Is A First Date On Valentine's Day A Bad Idea? Not If You Keep It Casual

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This may be a radical notion, but I don't think Valentine's Day should only be for those in relationships. I love roses, hearts, and anything pink or red — don't @ me. But why should I only get to celebrate love if I'm actually in love? I mean, is a first date on Valentine's Day a bad idea? I argue that it's not. Deciding against seeing someone on Valentine's Day simply because it's Valentine's Day falls into the same category as refusing to DTR because you "don't like labels" — it's totally dumb, yet it happens far too often.

If the only thing holding you back from going on a first date on Feb. 14 is the pressure that comes with the holiday, then don't let the day carry any additional weight. It's as easy as that. So you want to go out with someone new on V-Day? Go for it! Who cares what the calendar says? Plan a casual outing and don't make it a huge deal. It could be the best date of your life. You might end up with a great Valentine's Day first date story to tell your friends. You won't know unless you stop stressing and take a chance.

There is nothing wrong with pulling a Cher Horowitz and "surprising" yourself with gifts on Valentine's Day. But why not skip the mystery flower delivery and give yourself a present that has the potential for a much longer shelf life?

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Use V-Day as an opportunity — or an excuse, if you will — to ask out that cutie you recently matched with on Tinder, or the hot barista who you flirt with every morning. You've been waiting for a push in the right direction, and this is it. And if you're unsure about what to do on the date, there's no need to fret. My first piece of advice would be to avoid doing anything extremely romantic or over-the-top. You're obviously not a couple, and you may not have even met IRL, so a night of stargazing might be a bit much.

In my opinion, your date can go one of two ways. First, you can essentially pretend that it's just any other day. Grab a drink at a dive bar or see a comedy in theaters. If the fact that it's Valentine's Day does come up, you can make a joke and laugh it off. Yes, the bartender may mistake you for a couple. No, it's not the end of the world.

The alternative is to make it abundantly clear that you're aware of what day it is. Pick an activity that is so cheesy that you can poke fun at how cliché you're being. Go to a roller rink and rock the couples' skate, or dine in the dark à la About Time. If you can't get to London or Paris, consider DIY-ing a similar setup in your apartment with croissants and Camembert.

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In the event that you do choose to go this route, make sure your date knows you're being facetious. The last thing you want is for your tongue-in-cheek suggestion to lead to an awkward conversation about moving too fast.

Consider going on a first date this Valentine's Day. Who knows? It might just change your outlook on the entire holiday.

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