THE BLOG
02/12/2014 12:41 pm ET Updated Apr 14, 2014

6 Ways for Singles to Have a Happy Valentine's Day

Let's face it, when you're flying solo in life, February 14 can be one of the most challenging days of the year. Here are six simple ways to beat the blues during this year's Cupid-fest if you find yourself without that one special someone to share it with:

  1. Don't stay home by yourself! Today is the perfect opportunity to go out with a group of friends who are also partnerless. Make a plan for dinner, bowling, a concert or even a house party. This isn't about hooking up, it's about having a great time with your favorite co-singles. Why pass up that chance?
  2. Do stay home by yourself. If nothing sounds better than a hot bath, a good movie and a pint of Ben & Jerry's, by all means, indulge. Don't do anything you might regret tomorrow (maybe just half the pint... ), but there's no reason to force yourself into a social situation just because of what day it is. The way to stay happy is to decide what you really want to do and do that. Forget the date!
  3. Explore your interests. When you're half of a couple, you often wind up doing things the other person enjoys that don't particularly excite you. So celebrate your freedom! This doesn't require a lot of money or effort, just a simple Google search: "meetups [your city] [your preferred activity]" (e.g: "Meetups Toledo Astronomy" or "Meetups Seattle Knitting"). Somewhere near you, people are doing what you love, so sign up and go join them!
  4. Find a faux Valentine. You're not the only single person on earth, so find a partner and be each other's Valentine. Pick a set dollar amount ($10-20), and get a nice card and gift. Put thought into it, so you both can appreciate the true spirit of the day. Do NOT choose someone you have a romantic interest in, or vice-versa. The meanest thing you can do is to ask this of the person who you know has a crush on you, so don't go there. This is strictly platonic! If you aren't sure, ask your mom if any widows among her friends would partner up with you for some fun, fake amour. I'm sure she would love it and so will you.
  5. Make the day about something other than you. There's no better way to get over your blues than to do something for someone else. Serve meals at a soup kitchen, walk dogs from the county shelter, buy a bunch of pink carnations and hand them out in a children's cancer ward (prearrange this with the hospital) or at the local Ronald McDonald House. Think of someone who needs more than you do on this day, and go be someone else's Eros. There's no downside!
  6. Don't hate the lovers. It's understandable when you're surrounded by twosome bliss that you might notice the slight taste of bile in your mouth. Stop it! Envy won't make you happier, and, all else being equal, happy people are more attractive. Nobody wants to spend an evening with "Bitter, Party of One." Change your mindset about the couples in your space. Knowing that these people found each other can be a way to remind yourself that love happens, and just because it isn't happening for you right now, doesn't mean it never will. Be happy for them, just as they will be for you someday. After all, there's a lid for every pot.

And if none of the above appeals to you, because it's just too heartbreaking, then spend Valentine's Day this year making sure things are different next year. Take a fearless self-inventory about what you might change to become more attractive to your future beloved. Buy some books in the area you want to improve and commit to doing the work. Spend a few hours researching dating sites to find the one that's right for you (eHarmony gets you vastly different results from OKCupid), then take the time to build the best possible profile. Let your friends know you're open to being fixed up. Say yes to the date who might not be perfect and compel yourself to have a good time. Be nice. Stay Happy. Enjoy the long weekend.

After all, St, Patrick's Day is just four weeks away, and that's the night everyone wishes they were single!

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Valerie Alexander is the author of Happiness as a Second Language, a #1 Seller on Amazon in both the Happiness and Self-Help categories. For more from Valerie, please visit Speak Happiness.com, and follow Speak Happiness on Facebook and Twitter.

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