The Gentleman’s Guide to Being Single on Valentine’s Day

single on valentine's day

This February 14th, millions of couples will exchange gifts, eat at fancy restaurants, say disgustingly adorable things to each other, and retire to the bedroom. Millions of single men will . . . um . . . well, how does one spend Valentine’s Day alone?

As a man single on Valentine’s Day, you might light up a cigarette, suck down a cold beer, and arm yourself with an impenetrable “who cares?” attitude as February 14th draws near. However, some dudes struggle to dull the sting of loneliness on Valentine’s Day. After all, relationships are great, and being reminded that you are single on Valentine’s Day in such a spectacular manner can be a huge downer.

Instead of wistfully watching lovebirds this Valentine’s Day, take the day to celebrate yourself. Though you may not be in a relationship, you are still a walking, talking, thinking, dreaming miracle of the cosmos. You should treat yourself as such. Here are a few suggestions to consider this Valentine’s Day:

Related: The Dark and Muddled History of Valentine’s Day

1. Do Something Nice for Yourself

Today is about you, so really make it count. Call into work sick and go get a massage or a nice beard trim. Buy something that you’ve wanted for a while but couldn’t convince yourself to pick up under other circumstances. Eat only the marshmallows in the Lucky Charms. Doing something nice for yourself can take the whole day, or it can take a few minutes, depending on what it is, but since no one else is going to be doing it, you might as well.

We realize that may sound a bit depressing, but think of it this way. No one knows you like you. You’re not going to run the risk of getting a crappy gift from yourself, like you might with someone who thinks they know the real you.

2. Make Yourself Something Nice

If you’re alone, no one is going to judge you for what you eat or drink. That being said, you still are going to want great stuff. With Farm Steady’s Fresh Cheese Making kit ($25), you can indulge in one of life’s great joys and be able to say you made it yourself (a great fact for the next time you are on a date—who woudn’t love a guy who makes his own cheese?). With the kit, you can make up to four different kinds of cheeses including mozzarella and burrata in just a few hours.

Since you’re making cheese and going to town on it, you’ll need something to wash it down it. We recommend keeping it classy with a glass (or bottle or four) of wine. For reds, we say go for Dreaming Tree Wine’s (created by the one and only Dave Matthews in collaboration with winemaker Sean Mackenzie) Crush. If you think you’re feeling a white, check out the Aresti Special Release Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2016. For bubbly, go with Ca’Secco, a California take on Prosecco that goes great with cheese. At only $15 each, they’re perfectly priced to pick up a bottle or four of each.

If wine isn’t your thing and you want cocktails, we’ve got you covered here.

3. Smoke’em If You’ve Got’em

There’s nothing quite as gentlemanly as smoking a cigar. If you’ve never done it, and were curious, now seems like a pretty good time to try one out. Kick off your shoes, pour a glass of Scotch and light one up. Don’t know what you’re doing? You could check out a La Flor Dominica Andalusian Bull or a Rocky Patel Sun Grown Maduro Robusto, the top two cigars of 2016, according to Cigar Afficionado. If you want more options, check out the full list here.

4. Assemble Your Fellow Singles

Another great way to quash loneliness is to blow the horn of Gondor and gather your single friends (NOTE: Owning a horn of Gondor may have something to do with your single status). Though you may not be ensnared in a web of romantic love at the moment, there are folks out there who love you and enjoy your company. You might invite some folks over for a games night, poker night, or just a casual get-together. If you’re itching to get out, take your friends bowling, bar-hopping, to the local cinema, or on some other excellent adventure. You aren’t the only one sailing the high seas of singlehood–if you beckon, others will climb aboard the H.M.S. Friendship.

5. Do Something Kind of Crazy

You may not be able truly go nuts, seeing as Valentine’s Day is on a Tuesday, but you can still do something a bit crazy on your lunch break or after work that’ll make up for the fact that you’re going to be kicking it in the company of just yourself. First, see if you can knock off an item on your bucket list. If you don’t have a bucket list, make one (Here’s some of our favorite buck list items). The joy of being single is that you can do whatever you want. Literally. We wouldn’t suggest doing something illegal, but short of that, the world is your oyster.

As you contemplate this upcoming Valentine’s Day, consider the following questions: Who always knows what you’re thinking? Who knows precisely what you’ve been through? Who has always been there for you? That’s right, it’s YOU! So use this February 14th as an excuse to reaffirm your love for yourself. You’ve earned it.

Article originally published February, 2016. Updated February 14, 2017 by Sam Slaughter.