a person holding a small cutout heart with both hands
January 18, 2019

How to Treat Yourself to the Best Valentine’s Day, Without a Date

Like staying in on New Year’s Eve or spending Christmas Day alone, there’s often a stigma attached to not having a date on Valentine’s Day. But there shouldn’t be. In fact, we think going against the grain is something to be celebrated and encouraged.

It could be that you’re single, or maybe you’re attached but your partner is working, or out of town. Maybe you just really hate all that schmaltzy stuff and would prefer to spend the day alone or with friends, rather than indulging in fluffy teddy bears and candlelit dinners.

Whatever the reason, here’s how to turn a potentially difficult day into a positive one. At least you can guarantee you and your date will have something in common (because, well, it’s you).

 All by yourself...and loving it

Take yourself on a solo dinner date

If eating out alone any night of the week stresses you out, this might not be for you. But there’s something liberating about stepping out on February 14 and asking for a table for one. Take a book (or, if you know others in the same position, a friend) or just savor every bite of your meal, without worrying about small talk—or having to share your truffle fries.

Who says you can’t have dinner for one on Valentine’s Day? Certainly not us.

Find an "anti-valentines" party

You’re definitely not alone in being alone on February 14. So much so, that the trend for “anti-Valentine’s” parties is sweeping the US and Canada. Nightclubs, rooftop bars, trendy neighborhood breweries—they’re all throwing them. Search Facebook groups and ask around in your area to see if any really grab you.


Feel like escaping completely? Book yourself a solo mini-break and enjoy a day or three of blissful solitude. Think: long walks in the countryside or by the coast, lazy breakfasts and afternoons curled up with a novel. Look for a tucked-away Airbnb or a glamping site, hop in a Zipcar, and look forward to some quality ‘me’ time.

Use that mid-February thingy as an excuse to plan your perfect a mini-break.

Throw a movie night

Got friends in the same position? Rather than everyone moping alone, or just ignoring the day altogether, invite your single friends (or those who share your “schmalentine’s” views) over for snacks and a movie. It’s up to you what’s on the playlist. Will it be classic rom-coms, or the Godfather trilogy? Whatever’s showing, whip up some nachos and dips, stock up on ice-cream and popcorn, and enjoy the fact that you don’t have to dress up or go outside. Unless you want to, of course.

We bet you’re not the only one sans date on February 14. Get all your single (and generally anti-Valentine’s Day) friends together for a fun night in.

Treat that special someone (you) 

Imagine you’re inviting someone over for a meal and really want to impress. What would you cook? What favorite tunes would you put on? What drinks would you serve? Now imagine that person shares your tastes exactly. Because (in case there was any doubt), that person is you. Too often we put in far less effort when it comes to making ourselves feel loved and spoiled, so make Valentine’s Day the perfect excuse. Whether it’s lovingly stirring a skillet of risotto, singing loudly to show tunes or watching all three seasons of that Netflix show, treat yourself like the prince or princess you truly are.

Spoil yourself with your cooking skills—you’re the guest of honor this time.

Buy yourself a present

Whether it’s that book you’ve been meaning to read, some luxurious new bed sheets, or just a movie ticket, don’t let the day pass by without showing yourself just how much you care.

Spread the love

Being sans date on February 14 doesn’t mean you can’t make someone else feel loved. Call your family or a friend you haven’t seen for a while, just because. Think about anyone you know who might also be alone, and make the day more about them than yourself. Sign up to volunteer with a local charity, donate unwanted clothes, or show a little kindness to strangers—whether that’s paying for their coffee, or paying them a compliment.

Make someone else happy with a phone call or a kind word. It’s the day of love, after all.