Surviving Valentine’s Day: A Guide for Single People, by Personality Type

For some people, February 14th is a beautiful opportunity to express love. Others condemn Valentine’s Day as a consumerist fabrication, designed to sell greeting cards, diamond jewelry, and chocolate in heart-shaped boxes.

But what about all the single people?

Those of us without partners may feel left out on Valentine’s Day, as lovey-dovey posts flood social media and restaurants become crammed with couples intent on reenacting the spaghetti scene from Lady and the Tramp.

Fortunately, just as being single isn’t about waiting around for a partner, being single on Valentine’s Day isn’t about hiding from the world until it’s February 15th already. (Or reassuring our concerned relatives that we’re doing perfectly well, thank you.)

So, here are some of our favorite tips on how different personality types can enjoy Valentine’s Day – no partners, diamond jewelry, or spaghetti dinners required.


Analyst personality types: Architects (INTJ), Logicians (INTP), Commanders (ENTJ)Debaters (ENTP)

With their love of all things rational, many Analysts take a skeptical approach to Valentine’s Day.

Why, these personality types might ask, do we choose one arbitrary day of the year for couples to profess their love? Why give someone roses that are going to wilt in a matter of days? And what’s with all the teddy bears?

In short, many Analysts aren’t down with the traditional trappings of Valentine’s Day – and that’s perfectly all right. For these personalities, February 14th can be a welcome opportunity to buck the mainstream and do their own thing.

Do: Take time to indulge your esoteric hobbies.

Analysts are the personality types most likely to have pastimes that their friends don’t share. In that spirit, Valentine’s Day can be a perfect time to indulge your esoteric hobbies. As couples flock to candlelit dinners, many of your favorite places – from libraries to climbing gyms – may be less crowded than usual.

Don’t: Put other people down.

To Analysts, some Valentine’s Day traditions may seem irrational, consumerist, or downright cheesy. You may be tempted to share this opinion with others – particularly anyone whose Valentine’s plans involve sappy greeting cards, romantic comedies, or the aforementioned candlelit dinners. While raining on someone else’s parade can feel validating in the short run, in the long term it’s rarely satisfying. On February 14th, you’d do well to adopt a “live and let live” attitude, respecting other people’s choices just as you’d want yours to be respected.


Diplomat personality types: Advocates (INFJ), Mediators (INFP), Protagonists (ENFJ), Campaigners (ENFP)

Single or not, Diplomat personalities can often tap into the spirit of love that surrounds Valentine’s Day.

These sensitive and perceptive personality types know that beneath all the materialism, most people approach Valentine’s Day with the purest of intentions: to express love. For Diplomats, Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to step back from the busyness of daily life and tap into the love and goodwill they feel all around them.

Do: Feel the love.

On Valentine’s Day, Diplomat personalities can brainstorm (and execute!) creative ways to express their affection and gratitude. For example, you might call a friend you haven’t seen for a while, or you could do a random act of kindness for someone who needs it. By connecting with the deeper meaning of Valentine’s Day, you can create a rewarding and meaningful experience, uplifting yourself as well as the people around you.

Don’t: Wallow.

Not all single Diplomats want to be in a relationship. For those who are looking for a partner, however, Valentine’s Day might feel like a reminder of what they don’t have. If that’s the case for you, rather than wallow in this sense of lack, use February 14th as an opportunity to focus on the good in your life. Taking a few minutes to journal about things you’re grateful for can make all the difference. Other ideas include signing up for a volunteer shift at a local nonprofit or bringing a meal to someone who’s busy or stressed.


Sentinel personality types: Logisticians (ISTJ), Defenders (ISFJ), Executives (ESTJ), Consuls (ESFJ)

On Valentine’s Day, Sentinels may feel pressured by traditional expectations.

Sentinel personalities tend to respect tradition. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll be decorating their homes with heart-shaped balloons, but it does mean that they may feel especially hard-hit by societal expectations on Valentine’s Day – including the (unfair) expectation that single people should be on the hunt for a partner.

Deep down, we all know that we don’t need a partner to be happy. Sentinel personality types can take Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to create new traditions that help them feel connected and content with their lives just as they are.

Do: Start a tradition for your friends.

On the show Parks and Recreation, Leslie Knope famously hosted a “Galentine’s” gathering for her friends on February 13th. Consider taking a cue from Leslie and create a new Valentine’s tradition for your friends and/or family. Whether in the form of a low-key get-together or a craft night, these gatherings will help you support your community – and feel supported in turn.

Don’t: Spend time on dating apps.

For Sentinel personalities who are looking for a partner, it might seem practical and efficient to hit the dating apps around Valentine’s Day. But searching for a partner can feel like a downer during a holiday that feeds us endless images of happy couples. If you’re a single Sentinel who feels this way, give yourself permission to skip the dating apps around Valentine’s Day. Instead, dedicate some extra time and energy to yourself and the other relationships in your life.


Explorer personality types: Virtuosos (ISTP), Adventurers (ISFP), Entrepreneurs (ESTP), Entertainers (ESFP)

Many Explorers innately know how to take the good aspects of Valentine’s Day and leave the bad.

These personality types aren’t afraid to break with the status quo, making it easier to ignore Valentine’s conventions that don’t speak to them. All the same, Explorer personalities know how to enjoy the moment, and even on their own, they can happily delight in the taste of fine chocolate or luxuriate in the scent of roses.

Do: Share your passion.

Explorers know what they enjoy doing, whether that’s fine art or free diving. Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to share these passions with others. Invite a single friend or two over and teach them what’s exciting about your hobbies and interests.

Don’t: Make any big decisions (or purchases).

A lot of feelings can swirl around on Valentine’s Day, not to mention some mixed cultural messages. For Explorer personalities, this can lead to impulsive decision-making – whether it’s messaging an ex or buying a new car. When in doubt, postpone these decisions to a day of the year that feels a little less charged.

Final Thoughts

Valentine’s Day gets a bad rap, especially among single people. But for those of us without partners, this holiday can be the perfect opportunity to connect with the activities and people we love most.

This February 14th, whether you indulge in an esoteric hobby or host a party for your friends, we hope you find a special way to celebrate the good things in your life.

And if you’d like to buy yourself a heart-shaped box of chocolates, that’s perfectly all right with us.

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