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What to do on Valentine’s Day if you’re single

Sam Stryker | Wednesday, February 13, 2013


There seems to be a strict dichotomy in the ways different people celebrate Valentine’s Day. Either you have a significant other to celebrate the day with by going out to a romantic candlelit dinner and exchanging gifts, or you are bemoaning the fact you are spending yet another V-Day alone and single.

I’m here to slap some sense into the latter half of that group.

I’m tired of all the Sally Sob Stories complaining about the annoying couples on Valentine’s Day or how miserable they are for not having someone special to celebrate the day with.

Get over yourselves, people. 

Spending Valentine’s Day single can be one of the best days of the year. As my charming little sister so astutely pointed out to me last week, this Valentine’s Day will mark the 22nd-straight year I will spend Feb. 14 single. Last time I checked, I’m fabulous and doing just fine.

In fact, I would say Valentine’s Day is better suited to single people. Not only do you get to eat all the chocolate you want guilt-free, but you can rub it all in the happy couple’s faces that you are single and ready to mingle.

So for all of you folks who have resigned themselves to another gloomy Valentine’s Day, I say snap out of it. Here are my tips to ensure your single Valentine’s Day is one of happiness and not misery.


Remind yourself: Single doesn’t equal bad

Let’s look at a list of successful single people out there: President James Buchanan never married, Susan Boyle is a legitimate crazy cat lady and she nearly won “Britain’s Got Talent” and Queen Elizabeth I was a lifelong bachelorette. The biggest newsmaker in the world right now? Pope Benedict XVI, and he is spending Valentine’s Day alone. Heck, even University President Fr. John Jenkins is single. The fact of the matter is you don’t need a significant other to achieve anything in this world. If Beyoncé wrote a song about being a single lady, I think it is good enough for the rest of us.


Don’t be basic

The absolute last thing you should be doing on Valentine’s Day is cranking up Taylor Swift to loud and dancing in your pajamas, pretending like you are fine with the fact you aren’t with someone. Additionally, avoid all romantic movies like the plague, “The Notebook” in particular. Let high school girls stick to that stuff, but you’re better than that. Get out of your sweatpants and own the day. The only way you are going to have a great Valentine’s Day when you are single is if you decide from the moment you wake up you are going to have an awesome time. Somehow, I don’t think lying nearly comatose in your dorm room watching Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams go at it is going to help the cause.


Dress to impress

Some of you might think because you don’t have to look nice on Valentine’s Day because you don’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend to amaze. Well, you’re as wrong as black on navy. If you look your best, not only will you blow away the rest of the sweatpants-wearing population out of the water but you may also even land yourself someone by midnight. So ladies, wear a little black dress and heels to your 8:30 a.m. science lab. Gentleman, I’m thinking a suit and tie – you get bonus points for a bowtie. You can thank me later.


Treat yourself

I don’t care how hot your boyfriend or girlfriend is, but Valentine’s Day is terrible if you’re dating someone because you have to spend money like it’s going out of style. Flowers, chocolates, dinner, you name it – you have to buy it for someone who probably isn’t even that awesome anyways. Instead of spending money on a significant other, all you single ladies out there should go and spend it on yourselves. I don’t care what it is – in a perfect world, I would install a mimosa fountain in my dorm room – but I just want you to pick something you enjoy and go out and treat yourself.


Hang out with your friends

This one is pretty simple, but I don’t think we pay attention to it enough. Why not spend some time with your other single friends today rather than trying to suffer through the day alone? We’re all going to graduate soon, move off to faraway places, meet someone, have kids, have to clean up messy diapers, send our kids to college and retire. Before we know it, we’re going to all be wearing dentures, playing Yahtzee everyday and eating dinner at 4 p.m. Life goes by fast, so enjoy the friendships you have now while it’s as easy as texting someone and meeting them in the dining hall. In the real world, it’s not so simple.


Create an imaginary boyfriend/girlfriend

It may sound crazy, but why spend time with a Notre Dame 6 when you could be with a real world 9 or 10? Pick your favorite celebrity crush and come up with an elaborate backstory on how you met, what your favorite things to do together are, where you want to get married, what you’ll name your kids, etc. It’s much more fun than actually dating someone because you don’t actually have to spend time with them. If you want to put a little effort into it, you can Photoshop yourself into pictures with this celebrity. Just whatever you do, pick someone who doesn’t actually go to Notre Dame. As wonderful as some of the people are here on campus, no one wants to have to take out a restraining order on Valentine’s Day. 


Have a sense of perspective about the situation

You know what the headlines in The New York Times were on Wednesday? They were about President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation and the firefight between law enforcement agencies and a killer in California. You know what was not on the front page of the Times? “Notre Dame student suffers yet another Valentine’s Day alone.” Guess what – no one cares that you’re single on Feb. 14 yet again. Enjoy your day because you are going to be just as alone on Feb. 15 as you are today.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!



Contact Sam Stryker at [email protected]