“Wow, thanks,” I feigned as I tried to hide the expression of confusion on my face. It was Valentine’s Day of 2011, and my boyfriend of five years was on a tight budget because he was purchasing a house.
This led to my boyfriend—my tender-hearted, well-intentioned, horribly misguided boyfriend—to buy me glitter gel pens for Valentine’s Day. Because nothing says “I love you” like being able to write it in sparkly shades of purple. And, because the insipid holiday insists on it, he felt like he had to buy me a present.
That was the day I decided to boycott Valentine’s Day. (In case you were wondering, we broke up three months later. It wasn’t because of the gel pens.)
Yes, Valentine’s Day is a day feared by many. If you’re in a relationship, you have the pressure of topping last year’s gift. If you’re single, like me, well—you’re single on Valentine’s Day.
Thankfully, the notion that people who are single are sad and alone has become antiquated. But no matter how confidently single you are, there’s always that nagging thought in the back of your head: “What am I going to do Sunday night?”
If you’re asking that question, you’re in the right place.
1. Take a Trip
It’s not too late to pull a Christmas With the Kranks and get out of town. Go camping with your bros or bro-ettes, drive up to a nearby town, get a beach condo or a cabin in the mountains.
Be spontaneous and take advantage of the fact that you don’t have anything keeping you in town this weekend. Feel free to point and laugh in the faces of the bozos spending their Valentine’s Day weekends over-indulging in the dinner special at Buca Di Beppo by the outlet mall.
2. Treat Yo Self
We can all take a cue from Donna and Tom this Valentine’s Day. The advantage of being single on a holiday (especially males for this particular holiday) is that it’s a whole lot cheaper.
What are you going to do with that extra dough you would have spent on that Timex watch he’s been wanting or that over-priced bundle of earth (also known as a bouquet of flowers) that you would have bought her? Treat yo self!
3. Just Go On Living Your Life
If you really don’t want to observe the holiday—don’t. Go to church, Sunday brunch, stop by the store and pick up those 40-watt fluorescent light bulbs you’ve been needing (you really should consider some softer lighting, though), head home and watch Netflix like you always do on Sunday.
Because, in reality, Valentine’s Day is just another day.
4. Watch Realistic Love Movies
Some people will tell you that watching rom-coms on Valentine’s day is a good idea. I don’t advise this. It’s important to remember that while relationships can be really fulfilling, sometimes they fail, and that’s OK.
Luckily for us, the indie movie genre thrives on realistic storytelling, especially when it comes to romance. Here are a few movies where—spoiler!—things don’t quite work out:
– 500 Days of Summer
– High Fidelity
– Annie Hall
– An Education
–The first 10 minutes of Up (go ahead, cry it out)
– Marley & Me (right?)
5. Host a Friends Dinner
This may be the oldest trick in the book, but if you’re prone to feeling lonely without a valentine, it’s super effective. Invite some friends over, cook dinner and embrace the fact that in all of the ways that actually matter, you’re not alone.
Sure, it’s cliche, but so is everything about this holiday.
6. Get a Cat and Accept Your Fate
Maybe it’s time.
Tiffanie is the Social Media Coordinator at RELEVANT. She enjoys assorted Italian meats, meaningful conversations, and long, romantic walks to the fridge. You can follower her life adventures on Twitter @tiffaniebrunson.