How to survive Valentine’s Day when you’re single

Worried about spending 14th February alone this year? We’ve rounded up some handy coping strategies.

L is for the way you look at me, O is for the only one I see, V is for making you very nauseous, E is for ew, please stop talking. The mushiest event of the year is creeping up on us, otherwise known as Valentine’s Day. I recently learned that calling it V Day” was confusing to some people who thought I was talking about the anniversary of the end of WW2. Apparently there aren’t supermarket aisles dedicated to that occasion, so we’ll stick with the day’s government name this time arond.

The lead up to Valentine’s Day is always a tough one whether you’re shacked up or not, but especially the latter. Personally, I love any event deep-rooted in consumerism, and I’m a prime target for stuff like novelty, overpriced heart-shaped crumpets. I’ve always loved Valentine’s Day regardless of my relationship status, but if you’re on Cupid’s Naughty List this year, I’ve got some coping mechanisms for you.

One time, my ex told me he doesn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day”, as though he was making some kind of religious statement. Being the spineless sucker I once was, I lied through my teeth and told him that, well, neither am I, because I’m not a loser. Meanwhile, I shoved the cheesy love bug card I’d bought him into my bag. I ended up crying in the Virgin Active jacuzzi alone afterwards, before having a pity serving of pesto pasta with my dad. This year, I’ve bagged myself a new boyfriend just in time for the big day – one who thankfully strongly believes in the power of St Valentine.

If you’re alone and determined to survive this sickly sweet period without any hassle, there are certain hotspots you must avoid at all costs. Number one: Clintons card shop. That place is a single person’s private hell right now – it’s like love itself puked all over it. Luckily, rumour has it they’re going bust, so I’m sure there won’t be many Clintons left to stumble into by mistake in the near-future.

Number two: Hotel Chocolat. Although they do have a reputation for giving out copious amounts of samples. You could go to a different HC shop every day for a week and collect enough choccy to fill a few pint glasses. Why not pull an Elle Woods and gorge on it all when you get home?

Go on, take the plunge and make the most of those couple’s set menus at TGI Friday’s. More for you, right?”

If you’re single but still fancy getting involved, there are many ways to mark the occasion. Galentine’s” has become a popular term, for instance. All the girlies getting together over a few bottles of vino, having a pamper sesh, the lot. Just writing about it’s making me consider leaving my boyfriend high and dry on the 14th just so I can partake. It’s a bit naff but definitely comforting.

One year, my best friend and I cooked up a lovely dinner, just for the two of us. I still lived at home at the time and the dining room was occupied, so we ended up carrying some garden furniture into my bedroom to eat the three-course meal we’d cobbled together. Platonic romance is a thing, you know.

I think banding together with other solitary friends is a solid move in terms of surviving a single Valentine’s Day. Others also report that going for dinner alone is pretty liberating, though I’ve never tried it. Go on, take the plunge and make the most of those couple’s set menus at TGI Friday’s. More for you, right? You could always strike gold and find a singleton who’s read this very article and end up eating with them. Or just ask someone you like out on a date. You’ll either fall in love or get blind drunk – either option sounds pretty successful to me.

But don’t worry too much. Valentine’s Day is just another public holiday that will have passed before you know it. Why not celebrate the love you do have in your life until then? Send your mum a card, give your cat a cuddle and start looking forward to pancake day.

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