I've noticed that there aren't a lot of articles about anti-Valentine's Day activities out there. After all, there's definitely a demand for them. For instance, perhaps you've just had a bad breakup. Maybe you're in the “friend zone” with your crush and want to take your mind off it. Perhaps you're the single girl who gets sick of people trying to set her up on dates. Whatever the reason, some of us don't want to be reminded of all the people in love around us. If this is the boat you're in or you just don't like “Hallmark holidays”, here are a few anti-Valentine's Day activities you can do with your friends.
Pin the Tail on the Donkey: the Jilted-lover Version
This is one of my favorite Anti-Valentine's Day activities. It's basically the same as the game we played as kids, only with your ex's picture over the donkey's face. If you're really angry, you can put the picture on the other end. Your mom was right-he really *is* a horse's butt [BA-dum-bum ching].
Another great way to take out your frustrations on Valentine's Day is by hosting a "breakup party" with your friends. Encourage everyone to bring items that remind them of their exes, such as old love letters or gifts, and have a bonfire to burn them all. You can also have a "bad date" potluck, where everyone brings a dish that represents a bad date they've had. And for those who are feeling particularly vengeful, there are even companies that will send glitter bombs or dead flowers to your ex for you. Letting go of past relationships in a fun and cathartic way can be a great way to move on and enjoy the holiday without any romantic pressure.
Destruction, Destruction, Destruction
I don't normally like guns, but there was something about watching my friend shoot the last plate she had from her previous engagement that was wonderfully symbolic. If you don't want to break anything, have everyone bring their old love letters, build a fire and make S'mores. That way, you can take out your frustration and binge on chocolate. Win-win.
Snarky Valentine's Day Cards
Make funny versions of those sappy Valentine's Day cards and candies and exchange them with your friends. For instance, make heart-shaped cookies à la those chalky “conversation hearts” and write snarky messages on them. “Love sux”, “Done w/you”,“F*** off”- that sort of thing. If you're an artist, draw a picture of Cupid losing an archery contest with, “Oh, well. Better luck next year” written inside. If you can't think of anything else, you can always make “traditional” cards and feed them through a paper shredder.
Create DIY anti-Valentine's Day pins with catchy, tongue-in-cheek slogans that proclaim your single status or your indifference towards the day. Think of phrases like, "Single and ready to mingle... with my bed" or "Roses are red, violets are fine, I'll be my own Valentine". Pin these little gems on your jacket or backpack and flaunt your freedom from romantic clichés. These can be a phenomenal conversation starter, especially if you're attending an anti-Valentine's Day party where humor is the evening's main course.
Hold a “chick Flick” Movie Night
When I got out of a bad relationship in college, a friend of mine decided to throw me a “chick flick party”. Her words were, and I quote, “we'll eat tons of ice cream, watch First Wives' Club and bitch about men!” That's exactly what we did, and it was a blast. Find a movie to watch with your friends that goes along with whatever mood you're in: for tearjerkers, there's Titanic; for stupid but hilarious comedies, there's Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion; or If nothing else, rent Magic Mike and drool over Channing Tatum. Just be sure to bring a 12-pack of Bounty, because you will definitely need it.
Burn a "rage" CD
I once made a tape of silly and angry songs after a breakup because I got sick of all the love songs on the radio. Fifteen years and several breakups later, I still appreciate the cathartic power of Alanis Morissette and Melissa Etheridge. I may not stimulate, attract or captivate these guys anymore, but at least I've got some good playlists.
Make a Game of It
Take a representation of the concept of Valentine's Day – perhaps a box of soft-centers or a badly-drawn caricature of your ex – and turn it into a dartboard. If you're not into darts, you can always paint a heart on a volleyball and slap it around a bit. Better yet, a soccer ball. Or a golf ball. Or a hockey puck. Or a...well, you get the idea.
In the play Cyrano de Bergerac, the title character came up with twenty insults about his nose in response to a comment from a heckler. Perhaps you and your friends can do the same thing about Valentine's Day. For instance - “Observant: Ever notice how a heart looks like an upside-down butt?” “Helpful: Nice try, Cupid. Next time, lay off the Cuervo.” You don't have to use descriptors, but you get the point. Hold a contest to see who can come up with the best one-liner and give a copy of Activity #5 as a prize.
Hold an “angry Poetry Jam”
In the vein of the previous point, you and your friends could also hold an Anti-Valentine's poetry jam. Come up with your best angry or depressive poetry and share it with the group. Better yet, parody love songs. For instance, Michael Bolton: “Turn your life into one bad dream/take your heart and make it scream/ 'cause love (love) love is a terrible thing”. It doesn't even have to rhyme. If you can't think of any, you can borrow one of mine. Thanks to the guy from #4, I've got some good ones.
Sweet, Sweet Revenge-literally
Go out with your girlfriends, eat insane amounts of ice cream and pass out on somebody's couch. This seems to make every problem go away.
Indulging in guilty pleasures can serve as a sweet act of rebellion against the romance-heavy holiday. Why not let the flavors of chocolate fudge and strawberry cheesecake replace the traditional bouquet of roses? Laugh, gossip, and share stories that will make you forget the day's sappy expectations, and encourage your friends to do the same. Enjoying some decadent treats isn't just about satisfying your sweet tooth; it's about crafting memories with your squad that will outlast any box of chocolates or mushy cards. And isn't that what friendship is all about?
There's no rule that says you can't be your own Valentine, so why not not pamper yourself a bit with a facial, mani-pedi, or a full-on spa day? Sip a mimosa, have a sugar scrub, and enjoy time alone with the best thing that ever happened to you — you!
My grandmother is a widow, and hasn't had a Valentine in decades... except for me! Because every year, we celebrate by having our own lunch or dinner date. It's the opposite of romantic, but it is sweet, and the selfie we post is far more aww-inspiring than the ones my dating friends post on Valentine's Day.
Dinner out, ALONE
Dinner out with your ex almost always meant greasy pub food and watching the game. But now you have the luxury of dining anywhere you want. Why not make a reservation for one at the place you love to eat best, then pick whatever you want from the menu and enjoy... without the sound of a football game blaring in the background?
If you're wallowing in self-pity, maybe it's not a bad idea to get a boost by helping someone in need. Visit an old-folks home and make someone less lonely. Visit an animal shelter and cuddle the puppies and kitties. Visit a homeless shelter and have a conversation with someone who's just happy to have a roof over their heads.
These are just a few of the fun and silly things people who don't like Valentine's Day can do in “protest”. Just so you know, I'm not bitter about being single; I'm actually in a good marriage. However, there have been plenty of times when I've done such things to get over an ex or to help a friend going through a difficult time let loose and have a bit of fun at Cupid's expense. Can you think of any other “anti-Valentine's Day” activities”?
This article was written in collaboration with editor Jennifer Knightstep.
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