How to Avoid Valentine's Day Overload

If you are single or just don't like the over-the-top romance of the holiday, you might be hoping to avoid Valentine's Day this year. If you tend to dread Valentine's Day, unwanted reminders of this "Hallmark holiday" will surely be everywhere you look, from the heart-shaped cookies in your local bakery to the roses on your co-worker's desk. Even though the entire world will seem to be in top-gear Cupid mode, here are some tips to help you avoid Valentine's Day overload.

Have a movie marathon. One sure way to avoid Valentine's Day is to leave your cable or satellite dish turned off. If you place yourself at the mercy of television stations, you will be bombarded by romantic movies and Valentine's Day episodes of sitcoms. Instead, pull out some of your favorite non-romantic DVDs and have your own movie marathon. A good documentary, a war movie (that doesn't involve a "girl back home"), and a few episodes from your South Park collection ought to do the trick.

Order dinner in. If you are trying to avoid Valentine's Day and you go out to the grocery store to buy ingredients for dinner, the giant red and pink aisle of Valentine's Day paraphernalia will be your demise. If you go out for dinner, you're sure to see swarms of mushy couples sharing a plate of spaghetti. Order online to avoid talking to a Valentine's Day enthusiast over the phone, and look grumpy when the delivery person arrives so as not to invite polite conversation.

Avoid Facebook. Do not log onto Facebook on February 14 if you are trying to avoid Valentine's Day. If you do, your wall will surely be chock full of generic "Happy Valentine's Day" messages, and your news feed will likely consist of endless gushy status updates and pictures of roses posted by proud girlfriends. Even the ads on your sidebar will probably encourage you to buy last minute Valentine's Day gifts or provide you a coupon for a romantic dinner. Disconnect your modem or ask a friend to temporarily change your computer's password if you have to, but avoid Facebook at all costs.

Turn off your cell phone. If you're trying to avoid Valentine's Day, your cell phone could wreak all kinds of havoc if you don't turn it off. Incoming reminders could range from mass "Happy Valentine's Day" texts, to your mom calling to "make sure you're OK," to a bad news ex who gets lonely and drunk dials you. If you're not careful, you might also succumb to the Valentine's Day blues and make a call or text you'll regret the next day. Do yourself a favor and power it down for the night.

Leave the mail in the mailbox. Resist the habit of getting the mail if you're trying to avoid Valentine's Day. Coupons for the White Castle Valentine's Day dinner, the magazine showcasing America's latest sweethearts, and the bill that keeps getting delivered to your address even though your ex moved out, are sure to blow your chances of avoiding Valentine's Day this year. Perhaps the absence of any Valentine's Day cards or gifts might strike a cord, as well. The mail will still be there tomorrow, so leave it for then.

Turn off the radio. If you have to drive anywhere on Valentine's Day, turn off the radio. DJs are certainly going to theme their shows after Valentine's Day, commercials will advertise Valentine's Day specials, and callers will dedicate songs to their loved ones. You could probably put on a CD or plug in your iPod, but on the off chance that some of your music reminds you of Valentine's Day, you might be best off driving in silence.

Go to Brazil. If all else fails, take a trip to Brazil - one of the few countries that doesn't celebrate Valentine's Day on February 14. Lie on a beautiful beach in the warm weather, sip your cachaça, and bask in your successful avoidance of Valentine's Day this year!

Admittedly, you may not be able to avoid Valentine's Day altogether. You're probably going to have to deal with the store decorations that go up just after Christmas, and you might not be able to deflect a cheerful greeting from your resident Valentine's Day enthusiast at work. However, using these tips, you'll be able to escape Valentine's Day overload and turn February 14 into "just another day" this year.

More from this author:

15 of the Worst Times to Break Up With Someone

Nine Signs You're Ready for a New Relationship

How to Get Over a Breakup in Twelve Steps