Last updated on Jan 19th, 2021 at 11:28 am

It’s coming. You know it is. You’ve seen all the warning signs and now it’s unavoidable.

It’s not the apocalypse – it’s Valentine’s Day.

If you are one of many people left out in the proverbial cold on Valentine’s Day, don’t despair.

You may not have romance, but you do have a lot of other things to celebrate!

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I know it’s a total cliche to hate Valentine’s Day, but I saw a blog post earlier this week in which a woman had asked, “How do I deal with being single on Valentine’s Day?” and I wanted to scream.

Firstly because the question is tragic – I mean, you ‘deal with being single’ every day of your life, it’s not a dread disease!

In your face!

Secondly, to paraphrase a comment I saw on another blog, it’s hard to support a holiday that does a lot more to make single people feel bad about themselves than make couples feel good about themselves.

To me it’s always felt like a big ol’ ‘IN YOUR FACE!’ to single people.

The positive simply does not outweigh the negative here – no matter what the magazines try to tell us about celebrating the love we have for our friends and family on Valentine’s Day too (we all know that this is actually a consolation prize).

I have an axe to grind with Valentine’s Day

Then again, I am biased. I have celebrated one Valentine’s Day with a sweetheart – my first proper boyfriend.

We’d only been together for about two months at the time, so I didn’t want to go overboard and get him an extravagant gift.

It started out well enough; he cooked me dinner at his new flat. It was when I presented him with the Valentine’s card I had hand made for him that things went downhill.

“I’ve got something for you too, but you’ve already seen it,” he said, dashing off to his bedroom to fetch my ‘present’ (I won’t lie, I had a moment of panic, wondering if he would return for his room wearing nothing but a strategically placed bow).

The worst Valentine’s gift ever

Except he came back with a Mr Price Home packet. I opened it to find … ice trays.

Not just any ice trays – ice trays that we had purchased together at Mr Price Home the day before, while I was under the impression that we were shopping for his new apartment. They weren’t even heart shaped!

I’m sure my ex will admit that this was not his finest moment, and I hope that wherever he is today, his current Valentine is getting better treatment.

Other Valentine’s Day horror stories

But it just goes to show, even having a significant other doesn’t guarentee you a great Valentine’s Day. There are actually support groups on the internet for people who have had bad V Days.

I read about a man who discovered an alarming amount of money missing from his account on Valentine’s Day. When he confronted his wife about it that evening, she admitted that she was planning to leave him, but didn’t want to break it to him before the romantic dinner they had planned.

Isn’t that crazy?

I have heard countless other stories of the day of love going wrong – most of them resulting from unfulfilled expectations. You have to hand it to a guy who actually gets Valentine’s Day right – it’s really difficult to gauge what a woman wants from the day, especially if you haven’t been together for very long.

That’s a lot of pressure for the gender that doesn’t inherently understand or express romance

I know I would be a bit disappointed if I were presented with a bunch of red roses (snore) and taken to a restaurant for an overpriced set menu. But this might be exactly what millions of other women would love.

How is a guy supposed to know?

So if you’re not making big plans for Monday, find it comforting that having no expectations means you can’t be disappointed (like many, many people out there will be when their date comes up with something unimaginative and contrived and tries to pass it off as romance).

You can also vow to yourself, like I have, that when you find love, you’ll celebrate it every day, not just when other people tell you to.

P.S. Valentine’s Day is actually a really good night to go out and meet people – all the couples will be holed up at restaurants or at home, so you know if you meet someone at a bar or party, they’re available! You could go to one of 5FM’s Love Sucks parties, or if in Cape Town, check out the Valentine Masquerade at Blakes Bar.