Last year for Valentine’s Day, I wrote a blog post about the kind of romantic love I hoped to one day find. Two months later, I found it. When I re-read that post, I get pretty emotional (surprise, surprise) about how fully my dream was realized when I met Aaron. Everything I openly longed for has been met, and then some. What a difference one year can make…or two months!

Sadly, my husband is somewhere in the middle of the ocean and won’t be home for another few weeks, so basically, Valentine’s Day has still found a way to crush my dreams. Instead of celebrating our love over a candlelit dinner or sharing our favorite Chinese food while watching New Girl, I’ll probably just hang out at my parents’ house and watch The Bachelor special featuring Jade and Tanner’s wedding. #militarywifelife

Speaking of my parents, my father was in Tennessee for work and found an abandoned puppy last week. Apparently I get my attachment issues from him, because instead of leaving the pup at a shelter, my father drove her 13 hours back to Virginia Beach to become part of the Oliver family. She basically hit the begging jackpot. Now we have three large dogs all under the age of four. That’s normal…right?

madison oliver

Hi, my name is Madison Oliver from Memphis, Tennessee. I’m a little crosseyed, but that makes me even cuter. I like walking on tables, cuddling, and using Shannon’s keyboard as my pillow!

While new puppies and little brothers and Galentines (my Valentines of years past) are nice distractions, they still don’t erase the sting of not having a significant other on Valentine’s Day– whether because you don’t have one or because circumstances have kept you apart. Here are three quick tips for avoiding sadness this Valentine’s Day:

1. Don’t ignore the holiday

The more you try to pretend that it’s not Valentine’s Day, the more depressed you’ll become when you see a Jared commercial or notice a couple driving in the lane next to you. Embrace it. Invite girlfriends over and eat chocolates while you watch a rom com. Go post up at a bar with your roommate for six hours like I did last year, and secretly make fun of all of the single guys who try to prey on you because they think you’re vulnerable. Buy a new dress and attend a Valentine-themed charity event. Face the V-Day monster head on, and you’ll be in a much better position than if it were to strike you with a sneak-attack.


2. Look cute

I don’t care if you’re going to a party or staying in with friends on your couch– do something to feel attractive on Valentine’s Day. Maybe shave your legs for the first time in a week. Maybe put on your favorite pair of yoga pants that you know make your butt look good. Maybe slip on a pair of power heels. At any rate, remind yourself that you are sexy, and that you’ll A) be some guy’s lucky catch someday, or B) totally blow your man’s socks off whenever you see him again. Or perhaps even C) feel really great about yourself, which nullifies the need of validation from a man. (That’s literally the most feminist thing I’ve ever said, and it felt kind of powerful. But I am definitely still the girl in option “B.”)

rihanna nails gif


3. Speak positivity into life

When chatting with your Galentines, choose not to fret about your singledom or the really depressing dating scene. Sure, you definitely need to vent about those things once in a while– I remember it well– but avoid doing so on Valentine’s Day. It’ll only make you feel worse. If your significant other is away, instead of talking about all the reasons you wish that person was around, try running down the list of reasons you’re so grateful for him/her…then end it right there. Despite the fact that we all know Valentine’s Day is a somewhat arbitrary “Hallmark holiday,” wallowing on February 14th tends to become much more dramatic than on a normal day. So shut it down before you become a gaping hole of sadness.

smile gif


If you want to read some other Valentine’s Day posts in order to embrace the holiday (re: #1), try the one I mentioned at the top (HERE), or THIS ONE about the 5 worst relationships to be in on V-Day, which was one of my articles published on The Huffington Post.