No date for Valentine’s Day? Hey, most women (and men) have been there and it’s certainly no cause for a pity party or even minor depression. So, don’t feel the need to do anything possible to avoid a lonely Feb. 14. That means you can say no to the annoying salesman working two cubicles down. And you can say no to the arrogant department manager two floors up.
Don’t make the mistake of making a date with someone you have no interest in just so you won’t be alone on Valentine’s Day. At best, you’ll get a nice dinner. At worst, you’ll encourage a stalker.
This year, turn your date-less Valentine’s Day into a memorable event. Spend the evening with other loved ones, do something good for your community or do something good for yourself. Here are some ideas to get you started:
1. Throw a party at your area’s domestic violence shelter. You’ll likely find that many women there are also spending the holiday alone. These women have just summoned the courage to remove themselves and their children from abusive relationship. Chances are, they’re not feeling very loved. Ask some of your friends to join you and work in coordination with the shelter staff. One suggestion: prepare a menu of spaghetti with a rich, chocolate dessert. Then, share some dance lessons or play a few rounds of Twister. Avoid sappy movies or overly romantic themes. Just have a good time. You won’t miss a date and the women benefiting from your entertainment will be encouraged.
2. Spend some time with kids. Take your children to dinner, complete with boutonnières and corsages. Make it special by allowing each to choose a dessert. Top the evening off with an animated flick or even an hour or two at an arcade. No children? Grab your nieces and nephews or even borrow a friend’s children for the weekend. (Your friend will appreciate the babysitting service.) Nothing can cheer you up like a few hours with kids.
3. Weather permitting, spend some time with nature. Plan a long walk and some stargazing. Winter nature is far underrated. Not only will this take your mind off your dateless state, it is conducive to spiritual healing and contemplative thought. I got the idea for my current business during a long February walk. The trees don’t have lees. While a tree in bloom is beautiful, it can block some of the other scenery and some wildlife. Your favorite park will look much different in the winter. Make sure your walking path is well lit and has sufficient security. Walk with a buddy. If you want to enjoy some solidarity, agree to walk for safety, and be silent so both can absorb.
4. Reserve a few hours for yourself. It’s no shame to be alone on Valentine’s Day after all. Maybe you want to curl up with a good book. Perhaps an overflowing bubble bath is your style. Or maybe you’ve always wanted to play laser tag or take advantage of the indoor pool at the Y or community center. Perhaps you’re in the mood for some take-out Chinese and a good DVD. Take a few minutes now and make plans And don’t feel pressured to cancel if you get a date. A simple “I’ve got plans for Wednesday. Why don’t we celebrate Friday” will net you two Valentine’s Day celebrations…one alone and one with a date.
5. Spend it with your mom, grandmother or aunt. I know. At first, this idea seems like a boring evening. To be honest, one of the best Valentine’s Days I’ve had was spent with some older female relatives. Take an elderly female relative out for a nice dinner or invite her over to your place for a home-cooked meal. After all, the love that’s exchanged on the special day doesn’t have to just be romantic in nature. To make the day even more memorable, think of a relative that lives alone or that you don’t see very often. Sharing your time, conversation and love with someone in your family can be a very rewarding investment. And you’ll find the giving joy to others does pay big dividends. Top the evening off with a gift. I suggest a box of chocolates. Skip the heart box.