Valentine’s Day can be annoying or even depressing for singles. Those who just got out of a relationship, are looking to enter one, or who haven’t been in one for a long time may end up frustrated by all the lovey-dovey stuff going on around them. However, there are many alternative ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day as a single, whether you love the holiday or despise the mere thought of it.
Celebrate with a friend or family member. Many argue V-Day is a day to celebrate love of all kinds—whether that is the love of a significant other, friend, or family member. Take someone, anyone, you love out to dinner or to a movie. You might even get a discount for the holiday (nobody needs to know he’s actually your brother).
Watch themed movies. Any romantic film will do—bonus points for screening Valentine’s Day. If the mere mention of romance gets to you, try fighting the system. Watch a bunch of slasher films, or disaster movies—anything with chaos and destruction. Really, you can’t go wrong with a movie marathon.
Do something special for friends. Create or buy Valentine’s cards and mail them to people you like. They don’t even have to be signed. Getting a Valentine could make someone’s day, and could very well be the only one they receive. Making others happy rules! Store bought cards are cute, even if it’s just one with a picture of a train that says “I choo choo choose you!”—hey, it almost worked for Ralph Wiggum.
Go out bowling or for karaoke with friends. The movies, bars, and restaurants will all be crowded with the romantic types, but having a fun night rocking out to Journey or hitting another lucky strike will be a fun bonding experience with pals. In addition, the bowling alley and karaoke bar are unlikely to have many couples.
Date yourself. Valentine’s Day can be a good night for a single to have a personal romantic care night. Have a bath with fancy oils and candles. Eat chocolate and ice cream. Curl up with a good novel or something a little steamier. Self-care is important every time of the year, but can be especially helpful when Cupid turns up to remind you that you really are your number one.
Cook tasty treats. Make a batch of cookies or a cake from scratch—or just use pre-made dough or a mix. Use the pink icing and heart-shaped sprinkles. You can share them with friends, or eat them all yourself.
Have a potluck with single friends. No couples allowed. Get everyone to bring something tasty and have a wonderful dinner party. Make it Valentine’s-themed, or another crazy theme that has nothing to do with the holiday. Did somebody say “desserts only”?
When all else fails, the best thing to do is treat it like any other day and try to ignore the festivities. As a bonus, there’s lots of discount candy available the next day.
(Originally published on The Other Press.)