Be Yours: A Gentleman’s Guide to Flying Solo on Valentine’s Day

valentines day alone

Saint Valentine’s Day has been around for centuries. Historians say it honors multiple figures named Valentine or Valentinus–each of whom were gruesomely martyred in Ancient Roman times. Unfortunately, “AHH DEAR GOD IT BURNS” doesn’t look too good on candy hearts, so the modern holiday went in a sweeter, more floral direction.

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 single man, 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 of your singlehood 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 Saturday:

1. Do Something Nice for Yourself

If you’re comfortable staying home and devouring seasons 3 through 6 of Who’s the Boss?, go right ahead. If the thought of stewing in your fortress of solo-dude bums you out, take yourself out on a date. Our suggestion? Get a massage. A massage isn’t just great for your muscles–it will seriously improve your mood. It’s a simple, relaxing, and legal means of enjoying another human being’s touch on Valentine’s Day.

2. Treat Yourself to a Nice Cocktail (Or Seven)

Drinking oneself into oblivion is a popular pastime among solo fliers on Valentine’s Day, and we’re all about drinking at The Manual. A bottle of whiskey is a classic choice, but there’s an inherent sadness there; instead of taking desperate pulls from a bottle, we suggest being more deliberate about your drinking. For instance, you might try these tasty new cocktails, courtesy of Niccole Trzaska of The Liberty NYC.

Sugar and Spice

Chocolates are nice, but they won’t get you drunk. This cocktail can take care of that.

  • 1 ½ parts Sugar Island Spiced Rum
  • ½ part allspice dram
  • ½ part scotch
  • ½ part fresh lemon juice
  • ½ part Crown Maple syrup

Combine the above ingredients and stir until completely mixed, pour into a rocks glass, and garnish with a clove and lemon wheel.

Dirty, Spicy Ménage à Trois

If you can’t make a ménage à trois happen in your bedroom, you can always make it happen in your glass.

  • 3 parts Ménage à Trois vodka
  • 1 part spicy chipotle olive juice
  • ½ part dry vermouth
  • 3 chipotle olives

Put ice into your shaker, then add vodka, vermouth, and olive juice. Shake, then pour into a chilled martini glass (or coffee mug, screw it). Garnish with olives.

3. Get Yourself Something Awesome

One of the downsides of spending Valentine’s Day alone is not receiving any gifts. Of course, you don’t have to give any gifts, either. Instead of exchanging hastily bought items with a significant other, consider buying two presents for your significant self. You might check out some fresh new shoes, or perhaps switch up your sound system with the Griffin 20 wireless amp. The gentlemen at Digital Trends, our brother site, can help you find sweet gadgets that will distract you from whatever sad feelings haven’t been drowned in cocktails.

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

If you need something to do on February 14th, refer to your bucket list. Go skydiving. Make a short film. Rent a dune buggy. Listen, you can do whatever you want; that’s the magic of being single. If you can’t bear to be around while your relationshippy friends fawn over each other, just get out of town. Go to Vegas. Go to Atlantic City. Go to Eau Claire, Wisconsin (horseradish capital of the world!). There are a million things to do and places to go, so go nuts.

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, cowboy.

Like cocktail expert Niccole Trzaska’s page on Facebook