Happy Quirkyalone Day!

A participant from New Zealand flies a large heart shaped kite at the International Kite Festival in Mumbai, India, Monday, J
A participant from New Zealand flies a large heart shaped kite at the International Kite Festival in Mumbai, India, Monday, Jan. 7, 2012. Kite-flyers from different countries are participating in the day-long festival.(AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

Happy Quirkyalone Day! In case you haven't heard yet, International Quirkyalone Day is also celebrated on February 14.

I created International Quirkyalone Day back in 2003 as an alternative to Valentine's Day. Not because I hate Valentine's Day per se, but because Valentine's Day has always had this sickly-sweet commercial feeling that leaves people feeling left out and disappointed, whether they are single or coupled. Quirkyalone Day leaves no one out. You can participate if you are single or partnered (quirkytogether)!

2013-02-11-beyours_small.gif International Quirkyalone Day is not anti-Valentine's Day. It just happens to fall on the same day. That's our story and we are sticking to it.

Over the last ten years, Quirkyalone Day has been celebrated in over 40 cities over the world. It's a grassroots celebration. People host parties in bars, karaoke bars, cafes, puzzle stores and bowling alleys. You can also celebrate by yourself by rearranging your furniture, getting a massage, writing in your journal or taking a long walk by yourself. It's a very flexible holiday and that's one of the best things about it!

IQD is a celebration of romance, freedom and individuality. It celebrates true romance (as opposed to the fake versions presented to us in reality dating shows), independence, creativity, friendship and all kinds of love.

If you are single, International Quirkyalone Day is a call to arms to celebrate the possibilities available to single people today. If you are partnered, IQD is a vital reminder to value yourself and develop your individuality even when in a couple.

IQD is NOT a pity party for single people. It's a feel-good alternative to the marketing barrage of Valentine's Day and an antidote to the silicone version of love presented in shows such as The Bachelor. The Bachelor was huge 10 years ago when I founded IQD- - and it is still a cultural phenomenon. We've come a long way but we still have a ways to go.

Quirkyalone Day is completely up to you to create in terms of how you want to celebrate it. It's all about love, starting with love for yourself.

If you know anyone who could use some quirkyalone cheer on February 14, you can send them a card. Here are some Quirkyalone Day cards for you to spread the love. To send these cards, right-click and download the one(s) you like.

Sasha Cagen is the author of Quirkyalone: A Manifesto for Uncompromising Romantics and To-Do List: From Buying Milk to Finding a Soulmate, What Our Lists Reveal About Us. She is the creator of Get Quirky, an online program to help you cultivate your spark and share it with the world.

She's be hosting a virtual IQD party this year on February 14. A tele-party if you will. To get the details sign up on her mailing list on quirkyalone.net.

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