Valentine’s Day is a day just like any other. It’s a commercial procession of artificial romance in which couples begrudgingly perform coercive niceties in order to line the pockets of high street shops. At least that’s what singletons (read: bitter cynics) try to tell themselves. Really, Valentine’s is a day on which those in a relationship feel a little bit better about themselves, and the rest of us poor single folk feel a little bit shitter. Smitten souls can expect cheap roses and cheaper wine as they ride on a way ticket to Pleasuretown bedecked in ‘special’ sexy lingerie. For those of us unscathed by Cupid’s arrows it is typically a rather different story – one of loneliness, despair and apathetic masturbation. But don’t suffer in silence on this depressive day. It’s time to fold your map of desolation, put two fingers up to cringe-worthy brag-fest on Twitter and pick one of these ways to spend your evening:

“Underneath an Abject Willow Tree“

You are a helpless romantic idealist imprisoned by an overwhelming desire for a lover blind to your wonton affections. Alas, the sweet fair maiden will never reciprocate your feelings. Instead, you turn to Auden, Shelley and Keats to articulate your deep, wrenching sentimentality. O evil existence! O unjust love! Tears swell in your eyes as you pen bad poetry and listen to The Smiths on vinyl because, boy, Heaven knows your miserable now. All you want is to cuddle up next to a Kiera Knightly look-a-like with whom you can read Auden, write poetry and listen to The Smiths – is that really too much to ask? Only sweet slumbering sleep can save you from drowning in this melancholy. Adieu wretched world!

Lads’ Night Out

Pfffft, who needs birds!? Not us mate. Who would want to spend time with someone they care about, go for a nice meal and then indulge in sensual delights? Nah, the only thing you need is the Lads! The Boys! Cheer up mate, get this winepedo down you. There, isn’t that better? C’mon let’s smash Timepiece and then some 5/10s…

This caring and thoughtful advice seems all well and good at the time. But it transpires that you get too drunk too quickly, are refused entry into Timepiece before passing out on Gandy Street. It’s safe to say the only salty juices touching your mouth this evening will be from a Scooby Snack burger.

Dinner Date with a Platonic Friend

You invite a dear friend out for dinner. Of course, you are merely two friends having a good time without an agenda. You only kissed each other back in Freshers when the lights came up in Rococos. And who remembers that? You certainly don’t. Whatever. Who are you kidding? It’s time for the deep-seated unrequited desire you have been repressing to surface. Yes, it’s time to haul yourself out of the friend-zone and declare your true emotions. This is your Mark-from-Love-Actually moment…

Alas, the night slips by and you fail to build up the courage to tell your unassuming friend about your unconscious, real motive. You go halves of the bill and wave goodbye to your friend and all the accompanying fantasies they stir in your breast.

Make the Cat your Valentine

Perhaps the best way of guaranteeing pussy. Pretend your cat bought you those lovely flowers and that bar of Dairy Milk you may have accidentally purchased for yourself. Felines are just so damn thoughtful. Thanks, kitty-cat!