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All The Single Ladies: 14 Ways to Enjoy Your Solo Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is creeping up and before you know it, it will be all heart-shaped boxes and teddy bears. Avoid the sappy feel-sorry-for-yourself routine with a few innovative ideas to celebrate yourself, your friendships and the things that matter most in your life (hey, if that’s watching Gossip Girl, we won’t tell).

  1. Volunteer. Volunteers are needed on days besides Thanksgiving and Christmas. People forget this and tend to give back, only during the season they feel it’s needed most. When you aren’t sure what to do with yourself, the best thing you can do is give back. Do a search online for a local kid’s charity or art program and see if you can spend Valentine’s Day or the days leading up to it helping kids create Valentine’s Day cards for their friends and family members. Kids are usually in a cheery mood when handling art supplies, so even if you’re the type who normally shies away from children, it’s worth trying out.
  2. Snuggle up and take in your favorite TV show. Most of us wish we had more time on our hands and seldom get to sit down and watch our favorite TV show. This Valentine’s Day, grab a season of your favorite television drama and get sucked in for a few hours. With the blood feast on Dexter or the inappropriate sexist remarks on Mad Men, you’re sure to forget the lovey dovey holiday and just immerse yourself in the drama.
  3. Cook a decadent meal. This one may seem like it’s fit for two, but if you’ve ever tackled a three or four course meal, you know it isn’t something that should be done with a date, at least not the first time around. By decadent, we mean from scratch. This usually takes guesswork, elbow grease and you end the ordeal looking as though you’ve spent the day in the kitchen. Indulge yourself by consuming your decadent meal in your pajamas while watching TV, something that most couples therapist warn against for fear of killing “the mood.” Since you’re alone, you can kick your feet up and not feel guilty!
  4. Take a kid out for the day. If there’s a kid you love, like a niece or nephew, or even neighbor, offer to play babysitter for the day or evening. Take the kid to a museum, grab a few art supplies and take him or her out for ice cream. Kids love being away from their parents, even if it’s just a short time and it’s likely the kid’s guardian will enjoy the break.
  5. Go to a fancy restaurant alone. There’s nothing that says confidence like eating a meal alone in public. This goes for any venue, even McDonald’s! When it comes to Valentine’s Day, you up the ante by eating in public at an upscale restaurant. These dinners are usually pricey, but it probably isn’t something you do all of the time. Take the time to dress up, make a reservation and order anything off the menu. You’ll come back from the meal full and ready to enjoy your comfy bed, all to yourself (after all, who wants to be bloated in bed with someone else in it?!).
  6. Troll the Internet. We don’t mean troll, as in jump around the Internet destroying chat rooms or spamming messageboards. We mean indulging yourself to play around online, reading sports news or gossip pages. Whatever gets your mind off the stresses of every day life are on the agenda and there’s no time limit on how long you can hang out online. Keep your favorite beverage nearby and relish the fact that you don’t have someone bugging you to get off the computer because you aren’t really spending time with them (trust us, married folks will envy you).
  7. Spruce up your home. Projects take time, which is why most around-the-house projects are put off for an indefinite amount of time. Take care of something around the house you’ve been meaning to do, like frame and hang new photographs or rearrange a room. This newly decorates space will take time and get your mind off the fact that it’s Valentine’s Day. Plus, at the end of it, you can cross it off your to-do list! Scour the Internet for interior decor ideas in the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day, so you have all the supplies needed to revamp your space.
  8. Go to the movies. Jerry Seinfeld once made a joke about going to the movies with people. He reasoned that watching a movie with another person doesn’t make the film more enjoyable since we can’t talk during a movie. Going to the movies by yourself means you get to choose the movie. If you want to take two buses to the indie theater or drive across town for a midnight showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show, you can do it when you’re alone. There’s no way telling you you have to wake up in the morning (which you’re probably aware of) or that there will be too much traffic. Pick the movie you want, grab popcorn and candy and have about two hours to lose yourself in a movie.
  9. Have a Sandlot day. Now depending on your age, you may not get this term, but let us explain. In the film, The Sandlot, the characters in the film wake up early each morning and do as they please. In their case, it’s play baseball until dark. Do the same. Let the day take you anywhere, instead of planning each moment of your day (which so many of us are used to, due to tight schedules). Wake up and go to a fabulous brunch and play it by ear from there. Hit your favorite boutique, go to a movie, watch A&E all afternoon; the choices are endless and at the end of the day, you’ll feel satisfied in having done things on your own watch for once.
  10. Hit a museum or art gallery. This is a great way to spend a day if you live in a big city. Most of us forget about culture, even if we do have access to exceptional museums and galleries. Check hours and prices online (most are affordable) and lose yourself in learning. It may be years since you’ve seen dinosaur fossils or a Bosch painting. Take the guided tour if you’re moving at a leisurely pace and you’ll come out all the wiser with fabulous conversation for your next cocktail or dinner party. Who doesn’t love an intellectual?
  11. Lounge around the house. This means eating whatever you want, wearing whatever you want and doing things on your own schedule. Stay in your robe all day and cuddle up with a stack of magazines or your favorite book. Take a long shower or bath with your favorite soaps and go to sleep early to get your beauty rest. Lounging around the house is something that’s severely overlooked in today’s fast-paced society, but sometimes you need to take a moment to look around and appreciate what you have.
  12. Watch a string of romantic comedies. While some articles tout this as being bad for your self-esteem, we say it’s essential for the woman who’s confident in herself and knows that the men in those Jennifer Aniston and Julia Roberts flicks do not exist. There’s no such thing as the perfect man, so go ahead and indulge in fantasizing about one that a clever Hollywood writer concocted to make women swoon. Just be realistic and don’t carry these fairytale dreams over to your dating life.
  13. Blast the tunes. As your lounging or enjoying your day along at home, don’t forget the music! For many of us, music from our youth conjures up the trouble making days when you thought you were the coolest thing since sliced bread. Blast music that reminds you of this time and you’ll feel far too cool and young to bother feeling sorry for yourself because it’s Valentine’s Day.
  14. Have a spa day. If you have money and a few hours to spare, have a spa day. No one will pamper you like trained professionals at a spa. It’s an amazing experience whether you’ve been 1000 times or have never had a series of treatments at a spa. A massage and a manicure and pedicure are great for a spa day, but do whatever works for you. If you feel you’re in need of a facial, book that. Many spas run Valentine’s Day specials, so you’ll save yourself some green and treat yourself in one shebang.

Valentine’s Day spent alone doesn’t mean crying over exes or wishing for Mr. Right. While many singles choose to go out with other single friends on this romantic holiday, spending it alone can boost your self-esteem when you treat it like any other day. Remember that it’s primarily a holiday for greeting card companies and chocolate manufacturers, so if you’ve never understood it’s message, you’re probably better off.