. Being single actually isn’t that bad at all, and if you’ve had past relationships which didn’t end so well, you know that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

Spread the Love

It’s easy to forget that Valentine’s day doesn’t have to be exclusive to romantic love. It can be used as a way to show your gratitude for the friends or family in your life. As an expat, it can be difficult to stay in contact with friends and family. Use the day to talk to a loved one or a friend from home to check in with them. This will make you feel a lot less lonely, even if they aren’t in the same city.

There are millions of people across the globe who are single and it’s likely that some of your friends are, too. If you’re feeling a little low on Valentine’s Day, why not organize a get together with some of your single friends? Go out for a nice dinner, have a few drinks, or simply spend a night in. You could also buy some flowers from the grocery store and drop them off at your friend’s house. It’s the little things which can brighten someone’s day and a little effort can go a long way in making someone feel loved.

If you want to go a step further, find a way to help out in your community. Perhaps there is a local soup kitchen or animal shelter looking for volunteers or donations. Giving up a few hours of your time to help others is a great way to distract yourself, meet new people, and do something rewarding. If you’re new to the city, it also gives you the chance to mingle with locals and perhaps practice your language skills.

Whichever way you decide to spend your Valentine’s Day, whether you’re single or not, use the holiday as an excuse to love both yourself and those around you.



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Melissa Wood

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