Are you ready to celebrate Singles’ Day? If not then I’m going to guess that you’re either A) In a relationship, or B) Not from China, where the annual holiday originated from and is highly celebrated to this day. In fact, Singles’ Day is so popular in China that last year it broke retail records for Alibaba, bringing in $14.3 billion total with 120,000 estimated orders per minute.
Earlier today the news reported that within the first minute of Singles Day over 1 billion was spent on online shopping in China.
But what is Singles’ Day? Why is it an occasion for celebration? And, more importantly, how can single individuals from other countries harness some of the holiday’s personal affirmation? Read on to find out!
What Is Singles’ Day?
Perhaps predictably, Singles’ Day is a Chinese holiday in which single people find various ways to celebrate their solo status. The holiday is thought to have originated in the early 90’s, and is potentially linked to students at Nanjing University, who started the holiday to celebrate their own single status before carrying the tradition on in later life. Retailer Alibaba then later seized on the holiday and made it a huge shopping success for any singles who wished to treat themselves.
Interestingly it’s been suggested that being single in China is actually a relatively new concept, making the holiday itself an influential factor in how the Chinese view their own relationship status. The idea of being ‘single’ has also been linked to an increase in the consumption of Western media, which has made the notion easier to recognise in China.
Thinking about this for a moment, how awesome is that? Suddenly individuals in China were confronted with the notion that an unmarried status in the West was considered as something to being highlighted and penalized. However, instead of letting it get them down they chose to celebrate their individual status, create a day to commemorate a perfectly valid relationship status, and made it in to a huge financial success. China pretty much rocks sometimes!
So, if we in the West gave China the spark of inspiration for Singles’ Day, perhaps we can learn a thing or two by looking at the holiday ourselves? Singles’ Day certainly shouldn’t have to be an isolated affair, after all!
But Isn’t Being Single A Bad Thing?
Okay, so Western society doesn’t put much value in to the single life—and the background behind Singles’ Day makes perfectly clear—but there is nothing inherently wrong with being single.
Mae West once famously said “I’m single because I was born that way” and there is certainly a lot of liberation in choosing a single lifestyle.
Being single, for example, can bring a degree of freedom, independence, and personal autonomy that those in a relationship do not benefit from to the same extent. Some studies have even found that divorced individuals were happier than they had ever been 5 years after pursuing a solo lifestyle.
In fact happiness and relationships don’t always go hand-in-hand, as one study of over 1,000 couples found that marriage had no measurable long term impact on a couples’ overall happiness and that friendship could provide a similar degree of happiness to many.
Being single also gives individuals the time and skills needed to be alone without being lonely. Contentment in existing without a dependence on others is a very important life skill which many people take for granted, but many who are ‘single and loving it’ know very well.
And, of course, there is nothing to stop single individuals from spending time forging other relationships—such as strong and highly beneficial friendships. Being able to construct a supportive social group without worrying about potential conflict with a significant other can, itself, be a huge relief. Not to mention issues of time management.
Overall society is rather harsh on the single lifestyle, when it can actually come with some immense benefits. So if you want to let you single flag fly here are a few fun things you could do for Single’ Day.
1. Treat Yo’ Self!
There’s a reason why Singles’ Day is such a huge financial success, and that’s because many single individuals use it as an opportunity to show self-appreciation by purchasing something nice that they’ve wanted for a while.
For those who are in the anti-Valentine’s spirit this could be a rose, a box of chocolates, and some wine—treated as a defiant act. Who wants to share those items with someone else anyway?
For others, this could be a piece of gadgetry, an outfit they’ve wanted for ages, or perhaps something as simple and comforting as a nice warm beverage in your favorite café. After all, it’s all about what you want.
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2. Prioritise Self-Care
Speaking about what you want, Singles’ Day is a great time to really focus in on some self-care practices.
Pamper yourself with a nice warm bath, go on a yoga retreat, or book a massage. Do something daring to embrace life by bungee jumping or rock climbing. Whatever you think will help you affirm your self-worth and nurture your sense of independence.
3. Go Out With Single Friends
Or any friends, really, just as long as it remains a celebration of the single lifestyle (after all, this is all about you).
As mentioned earlier in this article, friends can be just as viable a source of happiness in life as a significant other (sometimes even more so depending on the situation). Taking some time to come together and celebrate those bonds is a really great way to remind yourself that you don’t need to pair up with any given person to find self-validation.
If it’s a strictly-single affair then you can also share a sense of solidarity, as you trade single anecdotes and discuss your personal experiences with being single. Just remember—this is time to focus on all of the benefits of being single, something which we so rarely allow.
4. Take Some Sexy Selfies (Just For You)
When looking at the Singles’ Day sales Alibaba found that 73% of purchases in the first hour were made using a mobile phone. That’s a lot of e-commerce! It’s also the perfect reason to combine mobile retain with a bit of self-photography.
Don’t just use your mobile to treat yourself! Use it to indulge yourself, by hosting your own personal selfie-shoot.
Be fun, playful, and fiercely sexy just for yourself. Acknowledge that not every photo will be perfection but own the ones that are and tell yourself just how damned hot you look.
Like being single, modern society is also very critical of selfie-culture but that’s because both arguably promote a radical degree of self-empowerment and love. Embrace this by defying the expectations and societal pressures of others and simply enjoy being (and seeing) you.
5. Pursue A No-Strings Attached Encounter
Just because you’re single doesn’t mean that life isn’t still full of exciting sexual encounters.
Why not make your Singles’ Day, a time for some extreme sexual enthusiasm? Find a new masturbation technique (or five) and take the time to explore your body—learning new tricks while revisiting old favourites.
If you have a ‘friend with benefits’, pursue open sexual activity, or wish to enjoy the company of an escort then treat yourself to a fun session with you chosen partner/s of choice. Sometimes no strings attached sex can be the best kind.
Alternatively combine #1, #2, and #5 by treating yourself to a new sex toy or one of the many Kiiroo packages. Purchasing something specifically made to enhance your ability to love and indulge in yourself is the ultimate act of empowerment.
And, Finally, Enjoy Yourself! (But If You Don’t, That’s Okay Too)
Ultimately Singles’ Day is supposed to be about celebrating your single status. However if you’re not feeling the single-love or wouldn’t class yourself as ‘single by choice’ then there’s equally nothing wrong with allowing yourself a day to acknowledge this and tend to your emotions.
In these instances you may even use Singles’ Day as an excuse to go on a blind date event—as these are also a common way to celebrate too—or to reassess where you want your life and relationships to go.
As long as you honour your single status in your own way then there is no wrong way to celebrate Singles’ Day. Still, I hope this article has given you so fun tips in addition to some reassurance that your existence is not dependent on your coupling with another.