Let’s face it: We, singletons, get struck with déjà vu when January ends and we creep into February.
If your friends are in relationships, you’ll probably be indirectly notified that you'll be friendless on Valentine’s Day.
But, what’s worse than being the single friend on the day that globally celebrates companionship? When the festivities last for a whole weekend, that's what.
For the first time since 2009, Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday. Since a lot has changed since then on the digital front, prepare to be inundated with exhibitionist Instagram and Facebook posts.
Like most modern single folks, you’ll either be home, wallowing in self-pity, stalking all your exes on Facebook, wishing they get dumped, or you’ll hit the bar circuit, ready to find someone (anyone) or be found.
Rather than making a fool of yourself at some bar before going home broke and feeling more alone, there are some precautionary measures you can take. Think of this as a nine-step survival guide for your angsty and lustful bar tryst:
1. Ask your bank to lower your spending limit for Thursday-Tuesday.
“Drinks on me” isn’t what will get you happily-ever-after, but these words will probably escape your lips in an attempt to lure a potential mate. Either that or you’ll buy everything in sight and eat yourself sick.
A lower limit gives you a fighting chance to smile while all the poor louts in relationships squeal about not having money.
Chances are, your bank won’t do this and you won’t have a reliable friend to hide your card from you, so the tried and true "freeze the card in a block of ice" trick will have to do.
2. Warning: Social Media remembers what your hangover blurs out.
How many times have you heard the words, “I totally don’t remember doing that”? Post with caution.
"The Hangover" movies were not based on your life, and you honestly don’t have time to retrace where you lost your grandmother’s fur coat using Instagram posts and Facebook tags.
You also don’t want to be the Valentine’s troll, who comments on everyone else’s lovey-dovey posts.
3. Only drink/accept shots of the same thing. (They don’t have to be from the same person.)
It’s so easy to go with the (alcoholic) flow when you’re in a psychological slump, but we all know the end of that story. Monitoring what enters the body will help you avoid hangovers and bathroom floors.
This Valentine’s Day, try your best to be a discerning shot drinker. If tequila is your poison, let it be the only thing that kills you.
4. Avoid starting your sentences with, “So, my friend and his/her boy/girlfriend…”
You’re not with them and they’re not with you, we know. Sentences that start like this almost always end on a sad or sarcastic note.
5. Wear clean, “good" underwear.
Leave the Bridget Jones granny panties at home. Just because you’re single at the start of the weekend doesn’t mean you are completely repulsive.
Who knows? You just might meet Mr. or Miss Right (or Right Now) and have a fluffy story about how you met on Valentine’s Day. A pair of “good underwear” will do wonders for your self-confidence, as well as impress whoever’s lucky enough to you in see them.
6. Dance with the pretty ones (but only if they say you can).
Throwing yourself at every sexy person is totally permissible; you can’t lose unless you’ve tried, but don’t forget to establish boundaries.
Guys tend to come across as totally creepy and aggressive, and girls tend to come across as sadly desperate or easy. By all means, back that thing up, but it’s courteous to ask before you get your boogie on with someone. A wink and smile will do.
7. Remember: Taking a selfie with someone doesn’t make it your first date.
There’s an undeniable magnetism that takes place when you’re cheek to cheek with someone, striking poses and trying to stage the perfect natural self-portrait.
But, this isn’t your key to forever. Sure, it’s a great way to get a conversation started, but it’s just a photograph, not the beginnings of a family scrapbook.
8. Nobody cares about your parents/pets/boss or that “Valentine’s Day isn’t a real holiday.”
Conversation on Valentine’s Day can be touch and go because you’re never quite sure what to talk about. This, of course, means we tend to resort to the most basic topics like family, home life and work.
Basic conversation is about as enticing as a dish of tofu and kale is to a carnivore.
Conversely, there’s the overwhelming itch to discredit the day with a rant about how Valentine’s Day is just a commercial cash cow.
We’ve all been there, and we’ve heard it all before. I mean, that’s what movies like "I Hate Valentine’s Day" are all about. But, nobody goes to the bar to hook up with the History Channel.
9. Remember: The bartender is the ultimate third wheel.
Hey, so you’re alone, but so is the bartender. Use this mutual fact as a way to comfort yourself. This, however, doesn’t make him or her your best friend. I mean, think of how many other people are dumping their Valentine’s Day woes on these folks.
Buy the bartender a drink. Sit back and enjoy the atmosphere. You are, after all, not bundled up at home, risking food-induced suicide.
It may be your umpteenth or first Valentine’s Day you spend alone, but that doesn’t mean you should feel any lonelier than the other days of the year that you’re single.
This might just be your weekend to get into your personal groove.
You’ll be fine; Monday will be back soon enough.