1. Buy yourself a nice bottle of wine. Two Buck Chuck is a glorious thing, but do like Beyonce says and upgrade u every once in a while. Who says you’re not worth a $20 bottle every now and again? Because you are.
2. Order a pizza. Alone with pizza is better than alone alone. (Also, I mean, that’s a whole. entire. pizza that you don’t have to share with anyone but you, yourself, and you.)
3. Watch movies that you know a significant other would scoff to death if you ever tried to watch in their presence. Cheesy 90s teen flicks work really well here. The Notebook does not.
4. Buy yourself flowers. Not only do they brighten up any room they’re in, but hey, they’re pretty. You deserve pretty things, and sometimes, all it takes is being reminded that you can be just as kind to yourself as a significant other might be.
5. Get in on the bath + wine combo. Or have a shower beer. Or take shots while you’re waiting for a face mask to dry. Whatever your poison, just pamper yourself.
6. Throw a little extra cash in the coffee shop tip jar in the morning. Say thank you to the guy bagging your groceries — and mean it. Little things add up, and will boost your mood like crazy.
7. Spend a little extra time at the gym. Take a class you’ve always wanted to try, but never thought was in your comfort zone. Kill time in the steam room. Endorphins work wonders, and before you know it, your lonely Valentine’s day just got hot ‘n sweaty anyway. (Technical reasons be damned.)
8. Download Tinder, if only to see how many other people are using the app in a last ditch effort to couple up. See! You’re not the only one who’s single! Besides, the little ego boost you get when there’s a match and somebody thinks you’re cute is enough to beat away the Forever Alone™ blues.
9. Call up your parents and ask them about how they met, or ask your coworker how they met their spouse, or talk to the friend who’s in the kind of relationship you usually find yourself pining over. It may seem bittersweet to torture yourself over not having found “the one” yet, but their stories will usually have the narrative that the right person is worth waiting for. Don’t settle for someone just because you want them for one day out of the year.
10. Throw a Christmas party. Or a 14th of July party. Or an Un-Birthday party. Off-season decorations are usually really cheap, and you and your friends (both single and coupled) will have so much fun in the ridiculousness that is Halloween in February that it won’t even matter who’s in a relationship anymore.
11. Spend time with your kid cousins or babysit for the neighbors who live down the hall. Not only is kid love the best kind of love — it’s pure and honest — but chances are good they’ll give you a paper card and share a little Valentine’s loot with you.
12. Buy the funny cards you see in novelty card shops and send them to yourself. Everyone deserves a laugh every now and again, and EVERYONE likes getting stuff in the mail.
13. Adopt a cat*, stereotypes about Cat Ladies/Men be damned. Dogs might love you unconditionally, but a cat’s indifference will keep you humble and remind you that sometimes, the kind of love you have to earn is pretty freaking great.
*Only do this if you’re planning to love and care for Fluffy for the other 364 days of the year.
14. Alternatively, dog sit for your friends who are out for Valentine’s Dinner. Because unconditional love and snuggling for one night while you’re binging on someone else’s cable can totally elevate any mood. (Bonus: it’s long-term commitment free, if you love pets but don’t have the time to devote to one.)
15. Speaking of which: Season 2 of House of Cards is available on February 14th. Because Papa Kevin knows you’re hurting, and he wants to make you feel better.
16. Remember that it is just one arbitrary day out of many, and a little winged child with sharp sticks does not define love. Love is what you make of it. If and when you do meet somebody, you can celebrate being together then. A date on the calendar might be nice, but really, has nothing to do with the concept of affection.
17. Buy as much half-priced candy as you can on February 15th. Just because it’s wrapped in pink and red foil does not mean it’s gone bad. And consumerism’s blatant surplus is your gain, my friend. Enjoy.