While we happen to think that being alone can be pretty great sometimes, we understand that for some 50-pluses without partners, Valentine's Day can be hard. We could sit here and finger-wag at you, preach about learning to love yourself, etc. Instead, here are 25 ideas what you can do (and not do) to beat back the Valentine's blues.
1. Invite a friend over.
Being alone together is almost always more fun than being alone by yourself.
2. Have a party for everyone you know who doesn't have plans.
We find room in our hearts and at our tables for friends with no one to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas with; why not Valentine's Day?
3. Spend the entire day with the one who loves you the most: your dog.
What better way to avoid overpriced restaurants than to take your BFF on a long hike or walk around the city. Just remember, chocolate isn't good for dogs, they regard McDonald's as fine cuisine, and they can sniff flowers whenever they want, which ultimately makes them very cheap Valentine's dates. You can probably also skip the card unless your pup can read.
4. Stay home and cook something elaborate for yourself.
Try that complicated recipe you've been wanting to test out. Bake bread from scratch. Or just go ahead and disprove those people who say Haagen Dazs is not a complete meal.
5. Binge watch "How To Get Away With Murder."
Only envision your ex as the dead body if you must.
6. Steer clear of "When Harry Met Sally."
Yes, you know why. In fact, avoid any romantic comedy. Embrace your pain if that feels good. The sun will still come up tomorrow and it will be a brand new day.
7. Use the day to tackle a big project.
Cleaning the garage can be so cathartic. Blast some Springsteen while you work. Dance among the storage boxes. And toss, toss, toss. Shedding unwanted things is a great way to feel better.
8. Stay off Facebook, which really becomes Fraudbook on days like this.
Here's what you will be missing: "I am so blessed to have found Jack. I am the luckiest woman in the world." And then the comment nobody has the nerve to post: "Yep, right up until he divorces you, Sweetie. (Is that a new Corvette I see in the background?)"
9. Offer to babysit for your grandkids.
10. Go to a late morning movie.
The first show of the day is generally cheaper and certainly less crowded. Then when it lets out, half the day is over. Grab some lunch to go and a good book. Ka-boom! Day over.
11. Spend the day hitting the charity thrift stores.
Finding a bargain is genuine validation, we call.
12. Remind yourself that not being in a relationship at the moment may not be the worst fate that could befall you.
13. Take the mother of all naps.
Turn the phone off, close the blinds and go for it. Deep dive into sleep.
14. Drive yourself out to the beach and take a walk on it.
Remember all those personal ads that used to say "I love taking walks on the beach in winter?" Notice how empty the beach is.
15. Promise you will buy yourself candy hearts on Monday.
When they are marked down to 50 percent off. Hah! Who's the sucker now, Sucker?
16. Avoid over-drinking.
For all the obvious reasons, chief among them: Alcohol is a depressant.
17. On this of all days, don't drink and text.
Not the last person you had sex with who never called. Not your ungrateful son. Not your sister who never pitches in to help with Mom. Fingers off the keypad.
18. Create something.
Paint, build, knit, bake. Make something. Creating is a positive on a day that may feel like a negative.
19. Visit the animal shelter and bring yourself home a little something.
Making it someone else's last bad day will help you do the same.
20. If you really want a restaurant meal, just do it.
It's not our favorite day to eat out, not because of all the cooing couples but because restaurants book up and charge more money for "special" meals that day. That said, go for it if that's what you want.
21. No one is stopping you from buying flowers.
Enjoy flowers for being pretty to look at and smelling good. Again, V-day will make them more expensive but the choice is yours. Doesn't it feel good to know that you appreciate your worth?
22. Lose others' expectations.
If you're not feeling it, you're not feeling it. It's just another Sunday in February. Carry on.
23. Plan yourself a little getaway.
Spend the day looking for travel deals, comparing fares and hotel rates. Amuse yourself for hours by reading reviews on TripAdvisor. Remember: If the best thing anyone can say about a hotel is that it's clean, keep scrolling.
24. Check out real estate listings and see how much you could get for your place.
25. Visit a few very high-end open houses.
Why not? It's fun to see how the other half lives. And it's cheaper than a movie, even a late-morning movie.
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