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Before I entered a long term relationship, me and my single friends (think The Inbetweeners meets The Undateables) used to hold Anti-Valentines, it was a dinner party held at one of our places so we wouldn’t be tortured with the sight of lovey dovey couples who are practically one step off having sex on the floor of the bar we all drank in.

At the time, I finished work at 6pm, so we’d all aim to meet up in the bar at 6:30ish have a couple of drinks and then retire. Simply put, there wasn’t much eating going on actually, we just consumed our body weight in wine and cursed all of those happy couples that have to let the entire world know that they’re an item, and watch a series of Slasher Movies. Bitter much?

Anyway, Valentines can be a lonely time for singletons, especially as we start to get older, no one wants to be the ‘Bridget Jones’ among their friends, and then when you have nothing on TV but Rom-Coms and adverts depicting happy couples without a care in the world, it can be pretty damn depressing, especially if you’re on your own.

The idea of Anti Valentines came around when one of my friends who was in his 40’s was still alone and single having broken up with his boyfriend 10 years earlier, and he really did find valentines hard. Then in conversation it transpired that a mutual friend of ours had divorced her husband the year before and was going to be alone.

Then another friend of ours, who normally always worked valentines, was told that he wasn’t needed for that day, so that made 4. A few other friends of ours joined in, and by the time the day came, we had 7 people. By the time February 15th rolled in, we were all sloshed on 3 for £10 bottles of wine and watching Child’s Play.

This went on for a good few years, obviously we all did have short term relationships, but we always seemed to end up alone on Valentines. So think about it, you don’t have to be alone and lonely (unless you want to be) on ‘the most romantic day of the year’ (heaves).

Get together with friends who are in the same boat as you, make a bit of a party of it, make sure you book the 15th off work to accommodate the hangover, get some party nibbles in and enjoy your valentines with the people that matter the most in your life. Your friends.

A relationship is never a constant guarantee, and like my friend who got divorced after 15 years, she was desperate to not be subjected to Valentines on her own. She didn’t expect her marriage to crumble, but nothing is ever certain.

If you’re really inclined to, send your invites out now, get planning a civilized party and just think, you’ll be in the best company to banish any Valentines blues.

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Sara O'Connell
A passionate photographer from Arizona, Sara enjoys art and culture.