So yeah, I can’t really do 3 valentines day posts without talking about the side that doesn’t quite get so much attention: being single on it.
Whilst many fear or dread such a fate, being young and free on a manufactured holiday really isn’t any different to every other day. If all the lovey-dovey stuff being shoved in your face is getting you down however, here’s some ideas to help you remember that you can still enjoy life with the vanilla form of friend or family.
Try a Traffic Light Party
This fun themic night out is set up like any other night out, only on entry you’re asked one single question “What is your relationship status?” Depending on your answer of “single”, “in a relationship”, “it’s complicated” and in some cases now “looking for sex, no strings attached”, you’ll get a sticker to wear that’s respectively green, red, amber and another neutral colour such as blue.
Therefore if you’re a green you don’t have to spend all night wondering who’s available or if you’ll have your lights beaten out of you if you respond to a flirt. The mystery is lifted so you can have a fun night with your friends. And if something happens, it happens and if it doesn’t, at least you had a good night.
Have a Meal or Film Night with Single Friends
If you haven’t got a date to have food with instead of dining alone, why not cook up a treat with your friends (or order in if you don’t feel like it)?
You still the benefit of having an excuse to go out or dine in, with the company of great people who are in the same boat as you. If you wish to make a night of it why not expand it to a night of films or games? You may even find the opportunity to get to know your friends a little better as well as keeping each other occupied for the day.
If All Else Fails…Screw the World
In the 21st Century, we have a wonderful thing called the Internet – you’re on it. With services such as Amazon Prime, Spotify, Xbox Live, Netflix, YouTube, PSN and, erm, many others, you can spend the night with a takeaway or your favourite healthy option and use the time whilst your couple friends are out to take over the TV or chill out in bed and use the time to catch up on your favourite multimedia.
If you’re more lo-fi, why not read a book or complete your latest artwork? At the end of the day, you always have yourself and the things you enjoy doing. Why should you let today stop you?
Met someone but not really sure where it’s going? For those that are a little lost and forever defacing daises and flipping coins to find out, here’s some quick fire pointers depending on what you feel your relationship is…
Please note this isn’t expert advice nor directed at any one particular group of people. Just an individual’s advice on some basic areas, so please adapt this to your own situation as required.
For those that think too much
Relax. Over-thinking isn’t healthy and if anything may blow whatever feelings you had at the beginning out of proportion or make you unnecessarily nervous or over confident. Keep a cool head about it and see where things go.
For those that don’t think enough
Had a card drop through or a person pining for you? Don’t just casually brush it off. Obviously somebody is going to all the effort for a reason. If you don’t feel the same way that’s fine, but make sure this is communicated to them so they don’t feel like they are wasting time or just embarrassed much further down the line.
For those that stare then blink
Sitting on the sideline wondering “what if?” will never get you anywhere. I have missed opportunities in life by (as my friend described it”, sitting and watching the world go by. The opportunity rarely comes around twice, so if you feel something and you have the chance to say it when opportunity knocks, I’d take it there and then. The worst they can say is ‘no’ and at least then you know.
For those with a bottle that link a drink
Alcohol can have a strange effect on us and our perception of the world, often amplifying our emotions like sounds through a speaker. Tread carefully if you’ve had quite a bit as this may impair what you actually feel about what may be a crush and doing something extreme and drastic can often lead to interesting surprises the next day.
If in doubt, remember the advice of Ted Mosby:
When 2am rolls around, just go home and go to sleep. Because the decisions you make after 2am are the wrong decisions.
For those who think “they” are way out there
For those above 18 – are we in High School or something? For those preparing to go to Uni – you’ll soon understand the meaning behind this.
Going out with someone based on social status is an age old societal value that really doesn’t have as much of a place in many modern societies. Sure if it forms as part of your faith then you must respect it, but for most westerners in the post LGBTQ+ revolution people should be able to love whomever they wish regardless of orientation, ethnicity and wealth. Often you can’t control that feeling, so if there opportunity to get to know one another is there, do it. And if something sparks for you, all the better.
For those that have always been there to care
This sadly can sometimes be another alarm bell. If you’ve been together for a while as friends or in a professional relationship, whilst the “Friend Zone” is a bit of a grey area on its boundaries, there is a limit to where you become less likely to work on a romantic level due to becoming comfortable with each other’s company on the level you’re on.
If you feel you can have “banter” with them and be there for each other whilst knowing every secret each one of you shares without feeling anything special about it, then there’s less chance of that excitement and adventure of getting to know and love things about each other happening. Still, if you both feel strongly and yearn for each other, then by all means see how things work out.
If the feeling is more of a sexual nature then perhaps this is a slightly different feeling for each other and not necessarily the grounds for a romantic relationship itself.
For those with dates miles and miles away
In today’s connected world, love and liking has no bounds. With internet dating, chatting over VoIP technologies such as Skype and FaceTime it’s surprising where talking to each other can lead. Not sure if it works, have a look at couples such as Jack and Kass or Chelsea and Chris of Love My Brit in the links on the right, or indeed many of the other LDR couples that both documented their time and advice of helping close the gap.
For those who aren’t sure if it’s there anymore
If you we’re previously a “Red” couple on the famous traffic light scale, but your light feels like it’s slipping to an amber or worse still to a green state, then maybe the two of you need to talk. This doesn’t mean necessarily to end the relationship completely there and then, but it needs to be discussed as soon as you have doubts. I’ve experienced this issue twice, once on each end and leaving it until later on can often have some pretty undesired effects that will compound quite strongly and almost guarantee the end of you two, compared to just talking it out in the beginning and maybe finding a way forward. Just like an operation or a diagnosis on your physical body, the emotional operation here will be understandably scary, may hurt, take time to heal and may not always give you everything you want but like anything in life, it can often be resolved one way or another with a little preparation before things grow beyond control.
And of you’re not quite there yet
Fear not, for you never know what the future has in store…
Attempts to delight and romance your significant other can often be expensive for the humble student. From premium dinners to branded cologne, to the finest roses little expense is spared to those that celebrate the holiday in full swing. So in today’s short post for the couples that are truly less than three (do a web search for it if you don’t get the reference), here’s three short but sweet ideas you could do if you want to save some money for your other 364 days of love following today.
Please note that none of today’s links are sponsored or affiliated and you can of course use your favourite shops, I just chose the ones that usually carry the best value pricing and are accessible all over the UK and in some cases internationally (FYI: Some products from Walmart can now be found in ASDA in the UK and Target also ship internationally too).
Make Yourself a Table for Two
Spending your week’s food shop as a deposit on a table needn’t be the case if you have some spare room in your accommodation. Find an area such as a dining room or a large bedroom to host your restaurant scene. Next you’ll need a table and some seating – you should hopefully at least have one chair in the house you can use! As for tables – if you’re in the bedroom, sadly that dining room table won’t fit through the door. However if you have that spare £10 you would have spent on your dessert in a restaurant something as simple as two LACK end tables from IKEA can be used to create your small banqueting stand. Now, to make this more special you’ll need a tablecloth. These don’t have to be expensive, with ones from Wilko in the UK as low as just £2 or at Target for $1.79 US or for $5.97 CA from Walmart.
Once you’ve purchased these simply screw the 8 legs into the two bases, place together and lay your cloth of choice over the top.
Now for some candles. Whilst going all out with sticks may be a little pricey, an equally romantic effect used by many restaurants can be achieved with beer bottles. Simply purchase 2 candles from the shops above (or your preferred wax burning supplier) ensuring the size will fit to the neck of the bottle (at worst, using a simple kitchen knife, the end can be tapered to suit), then simply light the candle and allow to burn for a short time. If you want a more rugged effect, try lighting 2 candles and gently hold the end to the lip of the bottle where the candle meets it – make sure you hold the candle you’re melting so it doesn’t fall over and never attempt it whilst both are lit!!
For your choice of food you may elect to use your culinary skills if you are capable and if not, look out for valentine specials in your local supermarket. Many come with choices of starters and mains already prepared and a choice of either dessert, wine or both as part of the deal.
For the finishing touch, why not load up your musical device with a nice playlist. It doesn’t have to be romantic tunes if that’s not your style, instrumental music can work just as well if played at a background level.
Sometimes Less is More
Can’t afford the super elaborate day out in the all-glass Victorian botanical conservatory? Not to worry, why not celebrate the way you helped make sparks fly in the first place and go back to a good old first date. A trip to the park, local lake or a nearby beach is always an option for you to get out and just be “us”. If you would like to make a day of it, why not adapt the tip from above and pack up a picnic? You can use the tablecloth if it’s a disposable or opt for the traditional blanket if you have a little bit more money to spare.
Whilst I hope you’ve got a gift sorted out already (and if not, good luck!), simple creativity can often help the doughless romantic. A simple story carefully crafted, a song to serenade or a video or slideshow to surprise your partner with always makes a cost-effective yet truly personal and valuable gift. If you’re going down this route though, remember don’t make it too grand if time isn’t on your side!
Remember, It’s Only a Day
Unless it’s one of your birthdays or your anniversary – remember that today is only a day popularised by media. It’s not a “significant” date, merely a very popular one used to express love for your family, current or to be. So don’t try and panic like it’s your wedding day to make the day perfect for your significant other – just be what made you the couple you are and treat them with care and respect to celebrate and remember your relationship, just like you should every day. At the end of the day, make it less about what it is and more about the two of you.