With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, February is a time where relationships and love take centre stage. Research from popular dating app Bumble, has found that this time of year can be a source of anxiety and stress for single people, with nearly three quarters (70%) of people in Ireland and the UK feeling more self-conscious about being single in the lead up to Valentine’s Day.*
Bumble’s Sex & Relationships Expert, Dr Caroline West says: “Bumble’s research revealed that over a quarter of people actively avoid Valentine’s Day due to the pressure they feel.* Everywhere you look there are cards, clothes, and adverts, making it hard to escape the feeling that you “should” be participating. We build up Valentine’s Day to be the most romantic day of the year, so it’s no wonder people get swept up in the moment.”
However, Valentine’s Day isn’t exclusive to those in relationships. Bumble’s research shows that while a third (33%) of people wished to unsubscribe from the moment altogether, Valentine’s Day can be an opportunity for many people to navigate arguably the most important relationship in our lives – with ourselves.
To help give people the confidence to find joy in being single this month, you’ll find a guide to overcoming the Valentine’s Day Scaries from Dr Caroline West below.
- Prioritise yourself – “By working towards self acceptance, we can nurture our emotional intelligence and protect ourselves from unhealthy relationships. Feeling positive and confident in ourselves helps us to explore life on more stable footing, including dating. This month make sure you’re doing things that make you feel good and put you in a positive frame of mind.”
- Avoid single shaming – “Bumble found that more than 1 in 4 people said that prying questions from friends and family about their relationship status annoyed them at this time of year.* Preparing an answer that you feel comfortable with can help you feel more confident and less ‘on the spot’. Maybe switch things up and ask them how their romantic life is, and they might realise how tough these questions are!”
- Process your feelings – “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. This practice of introspection may reveal more about your wants and needs which is important for future relationships.”
- Dust off the cobwebs – “Although returning to or thinking about past flames can be tempting amidst the Valentine’s Day pressure, why not try Bumble’s trend of ‘Cobwebbing’ by brushing off the old to make way for the new?”
- Date your way – “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’. If you’re considering this approach, take the time to be more mindful and intentional about how you date. Bumble also offers a ‘Snooze’ mode so you can snooze the app for a time of your choosing, allowing you some breathing space and you can pick back up when you’re ready.”
*Research was conducted by Bumble using internal polling between 12th October – 1st November 2022 with a sample of 14,300 Bumble users around the world, including Ireland.
**Research was conducted by Bumble using internal data and polling between 6th-21st October, 2021 with a sample of more than 8,500 Bumble users around the world, including Ireland.