The single’s guide to surviving Valentine’s Day: A three-step program

Valentine’s Day is a day for expressing love, not for sending you on a guilt trip.

For someone who’s single, Valentine’s Day is a day that’s seething with judgement (“Oh, a table for… one?”), a day when the “Beta[i], shaadi kab karoge” refrain intensifies and when creepy winks from well-meaning aunts/uncles sends shudders down your spine. Everywhere you look, you'll find jilted lovers, desperate singles and snogging couple (Get a room, people!). It's a day where there's no escaping cloying messages, heart-shaped balloons and mummified roses.

How is this fun? Valentine's Day is for expressing love, not for sending you on a guilt trip of sorts.

Being single on Valentine's Day isn't the end of the world.

Being single on Valentine's Day isn't the end of the world.

Depending on your disposition, you have several ways to deal with the situation, but first…

Shape up or ship out: Maybe you’re a romantic at heart who, despite that happy visage, spends Valentine’s Day in utter depression, crying yourself to sleep as you hug your pillow that little bit tighter. Well, now’s the time to turn your life around.

To be successfully single, one must be happy in their own company. Since you’re not, get your life together and toss yourself out there. Shower, shave, get a haircut, revamp your wardrobe (take a Vogue or GQ subscription if you must) take a selfie at an angle that makes you look vaguely human and put up your profile on Tinder, Bumble, shaadi.com or wherever else people go to at such times. Sure, you will fail, and often, but suck it up and move on.

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With that out of the way, let’s get into what it really takes to survive V-day:

The cleanse

Step one is cleansing your system of spiteful thoughts.

Sit in judgement: Instead of getting frustrated by the constant nagging and judgement from everyone, how about you do the judging instead? Studies show that the average relationship only lasts a couple of years or so, and you know that these V-Day hook-ups don’t last. Cook up a batch of popcorn, fire up the cesspools that are Facebook and Instagram and begin judging!

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And don’t hold back. Let the spite flow freely, let it all out of your system. Take mental bets on the longevity of relationships and stock up on “I told you so” cards. As you judge each couple, don’t forget to imagine what it’ll be like to pat yourself on the back when things pan out exactly as you predicted.

#DeleteFacebook: Now that you’ve managed to get the raw and painful emotions out of the way, delete Facebook. Not only will you be doing yourself and the world a favour, but you’ll also eliminate contact with pestiferous family groups and treacherous friends.

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In fact, use the opportunity to clean up your social media feed and contact lists. Purge it of the people you don’t love. Instead, choose to surround yourself with those you love (platonically or otherwise). Apply the principles of the KonMari method here: if your contacts don’t “spark joy”, purge! Your future self will thank you.

Keeping busy

The next step is to keep yourself busy. Strong-willed single you might be, but V-day is a particularly intense reminder that primal mating instincts are still a part of the human condition. To keep yourself from giving in to these basal urges, you might want to keep yourself so busy that such thoughts don’t cloud your better judgement.

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Be productive: Yet another secret to survival is staying productive. Do things. Don’t sit idle. Now’s the time to do things that you’ve been putting off. Fire up Lightroom and weed out those unwanted duplicates. Finish that 10,000-piece jigsaw puzzle. Redo the cabling in your PC. Do something, anything. Lest we forget, our brain is fickle. Don’t idle and let it take over.

Eat healthy: On V-day, the last thing you want to do is order food. This is not a day when you want to be staring at Valentine’s Day special offers. Discounts on chocolates and desserts? Two for the price of one? Phooey! Be a [wo]man and cook! Even if you don’t know how, you’ve got the whole day to figure it out. The internet is filled with one delicious recipe after another and there are apps aplenty to choose from. Better yet, if you’ve got an Echo device, Alexa can quite easily walk you through the recipe.

Embracing the V-day spirit

Now that you’re in a better place, mentally anyway, you might want to think about giving back. Valentine’s Day is about love, after all. Now that you’re past judging, be happy for the self-absorbed couples around you and look past them to the unhappy, indifferent mass of humanity that lies beyond.

How about volunteering your time at an old-age home?

How about volunteering your time at an old-age home?

Spread the love: Volunteer your time at an old-age home, get a bunch of roses and distribute them to random men and women on the street (don’t be creepy about it). Let people know that someone cares, even if that someone is a complete stranger.

Lend your skills: Help the less fortunate connect with their loved ones. Show your paperwala how to use Google Duo, write messages for those who can’t. Maybe donate some gifts for someone to take home?

Animals also need some love: If humans aren’t your thing, how about heading to the nearest animal shelter or thinking about adopting a stray, especially cats. Cats might seem aloof and indifferent, but emotionally, they’re sensitive and vulnerable creatures. And when it comes to dogs, their souls are quite literally in their eyes, you can never go wrong with them.

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Before you know it, you’ll realise that you’ve not just survived Valentine’s Day, you’ve found a new calling. And who knows, you might just bump into that like-minded special someone who’ll change your life forever!

Happy Valentine's Day!

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