If you hate Valentine’s Day like other people out there, don’t worry, there are still plenty of ways to celebrate the holiday — by not celebrating it, of course. There are plenty of non-red-candy-heart centric ways to have fun on February 14. Plus, there are many Valentine’s Day party ideas if you hate Valentine’s Day, whether you're single AF and think it’s just an excuse companies use to make money off of pink and red... everything, in a relationship and your partner doesn't like it either, or you’re fresh out of a breakup and the last thing you want is those heart-shaped reminders of love everywhere you go.
“Remember that Valentine’s Day is JUST a day,” Kali Rogers, CEO and Founder of Blush Online Life Coaching, tells Bustle. “It does not define your relationship. You can make Valentine’s Day whatever you want it to be. You can always counteract the pressure of Valentine’s Day by trying to do something very non-romantic together. Think of going to a sports game, going to Top Golf or bowling, or even going to the gym together."
That said, I know not everyone is part of a couple when February 14 hits. But Rogers’ advice can apply to friendships, too, as well as your relationship with yourself (cheesy but true!). Whether you are in a romantic relationship or not, here are 13 Valentine’s Day party ideas if you hate Valentine’s Day. If you think you’re the only one, you’re not; believe me, I’ve been there.
1Have A Sleepover With Friends And Watch Anything But Rom-Coms
Whether you (and/or your partner) host this movie-watching sleepover or talk someone else into doing it, make sure there's no sappy movies, no happy-relationship talk, no candy hearts. It’s just another day, and treat it as such. You can invite couples or single friends only. Since it’s your party, you call the shots.
“Make some ‘I love ME’ cookies, James Preece, aka The Dating Guru, tells Bustle. “The more fun you can have rebelling against the holiday, the better.”
2Have An Anti-Valentine's Day Party
If you don’t opt for the no-talking-about-Valentine’s-Day route above, you can have an official anti-Valentine’s Day party, complete with black balloons, black drinks, broken heart decorations and desserts, etc. The more creative and anti-Valentine’s Day you can get, the more fun it’ll be!
3Have A Wingperson Party
A wingperson party can be similar to having an anti-Valentine’s Day party — however, with the former, the intent is to bring a single friend with you. And, let’s face it, who doesn’t like having a wingman or wingwoman?
I once attended an anti-Valentine’s Day party and met a friend of a friend, yet thought nothing of it. I wasn’t in dating mode. A couple years later, I ran into that friend of a friend and he and I ended up dating for almost three years. So you never know. Even if you’re not looking for a love connection, it may find you — and later on, when you’re ready.
4Have A Dinner Party
OK, so let’s say you hate Valentine’s Day, yet you also don’t want to spend it alone. Simple solution: Have a dinner party. Whether you cook everything, make it a potluck, or order in, there’s only one rule: No talking about love. Or wearing red. Or anything Valentine-related. Just have fun with your friends. After all, when’s the last time you had company anyway? If nothing else, it’ll get you to clean up your apartment, right?
5Have A Galentine’s Day Party
If you have been single on Valentine’s Day before, you may have participated in a Galentine’s Day party in the past. Basically, gather up all your favorite female friends and just make it a day about celebrating your friendship.
After all, your gal pals/friends will likely be around a lot longer (i.e., a lifetime) more than many of your romantic partners will be. Whether you have a spa day, a manicure-pedicure day, brunch, or whatever other activity you all like to do together, make sure to focus on each other. It’ll be like one big group date, without any romantic pressure. If you feel so inclined, you can even ban talking about relationships or relationship drama. You can even give each other anti-Valentine’s Day cards if you want, or make your own Galentine’s Day ones. “Writing each other poems about how much you mean to each other can be really empowering,” says Preece.
6Have A Dance Party
That’s right, invite all your friends over for a dance party. You can skip the love songs and even create anti-love song playlists in advance. You can choose a theme — like a Mob theme or something very unsentimental — and get as creative as possible… while not celebrating love, of course. If dancing is not your thing, choose something else you ~love~ to do and invite a bunch of friends along.
7Have A Volunteer Party
Therapists often say that when you do something for others and give back to the community, you’ll feel better about yourself. So on February 14, why not gather up some friends and go volunteer at a food bank, tutoring center for kids, hospital, animal shelter, or fill-in-the-blank here. The pets could use your company.
Last year, I spent Valentine’s Day at my grandma’s nursing home and made the residents little goodie bags of candy and individually written valentines, then went room-to-room passing them out. And you know what? The smiles on their faces were the best gift of all. Try it and you’ll see.
8Have A Night Picnic
I know, who has a picnic at night? But go hit up the beach, a local park, a snowy hill, or a friend’s backyard, roast marshmallows, tell campfire stories, and do anything but focus on Valentine’s Day. Instead, make some snowmen (and women) and focus on the friends, laughter, and s’mores around you.
9Have A Tea Party
Yes, have a tea party — or a coffee, hot chocolate, or wine-tasting one. You can have everyone bring their favorite kinds and boom — what-to-do-for-Valentine’s-Day-even-though-you-hate-it is solved!
It’s cold outside across much of the country and world right now, so it’s perfect timing for hot beverages! With the wine, a friend of mine had people wrap up the bottles so you couldn’t see the labels, then had people try each kind and judge them. Fun, right? Once you start brainstorming, you’ll probably think of creative ways to not celebrate, too. And, let’s be honest, everything’s better with tea, right?
10Have A Food Truck Party
It’s February 14, you hate Valentine’s Day, and you’re stumped with what to do (or not do). With food trucks all over the place these days, contact some friends and go food truck hopping. After all, everyone has to eat breakfast, lunch or dinner, yes? — or breakfast, lunch or dinner again, yum! — and why not via food trucks?
Go taste-testing, each get different things, then share-share-share away! Plus, in no time, you’ll forget what day it is anyway, since you’ll be too focused on finding that popular-yet-elusive food truck that everyone’s talking about and you have to have.
11Have A Shopping Party
You can do this next idea solo or with friends. “How about a shopping party where you buy yourself new clothes, etc.,” Preece says. “You can spend all the money that you’d have spent on a partner anyway!” Great idea, right? Plus, if you don’t want to spend much, you can always limit yourself to thrift stores or places with sales.
12Have A Party With Yourself
That’s right, have a party with yourself and take yourself someplace you’ve always wanted to go. Whether it’s flying somewhere for a few days or going on a day trip to a favorite spot or someplace new, just celebrate you. You’re your best company and you deserve to treat yourself. And if you truly hate Valentine’s Day, just act like it’s a normal day, with normal you taking yourself on a road trip.
After all, the main relationship you need to have is the one with yourself — yes, cheesy again, but still true. Blast your favorite music and perhaps take the day off work, too — which is another way to avoid your co-workers gushing over their Valentine’s Day gifts, btw.
13Have No Party And Do Nothing At All
If you hate Valentine’s Day, you can just let it be and ignore it. After all, some people may think by drawing attention to it, i.e., via an anti-Valentine’s Day party, it’s still in the back of your mind. But if you ignore it and just have February 14 mean nothing but February 14 — yet another day to curl up and read a good book — perhaps that’ll be the best Valentine’s Day gift you can give yourself.
Basically, in not celebrating February 14 if you hate Valentine’s Day, just think of all the mushy Valentine’s Day things you or others have done on the day — and do the opposite. Valentine’s Day can still be fun even without having a valentine, per se, and it is what you make it. I do believe it’s all about who you’re with — whether that’s yourself or others. Be your own valentine, or anti-Valentine, as it were.