Too many people this time of year suffer from a highly curable affliction: Valentine’s Day Dread. Symptoms include standing in the card aisle of a grocery store, looking permanently disgusted as you try to pick out the least cringe-worthy card (no more puns!), or sudden flashes of fury whenever someone asks what your Valentine’s plans are (no plans, only sad Netflix binging). If you find yourself drowning in stale drugstore chocolate boxes, or laughing maniacally as you watch someone pay absurd prices for flowers, or rage-punching cupid-themed window displays, you’re probably suffering from Valentine’s Day Dread.
Don’t panic. Valentine’s Day is a high pressure holiday, but you can still enjoy it if you step back and appreciate what it’s really about: the people you love. And no one loves you better than your best friends. Whether you’re in a relationship or not, around February 14th, appreciate the people who really keep you sane with a lady date. Grab your pals for an evening of good times with no significant others allowed.
1. Netflix Marathon
It’s okay to watch Netflix on Valentine’s Day, as long as you’re not sobbing into a carton of ice cream while watching Lifetime movies alone. Flip on some girl-powered entertainment like Orange Is The New Black, Troop Beverly Hills, Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion, Crossroads, and The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement. Being in a relationship and dating is cool and all, but nobody will ever have Romy’s back quite like Michele.
2. Chocolate Tasting
You know what’s available profusely at Valentine’s Day? Chocolate. You know what goes great with chocolate? Wine. Those sometimes-gross boxes of chocolates can be put to good use in a chocolate tasting (a.k.a. a wine tasting). Mix and match your favorite red wines with fruity, nutty, and dark chocolates to enhance the flavors and improve on the otherwise sugary confections.
3. Casual Dining
No, you’re not going to find a table at Olive Garden nor a steakhouse, but places like Chipotle, Five Guy’s, and other yummy-but-quick eateries will be pretty emptied out. Ask if you can push a few tables together and relish in taking over the place for the night. Indulge on extra onions and garlic, I dare you.
4. Clothing Swap
Host your friends for a clothing swap to give the clothes you’ve stopped wearing a new owner. Whether it’s the wrong size or you simply don’t wear it enough, your friends might absolutely love something from your closet. Accessories are especially great for swapping, and keep rubbing alcohol on hand for trying on earrings.
5. Learn to Cook
Pinterest recipes to build a four-course meal and learn to cook something completely new with your friends. Swap cooks every 10 minutes. Everyone will get a taste of how to make the dish, and all of the teamwork makes for great bonding. Plus, you get to dive in to a home cooked dinner at the end!