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Alternative Ways to Spend Valentine's Day

Posted on 1/29/2013 11:11 EST

Are you wondering what to do on Valentine's Day? You're not alone. For the single guy or gal it can be a day of loneliness and self-doubt. For couples, choices abound -- from a romantic outing to a small gift or card to passing on the day altogether, with lots of options in between. Doing nothing is obviously the cheapest choice, no matter your relationship status. But being true to your frugal roots is no reason to ignore Valentine's Day. You can express your love and affection by enjoying each other's company, not just by treating that special someone to dinner or offering up a box of chocolates. As you plan what to do for Valentine's Day, make sure the effort reflects what you truly want, rather than what you feel obligated to do.

Photo by sxc.hu/J-Stuart

Perhaps we could take a cue from Latin America when figuring out what to do for Valentine's Day. The Mexican Dia de San Valentin, or El Dia del Amor y la Amistad as it's commonly known, is a day for appreciating friends and family in addition to significant others. Chocolate hearts are often presented to aunts; flowers may be handed to you by a cousin. So be inclusive. Spend time with a group of people you love, not just one person.

We've compiled a variety of other alternative approaches to Valentine's Day, be it on your own or with others. And if you decide to skip it altogether, we've lined up a few justifications for you. From tongue-in-cheek to heartfelt, herewith is our guide to skipping the candy, the present, and the night out.

What to Do for Valentine's Day: Alternative Traditions.

  • Date night on Feb. 15 means coming home to half-price bags of chocolate for dessert.
  • Watch a horror movie together. Arm-clenching scenes of terror will bring you closer.
  • Dress up and pretend it's Halloween instead.
  • Give a cut rose and the beauty fades in a week; plant a rosebush together and add beauty to the neighborhood for a lifetime.

What to Do for Valentine's Day: Single Activities.

  • Use the day for personal development: Read a book, create art, or begin to learn a trade.
  • Take time to recommit to your New Year's resolutions.
  • Organize a room; it's never too early to begin spring cleaning.
  • Instead of giving flowers and chocolates, give to someone less fortunate.
  • Celebrate Singles Awareness Day, or S.A.D.

What to Do for Valentine's Day: Make Excuses.

  • The new season of House of Cards drops Feb. 14 on Netflix.
  • Pasta drenched in red sauce and garlic bread (with lots of extra garlic) makes one terrific dinner.
  • Being rebellious is hot.
  • Necco Sweethearts really don't live up to the hype.
  • A day of remembrance is in order for those who died during the St. Valentine's Day Massacre.
  • We should love our significant others, our families, and our friends every day of the year.

by Louis DeNicola (Google+ Profile)

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