Let’s get started. First, know that you have options. Instead of celebrating this day for lovers, you can take the Valentine’s Day Denier approach.
Even if you decide to celebrate it, you don’t have to do it in the way that companies selling diamonds and chocolates and Valentine’s Day prix-fixe dinners would have you do it. You can focus on the true meaning of Valentine’s Day: Christian martyrdom.
No? I get it. Sometimes giving in to tradition is nice! But how can you do it well when, like me, you’re very sober and very single? Here are some suggestions for how to fill up this special day:
Get a massage
Massages are the perfect mixture of relaxation and sensory stimulation. Plus they just feel really good. Schedule one!
Attend a sexy cultural event
It’s funny to describe a cultural event as “sexy,” don’t you think? Last week I went to the Museum of Sex, by myself, “for research,” which was interesting, but at the same time, my friend was right, this might not be the ideal place to explore solo. Some of the exhibits are clearly meant for pairs, like the “Ice Oven Challenge” tent where you’re supposed to touch someone you’re attracted to and watch the light change colors in accordance with your body temperature, which I stood under in a shade of mostly cold blue). Then again, would I have had time to spend nearly an hour in The Sex Lives of Animals gallery reading every inscription about the third gender in certain species of fish if I had been trying to entertain a friend or lover? Doubtful.
Bake something festive
Whip up a batch of these Raspberry-Banana Valentine’s Day Muffins with Chocolate Hazelnut Butter—created specifically for this Valentine’s Day!—while listening to the accompanying playlist. Share with your roommate/friends/homeless people, or eat them all by yourself, quickly, while crouched over your kitchen sink. Now make some tea, light some scented candles, and…
Write up prototypes of your future Tinder profile for when you can afford an iPhone. Just kidding, Tinder is awful.
Watch a movie
This could be a low-key movie night with friends and Netflix-curated romcoms. Or you could do something super Single On Valentine’s Day-ish, like go see How to Be Single, which you really want to be good but probably isn’t but, whatever, watch it anyway, it might be fun, you know?
Eat one of those prix-fixe Valentine’s Day dinners with a good friend
This is a classic fallback, and one of my faves. It’ll be overpriced, the food will be pretentious, and you’ll see tons of couples, but it’ll be kind of fun and liberating, because you aren’t one of those couples (with that startled look of thinly-veiled disappointment about unmet expectations and the relationship’s unviability) and the dessert options will be fantastic. Chocolate “inspired by a woman’s handbag, featuring a macaron mirror” with a 60-dollar “Sustainable Caviar Supplement”? Don’t mind if I do.