If there’s one day a single person dreads more than the wedding day of an ex, it’s Valentines Day. But being single on Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to mean drowning in a tub of Häagen-Dazs and on-demand binging of sappy romantic comedies. There are many ways to survive … er … celebrate the big V-day sans significant other.
Here’s a list of 10 things to do around the Bay on that special day (without resorting to Netflix or creamy indulgent dairy products):
1. Get out in nature: Rather than packing on the pounds with a box of chocolates, why not focus on shedding a few? Call some friends and take a hike on one of the many scenic trails throughout the Bay Area. Point Reyes, Mount Tamalpais, Mission Peak, Land’s End, Mount Diablo, and Muir Woods are all popular hiking spots in the Bay.
2. Make a date with a loved one: No date? No problem! Make plans with someone who never disappoints and take out a family member such as your mother, father, or sibling for a nice, relaxing lunch or dinner to catch up on life. What’s more fulfilling than nourishing a connection with someone who offers you unconditional love on a daily basis?
3. Visit a beautiful garden: What could be sweeter than surrounding yourself with the fragrant scent of magnolia or camellia blooms on a day celebrating love? Some of the most beautiful gardens in California are just a short drive away!
Filoli Gardens is holding a special opening celebration event called: Branches, Blossoms, and Buds—Romance of the Winter Garden on Feb. 13 and 14. www.filoli.org
There are many other beautiful gardens in the Bay Area, including Japanese gardens such as Hakone Gardens and the Japanese Tea Garden.
4. Get proactive: So no one’s knocking on your door? Well, don’t wait, activate … an online profile that is! Create a profile on any number of websites bringing together singles. A few of the better-known sites are Match.com, eHarmony.com, and PlentyofFish.com
5. Do a good deed: Spread the love! Give back and help others on this day of love by volunteering with a local organization, at a shelter, or simply helping out a neighbor, friend, or relative with something that’s burdensome or difficult for them, such as mowing the lawn, washing a car, or taking out the trash.
6. Enjoy some quiet time: Shut off the world and your cell phone—text messaging, too—and try meditation, reading a good book, or listening to your favorite music. There’s not much time in this hectic life to relax and be on your own, so cherish the opportunities you get.
7. Get your culture on: Instead of lining up more frogs, why not spend the day among the likes of Eugène Delacroix, Peter Paul Rubens, and Rembrandt. Make your way down the grand halls of San Francisco’s preeminent art houses or museums, including the Legion of Honor (legionofhonor.famsf.org); the Asian Art Museum (www.asianart.org), with its masterpiece collections of ancient Buddha statues, some dating from the later Zhao dynasty (319–350); or the de Young museum in Golden Gate Park.
8. Get connected: This isn’t the Stone Age, and Mr./Ms. Right isn’t going to club you over the head and drag you away—at least we hope not! You gotta go hunt for him or her yourself. Join a Meetup group (www.meetup.com) or community club that interests you. It’s a great way to connect with people in the Bay Area who share your interests—photography, biking, kayaking … And who knows, you could possibly make some lifelong friends in the process! It’s all about networking, networking, and more networking.
9. Perfect a new recipe: No one to cook for? Cook for yourself! Go online or grab a cookbook and start experimenting. And hey, when you eat by yourself, you don’t have to worry about getting anything stuck in your teeth, or talking with your mouth full, or ordering a salad, ha!
10. Go see a movie: Now this is different from binging on sappy movies at home, since you’re actually getting out of the house and enjoying your own company. Get dressed up (sweats don’t count) and go wild at the concession stand—it’s on you! When you go out to see a movie by yourself, you can enjoy the whole cinematic experience without having to make small talk or having someone chatting in your ear while you’re trying to enjoy the story.
Tried everything on the list and still feeling a little glum? Well don’t worry—if you’ve really tried everything on this list, Valentine’s Day is probably already OVER!