4 Alternative Ideas for "National Singles Awareness Day" (aka Valentine's)

By Samantha Scholfield, BounceBack.com Dating Expert

Valentine's Day isn't the coupled-up love-fest the media at large and those ever-annoying grocery and drug-store displays would have us believe. As it turns out, there are lots of un-coupled (cool) people out there. A good chunk of said people want to have a good time on Valentine's Day, feeling strongly that just because they're not currently one-half of a couple, they shouldn't be discriminated against and forced to sit at home and mope. Whether we're single, coupled-up and over the schmoop, or just want to have a fun night, here are 4 alterna-V-Day activities for us all.

1) Go out. V-Day is a well-kept secret party night. Populated and thoroughly enjoyed by those who don't partake in the dinner/flowers plan, it's a night where one can count on everyone being happy to be out and enjoying life, and all being much more friendly than usual due to the fact that we're collectively stoked we're not being forced into sulking at home because we had nowhere to go and our lives don't resemble a Happily-Ever-After romance novel or Rom-Com. So, enjoy the enjoyers and have fun.

2) Have a movie night. What makes this an alterna-V-day plan? Make it a horror or action or thriller movie-fest instead of chick flicks. There's nothing quite like watching zombies take over a town to bust us out of our V-Day induced depression.

3) Have a party. Dinner party, theme party, anti-V-Day party, I'm-single-let's-party party, Pajama party -- whatever you choose, make sure to gather all your favorite people, including the coupled-up. Similar to the general happy you'll find bar-hopping, having somewhere to go and fun people to hang with makes for an awesome night.

4) Go out to dinner, but go in a big group so no one feels like an odd-numbered wheel. Make reservations. Dress up. Have lots of group hugs and schmoop as a group. Enjoy the envious looks from the other diners who wish they'd thought of going out with ten of their closest friends.

Let's be honest: moping is no fun. And unfortunately, it's all too easy when mid-February rolls around. So let's not do it. Let's make V-Day 2011 one to remember for today and an annual tradition for next year (and the year after that) by focusing on the fun, on good friends and on the future.

Samantha Scholfield is a writer, dating coach and author of Screw Cupid: The Sassy Girl's Guide to Picking Up Hot Guys. Billed as a "considerably hipper author" than The Rules, she can usually be found writing about sex, love and relationships in the ubiquitous coffee shops of Seattle. www.screwcupidthebook.com.

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