The 14th day of the second month of the year can be unreasonably fraught with stress. But those first two weeks of February when red and pink refract across every metropolis don't have to signal emotional ruin for singletons -- or couples who don't want to pin all their romantic needs onto one Hallmark-created day. Luckily, there are a ton of Valentine's Day-related events that have nothing to do with romantic love -- and frankly, they are kind of the best ones. How could any holiday that lets us celebrate with flowers and confectionary stress us out?
Whether you're single or coupled up, here are 11 awesome things about Valentine's Day that have nothing to do with relationship status:
1. "House Of Cards"
While Robin Wright and Kate Mara's characters on the dark beltway drama are of ambiguous moral character, they are strong, ambitious women who are fun to watch. Netflix will release all 12 episodes of the show's second season on February 14. Our relationship with the subscription video streaming site is the most loving and committed we've ever had, so it only makes sense to spend the night in bed with it. Plus, it only takes a few seconds to reload.
2. The heartwarming nostalgia associated with old school Valentines
Any holiday that reminds us how much delight Lisa Frank brought into our lives is one we can get behind.
3. Springing for a "nice" bottle of wine
$14.99? Well, don't mind if we do. Wine can be red and pink, after all. (And we'll take any excuse to indulge in a glass or two with some company.)
4. Cheesy pop jams abound
The love songs that fill radio stations around Valentine's day don't have to make singletons depressed. We dare you to turn on some Mariah Carey Pandora and maintain a bad mood.
5. So. Many. Sweets.
Sure, we can eat most V-day treats all year long. But there's something about eating festive, red-goo-filled truffles and cupcakes that absolves them from any unhealthy connotations. We're diving in.
6. February 15
Speaking of sweets, don't even get us started on the discounted bounty on sale the day after Valentine's day. It's like boxing day for sugar addicts. You can try to avoid it, but don't be surprised to stop into CVS for some deodorant and come out with six bags of pink M&Ms.
7. Getting into the holiday spirit all over again for the kids
If you're a parent, Valentine's Day takes a decidedly unromantic turn towards perforated bulk Valentines and sugar-stoned kids. Buying enough Valentines for the whole class, spelling everyone's name right, attending V-day school dances and stashing away the excess goods with the hidden Halloween and Christmas candy -- it's a lot of work and just as much fun.
Cheap candy aside, you can often find sales in retail and beauty on Valentine's Day. Amazon, Macy's and Belk offer steep discounts for the holiday. Who needs over-priced tapas and forced affection when you can get a Kindle for cheap?
9. Dressing up exclusively in red and pink without the risk of judgement
In the depths of winter, it's easy to fall into a monochromatic routine. But V-Day gives us the nudge (OK, the excuse) to wear a color palette typically reserved for a Kindergartner. All the better if you have Valentine's-themed accessories. Red dress, pink tights, no problem.
10. Going out
Valentine's Day gives singles and couples an opportunity to indulge, guilt-free. We're celebrating ourselves, right? Put on your favorite outfit, wear just a touch too much jewelry, and order two desserts.
11. ... Or better yet, staying in.
If you haven't made a reservation at least a week in advance, odds are you'll be waiting outside in the cold for an under-whelming prix fixe. The crowds and cold give you an excuse to stay in with your beau/belle, friends, family, or just a good book and some take-out.
Maybe just don't watch other people celebrate.