It’s almost a cliché at this point, but we’re going to say it anyway: Being single on Valentine’s Day is awesome.
But not for the obvious reasons. Being unattached on February 14 isn’t awesome because you get to save money, or because your time is better spent binging on Netflix. And it’s definitely not awesome because couples are boring and lame, or because being in love sucks. These aren’t reasons it’s cool to be single on Valentine’s Day.
No, riding solo in February is awesome for much bigger, better reasons than all that. It’s awesome because you’re free — free to make the most of a very fun holiday.
Why It’s Actually Cool To Be Single on Valentine’s Day
To a single person, V-Day could just be another day of the month. But regular readers of The Art of Charm know that no day is “just another day.” Every day is what you make out of it. So if you’re single on Valentine’s Day, the question really becomes: What do you want to do with this day?
Valentine’s Day might be manufactured, but it’s taken on a certain significance, a certain possibility, if only because other people have built it up. In that regard, it’s like the New Year. So how can you use what’s special about Valentine’s Day (that it’s a day that tons of people think is special) to make the most of it as a single person who just doesn’t care much about this Hallmark holiday?
Let’s start by appreciating that you’re not obligated to create the best experience possible for someone else this year. This year, you can give yourself the experience that you’ve always wanted. How liberating is that? Think back to all those evenings you spent at an overpriced dinner on an overhyped date, trying to live up to a silly expectation, probably wishing you could do be doing anything else. Now’s your chance to do it!
But rather than trying to make up for all those disappointing Valentines, why not hack the “something special” about Valentine’s Day and do something no one else is going to do — something every other single person really wants?
The best damn Valentine’s Day party you’ve ever seen.
Why Have a Party on Valentine’s Day?
When you get down to it, the most liberating thing about single life on Valentine’s Day is that you can do whatever you want. You can sit around with a pint of Scotch drinking your feelings. You can go to a movie by yourself. You can work into the small hours of the night on your side project.
You can do anything. So why have a party on February 14?
In short: because no one else is. And because you have the opportunity to create an experience out of this holiday that you — and, very likely, all your guests — are craving.
On V-Day, couples are doing couple things. Single people are either out at the bars chasing other single people, or they’re sulking at home. Virtually no one throws a party for Valentine’s Day, even though that’s exactly what every single person secretly wants.
Now, a V-Day party full of couples would be awkward, and probably a little stifling. A party full of singles could probably be a little desperate, and possibly off-putting to anyone you actually wanted to show up.
But a tasteful, relaxed, casual hang-out for singles (or even couples who don’t “do” Valentine’s Day) — now that’s a recipe for a night to remember.
What Your Valentine’s Day Party Is and Is Not
Let’s start by talking about what kind of Valentine’s Day party you should be throwing.
Building on the philosophy of your social sales funnel party, this soiree will be a gathering of cool, interesting people in your life — romantic and nonromantic. Above all, it’s not a hookup party. That’s not a good look, and it’s not what this particular get-together is about. If people happen to meet, hook up and shack up because of your party, that probably means it was a success. But that’s not your goal as the host.
Your true goal is to provide a fun and compelling alternative to the usual Valentine’s Day routine by introducing new people, having a great time and making some memories. All the other good stuff — fun company, cool women and good conversation — will follow. That’s a broad goal, but it’s important to keep in mind.
Because this is ultimately just another day out of the year, there doesn’t need to be any special expectation or pressure. That will free you up to enjoy the event as the host, and it will give you guests a Valentine’s experience they’ve never had.
What Your Valentine’s Day Party Will Look Like
Your Valentine’s Day party should fit your personality and tastes. Everyone has a different vibe, and you should choose one that matches the kind of experience you want to create. That said, I have some suggestions for how you can make your party fun, personal and well-attended.
First, you can throw it as an “Un-Valentine’s Day Party,” provided that your tongue is planted firmly in cheek. In the body of the invitation, briefly discuss the evening you have in mind, and paint a picture of how fun this anti-Valentine’s fete will be. You don’t want to come across as bitter and spiteful, but rather as wry and funny (and clearly looking to create a different kind of evening from the one most people expect). Whether you go subtle or over the top to make that clear is up to you.
Next, consider the tone of the party. For example, you might ask people to get dressed up all fancy, or you might tell them to show up in their pajamas. Whatever you choose, ask yourself at every step of the way: Does this fit in with the general vibe I’m going for? Will this add to the fun, alternative experience I’m creating?
Once your guests arrive, play the perfect host: considerate, present and engaged. You’ll want to introduce your friends to one another (and I do mean everyone). In a sense, this is a sort of low-key networking event, minus the overt “networking” pressure. I’d introduce people to one another so that everyone leaves your party with at least one new contact, acquaintance, gym buddy, best friend or future ex-wife.
There are some great ways to have a bit of fun with these introductions.
Consider, for example, having your own speed dates. Only instead of matching people up with the opposite gender, have all the guys go on speed dates with one another, then all the girls. When you release everyone back into the wild, they’re already going to have broken the ice with half the room. They’ll have enough confidence to start approaching the opposite sex on their own, and they’ll have a ton to talk about. As the host, of course, you should be helping things along as needed. This kind of game — just one of many you can play — fits with the “un-Valentine’s Day” theme while quickly connecting all your guests.
Another option is to have a sort of Valentine’s Day Secret Santa or Yankee Swapper game. Have everyone show up with a Valentine’s Day gift for someone of the opposite sex. Make sure that this can range from boring and typical (a box of chocolates) to a little racy (a Victoria’s Secret gift card) without going overboard (you can set a price limit or other guidelines). You can either have your guests give these outright in the form of a Secret Santa or have your guests draw numbers and do the whole Yankee Swapper thing in its entirety. People will laugh, interact, and hopefully go home with something at least as good as what their significant other would have gotten them.
But you’re certainly not limited to a traditional party. Again, you’re aiming for the alternative experience, so think outside the box.
Maybe you want to get a bunch of people together and do something completely unflattering and unsexy, like a long hike where everyone is going to get sweaty and gross while trying something new. Or maybe you want to buy a block of tickets to 50 Shades of Grey, then head to a local bar to laugh about your favorite parts.
What you do matters less than how you do it — you’re really just aiming for something memorable, special and low-maintenance. Being single on Valentine’s Day can be a great thing, because if you have a better time than you’ve ever had while attached on Valentine’s Day, then you’ve succeeded.
Ultimately, if you’re having fun, then you’re almost certainly creating the same kind of experience for your guests — an experience everyone so desperately wants on this under-appreciated holiday.
So tell us what you’re planning for Valentine’s Day. Share your party ideas, insights and recommendations below, and let’s get a conversation started about how to throw the perfect un-Valentine’s Day party ever!