Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Single Girl's Guide to Valentine's Day

So, here it is, just a couple of days away, Valentine’s Day. The day of roses and chocolate hearts, candlelit dinners are expensive jewelry gifts. A day for lovers and romantics alike.

But you? You’re single.

Therefore, by all accounts, you should stock up on your favorite flavor of ice-cream, some sappy romance movies, a bottle of wine and a box of tissues, because you, my dear, are spending Saturday night at home, feeling sorry for yourself.



Because you are single, but you are not bitter, depressed, lonely, miserable and pathetic. In fact, the other 364 days out of the year, you are actually an intelligent, successful, stylish, independent FIERCE woman. A woman who walks with her head held high, proud of her accomplishment and prepared to take on the world. Single or not, dating or in between relationships, you KNOW who you are, and you love being that girl. You’ve got it all together, and if a man hasn’t come along just yet to realize what a perfect catch you are? Well, that’s just fine with you, because you know that when, and if, it is your time, you’ll get the catch of the century. And until then, you’re perfectly comfortable in your own skin, living life as it comes at you.

But, Valentine’s Day is here, and with it, the insecurities, the expectations, the disappointments. Because no matter how fiercely independent we single girls are, on Valentine’s day, everyone wants to receive roses at work.

As a bonus, this particular Valentine’s Day happens to fall on Saturday, so, if you want to go the route of ice cream and tissues, you can. You don’t need to show up to work, and you won’t even have to watch your coupled up co-workers receive flowers at their desks. The single-girl gods are smiling down upon you this year.

But, how do you survive another “lover’s holiday” as a single girl? Here are some ideas.

There is, of course, the option of just going about your day, ignoring the fact that it is Valentine’s day, not paying much attention to the hype of a Hallmark created holiday. That is an option, but let’s be honest, you’re not deaf, blind or dumb, and you are well aware what day it is.

So, let’s go ahead and embrace the day, turn Valentine’s Day into your very own cause for celebration.

Gather the troops - Round up your other single girl friends and hey, if you have them, single guy friends, single gay friends, whatever, after all, you’re all on the same boat, right? Be it one, or ten, make a date, and set only one rule: No “Woe is Me” mentality allowed this evening.

Get dressed up – Everyone knows that when you look good, you feel good. So do it up. Dress to the nines, dress to impress, dress to kill.

Have a plan – Due to the nature of the beast, restaurants, movie theatres and perhaps even bars and clubs will be crowded tonight. Plan ahead, make reservations where necessary, buy tickets in advance, be prepared. Select a movie that you can enjoy without having to share the room with a bunch of lovey dovey couples, because even those of us most secure in our singledom are bound to be affected by obvious displays of affection and romance. Choose a restaurant with more of a fun vibe, versus the candles on the table, violinist in the corner type.

Seek alternatives – Think of all the places you’d love to go on a romantic valentine’s date. Got them? Good. Now cross those off your list. Think of the places you know most husbands and boyfriends would love to take their dates but know better than to even attempt it for fear of spending a week in the doghouse. Got those? Yep, that’s exactly where you want to go. That hockey game, action flick, paintball tournament you heard about? Odds are the crowd at these places is either going to be single men, (and women), or couples who are not so much in the lovey dovey stage of their relationship, so they’ll be fun to be around, Valentine’s Day or not. Yes, I know this sounds sexist and gender role prejudiced or whatnot, but let’s be honest, it’s Valentine’s Day and even the sportiest of girls is expecting to be treated to a romantic dinner at a nice restaurant on this day if she has a man in her life.

Try something new – always wanted to try sky diving, pottery making, or snow shoeing? Always wanted to check out that new dance club, take a drive out to that weird diner, or attend that midnight showing of Buffy the Musical? Tonight’s the night. You’re breaking tradition already by not letting the holiday turn your Saturday into a “mopey” day, so add a new adventure to your list. What have you got to lose?

Have fun – this is the most important thing. No matter what it is you decide to do tonight, make it fun. After all, you passed on the option to stay home and sulk, didn’t you? So, enjoy yourself.

A few don’ts:

- Don’t wear all black and refer to the day as “Black Saturday”, it’s not going to do anybody any good.

- Don’t send yourself flowers. There’s nothing wrong with buying fresh flowers for your home, or desk, but if you do it today, you’re just going to feel pathetic when you get them with the card signed “you know who”…yes, you know who, and really, it didn’t work to make you feel better, did it?

- Don’t indulge in the ice cream/chocolate/comfort food myth. All you’ll gain from these is an extra 2 lbs you don’t need.

- Don’t hunt for a last minute date just so you can have one. It’ll put unnecessary pressure on both of you, and it’s a waste of what could otherwise be a perfectly good first date.

- Don’t hang out with that one friend, you know the one, who is going to spend the entire evening bitching and moaning about not having a boyfriend AGAIN this year. Leave her at home with the ice cream and the romantic comedies.

- Don’t, whatever you do, watch romantic comedies that evening. Honestly, why would you do that to yourself?

- Don’t hesitate to give out your number to the cute guy in front of you at the hockey game, or send a drink to that other one, watching you from across the bar. Just because you’re single this Valentine’s Day, doesn’t mean you can’t be celebrating an anniversary this time next year.

-Don’t worry, this day only comes once a year, and as much as you may think you’re going to have a miserable time, just remember one thing, it’s not any better for your coupled off friends. Or did you forget all the fights and disagreements this holiday caused your past relationships? See? You’re bound to have a better time if you just put your mind to it.

SO get to it! And then come back here and tell me how you spent your V-Day. Oh, and for those of you in relationships? I want to know how you spent your V-Day too, good, bad or ugly, I promise I won’t judge. ;-)

As far as what THIS single girl will be doing? I'm taking my own advice, I'm heading to a college hockey game with a group of single girl friends. Dinner, flirting with college boys, and just having a good ol' fashioned girl's night out. How can that NOT be a good night?


Jill said...

sounds great. i'd like to try and not have sore nipples for valentines day, and i'm not saying my husband is aggressive. seriously, though? if i got help all day with the baby, help with making meals and a tiny bit of cuddling on the couch, i'd be good. oh and i'd like to buy my husband a card from the baby, and buy the baby a card to put in her baby book. you know, cause we love her and all, but that's it. guess having a new baby puts it all in perspective. screw dinner out. i'd like one less dirty diaper to change!

Rebecca said...

First: Great Post!

Second: But I WANT chocolate and I really could stand to put more weight on!!

I don't know, V-Day has never bothered me as a single girl. I barely notice the date on the calendar.

But the BIG disappointments have happened when I'm not single. That's when I fall into all the hype and beleive that I'll get a romantic evening. Sometimes it works out, but most of the time, not so much.

Some of my best v-days have been when I was single and expecting to be alone that night.

This year, it's a new man in my life cooking me dinner for the first time, but I already warned him I'm super picky and may have to step in to "help" him out ;) but I kinda think a night out with the girls would be better!

Julia Phillips Smith said...

Happy Valentine's Day, Karina! Sounds like you'll be having fun flirting - what better way to spend it could there be?

Don't laugh at this married couple's Valentine's Day. First of all, I'm recuperating from a mega migraine that has lasted for an eternity. For some weird reason, I now have extreme pain in my left hip. Thank God I have a three day weekend from work. I was all set to go to my cousin's book signing today, but I can't really move, so my mom went. :-(

There are no cards, no flowers, no chocolate, no dinner out. We're too pooped. We're just hanging out at home, licking our wounds. We'll celebrate next week when we feel better.

qualcosa di bello said...

i adore your wise words.

as a married woman who is not overly fond of commercialized holidays (any of that hype, no matter what holiday), i went the route of going on a retreat this year over V-day!