Almost every holiday is about spending time with those you love and care for. Only Valentine’s Day is about spending the day with the one you love and care for. Yes, the oft-dreaded “Hallmark holiday” is a day that’s for couples and romantic partnerships, not those in the world who are flying solo in the world.
Or is it?
You actually don’t have to be in a relationship to celebrate love on Valentine’s Day. There are many types of love that you can celebrate on February 14. You can honor the love of friends, the love of giving, the love of travel, or even the love of a night filled with Netflix.
Whether you decide to dine out with friends, take an exciting trip by yourself, or go all out with an anti-Valentine’s Day themed party, know that you don’t have to be in a relationship to have an incredible holiday this year.
If you want to tune out this Valentine’s Day, consider spending this February 14 with a massive bowl of popcorn and some of your favorite flicks. Watch whatever suits your mood. If you’re feeling sappy, play some romantic comedies. If you want to spend the day with someone you love, watch movies starring your biggest celebrity crush. If you want to totally forget that it’s Valentine’s Day, Netflix has a massive selection of horror films.
You don’t need to have a significant other to cook a decadent, sexy meal at home. Consider hosting a small dinner party for your close friends and make the most ridiculous, indulgent things you can think of. We’re talking about a thick New York Strip steak with a shallot butter and lobster with a white wine sauce. Heck, you can even make this meal for yourself and finish it off with a massive chocolate chunk cookie for one. We won’t judge.
Everyone in relationships gets to go out to eat on Valentine’s Day; but why should they have all the fun? This year, gather up all of your single friends and book a reservation at a swanky restaurant for a whole group. You get the experience of a high-quality meal with loved ones without any of the stress of finding a last-minute date.
Who says that you need to have a significant other to receive chocolates, jewelry, or giant stuffed teddy bears on Valentine’s Day? Organize a “Secret Cupid” in your office or among your friend group. Like Christmas’ Secret Santa, you draw a name, buy a gift for that person, and then have to guess who got your gift.
When all else fails, retail therapy is a great way to forget any perceived troubles in your life and head to the stores. Buy yourself a new outfit, indulge in some expensive makeup, or go crazy and buy a bunch of new kitchen gadgets. And normally we’d advise not falling trap to the secrets of the shopping mall, but it’s a holiday, do what you want!
Let’s be real. Humans suck. Especially on a day like Valentine’s Day. If you want to avoid human contact, we totally understand. But if you don’t want to spend the day alone, consider hanging out with some furry friends. Go to the pet store and play with some kitties, volunteer to walk your neighbor’s dog while they do out to eat, or go all in and adopt a new friend!
If you happen to be a little bitter that you’re single this Valentine’s Day, reject the holiday completely while still having fun by throwing an anti-Valentine’s party. Complete your party with black decorations, a broken heart motif, and a menu filled with comfort foods that provide the sort pleasures no love can compete with. Don’t forget plenty of alcohol and a soundtrack filled with ‘80s new-wave music to complete this gothic party.
While other fools are out at the bars or spending hundreds of dollars at an expensive restaurant, you can make bank. Get a babysitting gig, spend Valentine’s Day doing freelance work, or pick up some extra shifts at your day job.
Remember in elementary school when you would have a Valentine’s Day party complete with those little folding cards, homemade boxes, and candy? Channel that even as an adult! Pass out Valentines and candy to your co-workers and friends. It’s a small (and cheap) token but it’ll brighten everyone’s day.
If you missed the deadline on New Year’s resolutions, don’t worry. You can vow to be the best version of yourself any time of the year, so why not start on Valentine’s Day? Use this holiday to love yourself and become better by picking up a new hobby, starting a new sport or exercise routine, or completing a household task you’ve been putting off for months.
The best way to escape from a holiday you won’t be celebrating in the traditional manner is by truly escaping. Valentine’s Day falls on a Wednesday this year, so take a few days off work and book an extra-long weekend away from home. Don’t be afraid to travel solo, either. That’s the kind of experience many people don’t have in a lifetime but definitely should. You never know who you might meet or where you’ll wind up!
If you’re truly going to be rolling solo on Valentine’s Day, spend the day pampering yourself. Book a massage, facial, or mani/pedi at a spa. After you got all those knots out of your back, indulge in a massive ice cream sundae that you don’t have to share.
Listen, your Instagram and Facebook feeds are going to be filled with ooey, gooey odes of love on Valentine’s Day. You don’t want to see all that mess, do you? Unplug for the day, spend it reading a book, taking a long bath, or ideally, both.
Volunteering makes you feel good. If you’re feeling a little bummed out about flying solo this holiday, getting in to an animal shelter, soup kitchen, or roadside cleanup can make you feel productive and happy. Plus, you never know what cutie might be volunteering next to you, and that could be your key to nabbing a date for the next romantic holiday.