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A contemporary guide to Valentine’s Day

The ultimate Valentine’s Day dinner: follow the steps detailed below in order to have your own fabulous night of romance. Celebrities and clip art not included. (Photo illustration by Bridget Stagnitto)

Valentine’s Day. February 14. We’ve all been there at some point in our lives — even more so if you’ve survived every holiday that occurs between January 1 and December 31. But what’s there to do when you don’t want to celebrate the pseudo-saccharine romantically serialized day? Our resident singles expert on the fine arts has compiled a list of things to do alone on Valentine’s Day.

Hit up convenience stores after Valentine’s Day

Chocolate prices are slashed by 50-75 percent in order to make room for Easter candy. No point in eating copious amounts of ridiculously priced chocolate on Valentine’s Day when you can get it at dirt cheap prices the day after. Let your inner sugar shopaholic run free at CVS and buy chocolate roses for $0.50! If you endure the grueling pain of Valentine’s Day, you can treat yourself to reasonably priced candy on the 15th.

Dress up in a Chewbacca costume and troll Berkeley with romance

Why wouldn’t you dress as a Wookiee around a college town on a romantic day? Get in between your favorite couple like Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa and be the hairy third wheel. Hand out holographic roses and Corellian chocolate. Shout out your favorite romantic lines from the Star Wars saga at randoms walking down the street. No one can resist the charm of Chewie yelling “Han Shot First!” — and it’s not a trap!

Sing Lionel Richie’s “Hello” at Starbucks

Take the time out of your day and your latte-acquiring time to serenade baristas and customers with the Lionel Richie classic. Make everyone in the room ask, “Hello, is it me you’re looking for?” Sing your heart out and get the whole place to join in. Just don’t do this while standing outside of the building and staring a customer down. That’s just creepy.

Go to Chuck E. Cheese

When you think of Valentine’s Day, it’s common to imagine a host of fancy restaurants and roses — the wining and dining of romance. Chuck E. Cheese is amazing in that it’s the absolute furthest thing from romance. With a giant mouse forever stuck in late ‘80s neon skater gear patrolling the place, arcade games, young children running around, and greasy pizza, it screams “after school hangout” more than a hot date. Order a whole chocolate cake for yourself and maybe some chicken wings, too!

Spend hours playing Skyrim

Enter the magical world of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and spend the night surrounded by dragons. Skyrim can always be substituted with any video game you wish, but the sentiment still stands.

Go see The Vow by yourself and smuggle KFC into the theater

Go buy yourself some fried chicken and bask in the magic of the Channing Tatum/Rachel McAdams movie. Don’t share your fried goodies with anyone.

Spend hours on the internet

Why not get consumed by the wonders of the World Wide Web? Check out your favorite social networking websites, read random Wikipedia articles, join a subreddit, or look up LOLCATS. Maybe xkcd has a new comic up or your favorite blog has a new post. Before you know it, it’s February 15th and the wretched holiday is over.

Play hide and seek in popular Valentine’s Day locations

Get a friend to go with you to various locations — such as a fancy restaurant, a chocolate store, a Victoria’s Secret store, a jewelry store — and hide in the most inappropriate places. It’s fun to have for all.

Clip art craft time

Do you remember the GeoCities craze on the internet? Even if you don’t, just google “GeoCities clip art,” print out your favorites and make crafts out of it. You can make a papier-mâché lamp shade using terribly illustrated art while playing your favorite songs in MIDI format!

Buy cardboard cutouts

If you’ve got the means to do so, buy a cardboard cutout of someone you fancy (in a non-creepy way, of course) or someone you like to laugh at. Bring it around everywhere you go and take photos with it. Or, you can buy two cutouts and set them up on a date! Take photos and spread it around the internet.

Rent Blue Valentine

Or a movie of equally depressing value. Something preferably with Ryan Gosling. In fact, Valentine’s Day should just be a Forever Ryan Gosling Day where you spend the entire day watching his films while consuming chocolates and strawberries.

With all these options to have a rollicking time on Valentine’s Day, why focus on being single? Only you can stop yourself from dwelling on the negatives and try some fun things out!