How to fight the Valentine's Day Scaries, according to a relationship expert

February 14 is quickly approaching, but there's no need to stress about the Valentine's Day Scaries

Heart Balloon on a pink background
(Image credit: Javier Zayas Photography/Getty Images)

Yes, the Valentine's Day Scaries are real, and they can make Sunday Scaries seem like a breeze. 

Ahead of the most romantic day of the year, we tend to get all-consumed in matters of the heart, planning Valentine's Day outfits, stocking up on chocolates and writing sappy captions on Instagram. It can be exciting, but for those who are still in search of their other, the celebration isn't always welcome. 

Dr. Caroline West, Bumble’s sex and relationships expert, noted that over a quarter of people are attempting to tune out the holiday entirely so they're not forced to deal with the fact that they're not participating. However, she is encouraging us to flip the script: since February 14 is a day of love, we should redirect our focus and show ourselves some love, too. When you think about it, that's the most important relationship of them all!

Meet the expert: Dr. Caroline West

Dr. Caroline West is Bumble’s sex & relationships expert and lends her expertise as a writer, sexpert and podcast host, to name just a few. According to her website, her work focuses on "sex, feminism and the body."

How to fight the Valentine's Day Scaries

No need to stress about your Valentine's Day horoscope or roll your eyes at that aisle of cheesy greeting cards—you can just tell Cupid you have it under control this year. Let's make like Miley and buy ourselves the flowers. 

1. Focus on yourself

While the holiday seems to center on celebrating love in pairs, you can't work on a relationship successfully if you don't love yourself first. (Here are some ideas for how to practice self-love this Valentine's Day and beyond!)

Dr. West suggests looking at the glass half full, which in turn will help you feel good about yourself (a given) and invite the right relationships into your life as a result. Your thoughts go a long way, so why make them negative?

"Feeling positive and confident in ourselves helps us to explore life on more stable footing, including dating," she says. "This month make sure you’re doing things that make you feel good and put you in a positive frame of mind." 

2. Avoid single shaming

Would you taunt a friend for not being in a relationship? Then why would you do that to yourself? There's no reason to feel upset about being single.

"Whilst you may feel pressure at this time of year to date or be in a relationship, Bumble has found that people are choosing to be 'consciously single'," Dr. West says. "If you’re considering this approach, take the time to be more mindful and intentional about how you date."

young woman holding love balloon with confetti against purple background

(Image credit: Getty)

3. Process your feelings

Rather than pretend to be happy or avoid your feelings altogether, acknowledge that February 14 might not be your favorite day of the year—and that's perfectly OK, no matter what society says you should feel.

“It’s OK to feel overwhelmed and anxious around Valentine's Day. Whilst it’s unpleasant to feel this way, try and sit with your feelings and see this as an opportunity to review your relationship with yourself," Dr. West says. "This practice of introspection may reveal more about your wants and needs which is important for future relationships."

4. Do what works for you

The Bumble team insists on "dusting off the cobwebs" and taking on a dating approach that suits your needs. There isn't a one-size-fits-all approach to finding a partner, and what worked well for your best friend might not necessarily be appropriate for you. If you are in search of a significant other, have a look at the popular 2023 dating trends and see what you're most into. (Hey, don't knock "fating" until you try it!)

And if you're active on dating apps, have a look at Netflix Nights In with Bumble—a fun way to get the conversation going and weed out those who don't have the same taste in TV. (Kidding!)

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.