Celebrate Singledom in Style
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Not Your Average Pity Party1 of 11
By Natasha Burton & Amy Elisa Keith
We're embarrassed to admit it, but we've spent a few Valentine's Days eating pounds of Godiva's finest by ourselves while waiting on the vague promise of some guy's call. But we've since learned that getting through Feb. 14 as a single gal doesn't have to be so, well, lame. Instead, get your unattached friends together for a co-ed house party to celebrate your independence with these expert tips and sassy must-haves.
Singular Sensation2 of 11
Lee Block, founder of Post-Divorce Dating Club, says there's no reason to let your solo status get you down. "The truth is, going out on Valentine's Day is like going out on New Year's Eve—with lots of decorations and à la carte menus," she says. Get your guests excited to come celebrate being single with these handmade anti-Valentine's Day invitations and decorations.
Stick to a Schedule3 of 11
Make sure you and your guests don't fall into the trap of sharing sob stories and playing who's-got-it-worse, which will only bring down the mood. "V-Day is not a contest," say Andra Brosh, Ph.D., and Allison Pescosolido, M.A., founders of Divorce Detox. "It can be a celebration of love for oneself and the world." Keep everyone happily occupied by creating a clear agenda for an evening filled with festive activities, libations and treats.
Hold the Phones4 of 11
As the party host, you'll need to be ready for a barrage of emotions from your guests. "Valentine's Day puts people in the mood for love and more vulnerable for the hookup," says Block. Prevent desperate calls to exes by collecting everyone's cell phones at the beginning of the evening. "You don't want to make any phone calls that you will regret in the morning," say Brosh and Pescosolido.
Envision This5 of 11
Kick off the party by doing a little lighthearted manifestation. Block suggests making a vision board to usher new love—and new opportunities—into your life. To keep with the irreverent spirit of the party, encourage your guests to create collages using magazine cutouts to create tangible pictures of your ideal lives, including love, career and travel. As dating experts often say, once you focus on making your life awesome, the right person to share it with will soon come along.
Let it Burn6 of 11
For a more ceremonial activity, get a fire going and get rid of the past for good. Encourage your guests to participate by "writing down a list of past loves and lessons learned from them," say Brosh and Pescosolido. "Then, burn the pages and set intentions for new relationships."
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Strike a Pose7 of 11
You can also channel positive energy (and get those feel-good endorphins flowing) with a group yoga session. A little deep breathing and downward dogging—along to a rocking soundtrack—is "a great way to spend the evening," says Block. "Get into a groove, sweat a little, center yourself and then have smoothies."
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Game of Love8 of 11
Experts warn against hiring a fortuneteller for your party—Brosh and Pescosolido discourage listening to what they call "potentially misleading information." To playfully introduce some mysticism into your night, consider taking the Ouija board for a spin. If the occult isn't your thing, then playing board games is a great way to keep spirits light.
Scream!9 of 11
For a cinematic element to your shindig, Brosh and Pescosolido suggest putting on a thriller or comedy to ensure that there are no tears at your pity party. "Beware of romantic films or scary movies that can cause your imagination run a little too wild," they say.
Adventure Out10 of 11
If your guests get antsy, then shake things up and go out for a two-hour "field trip" to a bar. While venturing out on among all those googly-eyed couples might seem like a recipe for disaster, "with the right attitude, you can go anywhere," says Andrea Syrtash, relationship expert and author of He's Just Not Your Type (And That's a Good Thing). Plus, "there will always be specials that various restaurants and bars will have for singles," says Block. At the end of the outing, corral the crew so you all leave together.
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No Boys Allowed11 of 11
After the party is over, culminate the night with a ladies-only sleepover to commemorate a less-known purpose of V-Day. Syrtash notes that in countries like Finland, Valentine's Day is "not just for lovers," but also a celebration of female friendships. "Good old-fashioned girl time is always great to have on Valentine's Day," says Block, suggesting activities like painting nails or giving facials. Plus, having some extra time with your gal pals is far more fun than sleeping alone.