By Michelle Peterson

Valentine’s Day can be one of the most brutal holidays for single people to endure. While the holiday season can be tough to endure without a partner by your side, Valentine’s Day is sure to fill your social media feeds with photos of all the happy couples in your social circle – along with, of course, the obligatory brag-fests about the expensive jewelry, dozens of roses, and delectable boxes of gourmet chocolate their loves have showered them with. If you’re going it alone for Valentine’s Day this year, here are a few ways to cope.

Round Up a Group of Single Friends

All the fancy restaurants are sure to be bursting at the seams with happy couples, but Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to gather up a few of your closest single pals for a fun night out on the town. Bonus: Other people hanging out at the social hot spots on Valentine’s Day are likely single, too, so maybe you’ll meet the person you’re meant to spend the rest of your life with. If the local social clubs don’t appeal, host a singles party at your place.

Adopt a Furry Friend

Humans tend to get on each other’s nerves from time to time (in fact, that might be why you’re single), but four-legged friends never pass judgment or argue about who’s going to do the dishes. If you’re currently pet-free but live in an apartment or house that permits pets, consider adopting a loveable cat or dog to get you through the lonely times. Dogs make the perfect Valentine’s Day date, and they’ll never leave your side. Of course, pets are for life, so if you’re not into caring for a pet all year, adopting a pet is probably not the best way to cope with Valentine’s Day.

Spend Time with Your Kids

Speaking of great Valentine’s Day dates, no one can make your day brighter than a smiling, happy child. If you’re a single parent, plan some activities and dedicate Valentine’s Day to spending quality time with your favorite little people. Parent-child bonding time is often hard to come by in today’s busy society, so take advantage of Valentine’s Day to shower your kids with love.

Binge on Movies Just for Singles

Films that promote the joys of being single don’t make for the best date night, but they’re a great way to celebrate the single life on Valentine’s Day. There are tons of movies that prove just how amazing being single is, from recent flicks like Frozen to oldies-but-goodies like Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion. Pick a few of your favorites and make a huge bowl of popcorn.

Work It Out

Exercise is an excellent stress-busting activity, so release your frustrations about your ex or whatever issues are weighing on your mind at the gym. Chances are, there won’t be too many coupled-up people hitting the gym on Valentine’s Day, so you might meet the partner of your dreams while you’re sweating it out on the elliptical.

Whatever coping strategies you use to get through Valentine’s Day, remember it’s just a day – and a relatively unimportant one at that. You’re definitely not the only one not coupled up this Valentine’s Day, so find a way to pass the time that will keep your mind off of your single-hood (or celebrate it, if you choose), knowing that tomorrow is just another ordinary day.

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