IF you’re single, or ‘it’s complicated’, you can be forgiven for wanting to avoid Valentine’s Day. On February 14, restaurants are full of simpering couples, shops are laden with tacky plastic hearts and roses, and we could think we’ve turned into Bridget Jones if we’re not smooching with Mister or Missus Right.

top tips for valentines

But… there’s no need to hide away just because you cannot stand this annual ‘celebration’ of luuuurve. For the independent singleton, there are plenty of rewarding – and less expensive – activities to fill the day.

Give your pet some love

Pet owners know that the loyalty offered by our canine companions is beyond comparison. Staring into Woofie’s eyes raises the oxytocin response that is usually reserved for the relationship with a new baby, leading to feeling more content and less stressed. So, focus your attention on your quadruped – cuddle him, take him for a long walk, or snuggle up watching TV.

Dog Photo by Marliese Streefland on Unsplash
Dog Photo by Marliese Streefland on Unsplash

Choose a TV series where people are having a worse time

During the late 90s, ‘Sex in the City’ was a hit series. It has now been revived on HBO Max as ‘And Just Like That’ (not the catchiest name). It’s in the ‘so bad, it’s funny camp’. Script problems occurred after male star, Mr Big, was written out after a real-life ‘me too’ scandal – by suddenly dying of a heart attack. So, half the plot is filled with a grieving Carrie, and is quite dark. One highlight (or lowlight) is when Miranda and the non-binary Che Diez are making out in the kitchen while Carrie pees the bed upstairs, following a hip replacement operation. It will make you grateful to be you! If you’re not keen on this series, a great choice is the hilarious ‘Sex Education’ on Netflix.

Join a dating site

In Spain, popular dating sites, such as Tinder and Badoo, can be used to strike up conversation-based friendships as well as arrange dates. Even if you’re not serious about finding a match, why not go window-shopping this V-day? However, remember that it’s customary to use photos of your face on dating profiles. This might not be ideal if you live in a small and gossipy village where everyone is best mates with your recent ex.

Tinder Home Page Pixabay Free Image
Photo: Pixabay

Go shopping online

Retail therapy is always good for a mood boost. Amazon.es lets you ‘try before you buy’ selected footwear these days. No need to run into snogging couples while you shop!

Remember what you’re ‘missing’

First-hand experience shows that Brit-Spanish pairings can present cultural issues. It’s unfair to make sweeping generalisations, but many males are still ‘machista’ and would like their girlfriend to stay at home washing their pants, cleaning, and ironing, while they go drinking with ‘Club Hombre’ (man club). Also, Spanish men frequently live with their parents until they are about 50, so you might be dating the whole family! There are tales of young women being told how to dress and behave because they are a ‘woman and a mother now’. And, if you’re male, your girlfriend’s parents will probably want to involve you in constant family dinners. Happy to be single and sprawl on the sofa with an un-mopped floor? De acuerdo!

V is for Victory

An American Time Use survey showed that women without marriage or children were the happiest subgroup in the population, while men benefited from marriage because they ‘calmed down’. Do you want to marry one in the hope they’ll abandon Club Hombre? It seems that single women are in a prime position, so remember that V-day on your own means Victory!

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