Get Ready For Valentine’s Day: 10 Ideas For Single People

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I asked my single friends, “What are you doing on February 14th?” Many of the answers echoed this one: “Drinking too much sambucca, eating high-fat foods, and drunk-texting a few exes.”

That response was at least partially in jest, of course. But when you’re single, Valentine’s Day can be a real downer. Whether you’re happily unattached or desperately seeking Mr. or Ms. Right, all that crass commercialism and aggressive romance are loathsome reminders that there’s a party on February 14—and you’re not invited.

So you’ve surely heard advice like “buy yourself some nice chocolates and indulge in a bubble bath”—and that’s fine, but what if you want to do something a little less cliché? (Besides, you’ll find excellent prices on good chocolates on February 15—so wait!) Here are a few suggestions, along with some words of advice:

1. Want to earn a happy, satisfied glow? Find an organization to volunteer for on February 14 —no matter whether it’s a marriage-equality organization or an animal shelter, you’ll be adding love to the world. (A one-night stand may leave you feeling satisfied and glowing, too, of course—but why not do something philanthropic?)

2. Are you determined to spend next Valentine’s Day in a more romantic way? Devote the evening to thoughtfully filling out your online dating profile—explain what you mean by “masc,” for instance, and add pictures from this decade. (Ask a friend or two to help with your self-description.)

3. Want to make room in your life for love? A cluttered home can lead to a cluttered heart, so spend an evening making a clean sweep of closets, cupboards, bookshelves, and so on. Tossing self-help books that didn’t help is especially important.

4. Think you need to refocus and center? Consider a day-long cleansing juice fast (consult a medical professional first!). By dinner time, you won’t be thinking of affairs of the heart—it’ll be all about affairs of your more southerly organs.

5. Think love is horrific? Gather your single friends for a night of gruesome horror movies—start with the 1981 classic My Bloody Valentine (or even the 2009 remake).

6. Want to earn a year’s worth of gratitude? Offer to babysit for a couple with kids, gratis, on Valentine’s Day—so they can enjoy a romantic night out. As a bonus, spending time taking care of young children is often a great way to renew your enjoyment of being single.

ustv-looking-instagram-russell-tovey7. Want to meet new people? Throw a party or plan a night out with your single friends—and ask each guest to bring a single person whom most other guests don’t know yet. More and more people are treating Valentine’s Day as a sort of prom—it’s fun to hang out with friends if you haven’t got a date date.

8. Want to go out for a fun evening without all the hearts and flowers? Think dinner at Subway, and then maybe bowling.

9. Want to really get away from it all? Book a nice vacation to a place where Valentine’s Day is no big deal (Mongolia beckons!). Find somewhere to celebrate that instead.

10. Need to feel the love? Then share yours. Do something nice for someone who may be feeling blue around this holiday or just make low-key plans with one or two of your favorite people.

Hey, single folks! What are your plans for Valentine’s Day? Share them in the Comments section.