Contributed by Info Guru Terri Wallace
Let’s face it; Valentine’s Day is a tough holiday.
If you aren’t involved in a relationship, there is the stigma of being alone during this traditionally “couple’s holiday.” If you are in a relationship, the holiday suddenly takes on a life of its own as unbelievably happy couples, with limitless budgets, stare at you from every advertisement. Fortunately, with a little planning, it is possible to endure Valentine’s Day.
10. Start Early
If you are sharing the holiday with a significant other it is wise to make preparations early. Reservations to restaurants fill up early in the weeks leading up to this most romantic of holidays. Flower deliveries (and prices!) tend to soar, and mountains of chocolate move from the store shelves as romantic partners stockpile the sweets in preparation — so don’t wait until the final days leading up to St. Valentine’s Day unless you want to risk showing up for the big night with flowers picked from your mother’s garden and a pack of mints from the gas station.
If you plan on celebrating solo this Valentine’s Day, you might consider making adequate preparation for a day-long hibernation in order to avoid the happy couples migrating from restaurants to theaters. Stockpile an adequate supply of food and entertainment to ensure that you do not need to venture into the romantic hoards.
Do not rely on network television to provide distraction, however, since they will likely cater to the romantic couples who are snuggling at home on the sofa. Instead, you might opt for pizza and a couple of season of “The Walking Dead” on DVD to help make the holiday more bearable.
8. Keep Up Your Spirits
Whether you are flying solo or part of a romantic duo, a nice bottle of wine (or two) is always appreciated on Valentine’s Day. Or look like the hero by arranging to having a romantic wine gift basket delivered, complete with champagne and chocolates. All you two have to do is unwrap it and enjoy!
7. Be Careful of Expectation Dates
As the holiday approaches, be mindful of beginning any new relationships in order to avoid confusion. Unfortunately, a few dates this close to the “Big Holiday” can create certain … expectations. A good general rule is to avoid any new connections after New Year’s. Casual dating may resume after the Holiday of Romance has safely passed.
6. Listen for Cues
Many males become befuddled over what to buy their beloved. However, wise women have long perfected the art of dropping the casual hint as the holiday approaches. If you listen, you may find that what your partner finds romantic is not what you would imagine. Many women hate the romantic trifecta of dinner, roses, and chocolate, and would much prefer a simple love letter, an old fashioned “mix tape,” or to have you cook them dinner at home.
5. Have a Stag Party
If you find yourself single, and don’t relish the idea of hunkering down alone for Valentine’s Day, consider hosting a stag party and invite all of your single friends to celebrate in a safe haven, far from the canoodling couples. You may find there is safety (or at least a bit less self-pity) in numbers.
4. Good Samaritan
Remember to be a Good Samaritan during this most romantic of holidays. Check in on your friends who have recently split with their significant other, especially those who have endured the dreaded “Pre-Valentine’s Day Dump.”
3. Hide Your Phone
If you happen to be alone over Valentine’s Day, hide your phone. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the incidence of the “drunk-texting an ex” sky-rockets during romantically charged holidays. In order to avoid spewing proclamations fueled by alcohol and loneliness, consider entrusting a close friend with keeping your phone until the holiday has passed. Remember: Friends don’t let friends drunk text.
2. It’s Not a Competition
Every year there is one of them … that guy. You know the one. The guy who comes up with the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day—back in November! His flower order is placed weeks in advance. He writes his girlfriend love notes, and leaves her poems. He sends her flowers for no reason. You know all of this, because your girlfriend tells you about it … often.
Do not, under any circumstances, try to outdo him. He will win. Besides, you could never keep up the ruse. Better to just try to remember to put the lid down, and notice when she cuts her hair. Feel free to continue to hate “That Guy” from afar.
Even if you are alone during the holidays, the holiday still has something to offer … post-holiday sales. Perhaps the biggest perk of Valentine’s Day is the leftover chocolate, marked 75% off the day after, with which you can fill your freezer and cabinets. A handful of chocolate and a cup of tea can get you through most anything.