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6 Ways to Spend Valentine’s Day with Your BFFs


Valentine’s Day can be all about romance, but it can also be about appreciating the love in your life, regardless of where it comes from. For many of us twentysomethings (even if we aren’t single), it’s the roommates, BFFs, parents and childhood friends who mean the most to us, and that’s a fantastic thing.

If your relationship status is single this Valentine’s Day, here are some ideas for spending time  (and sharing the love!) with the people who mean the most in your life.

1. Plan a group outing

Valentine’s Day is a classic date night, so why not plan a fun date night, but with friends instead?

Megan Lawler, a 2014 Illinois State University grad, is spending this February 14 on a stereotypical date to dinner and the movies… with all of her single girlfriends. “We're going to get dinner at a sushi restaurant first, then going to see Fifty Shades of Grey together,” she says. “It’s super stereotypical, but we're all really excited!”

Stereotypical or not, surrounding yourself with your closest girlfriends for a fun evening out is a perfect way to ensure you don’t feel lonely without a boyfriend.

Planning one-on-one time with a close friend can be a great option as well. “My best friend and I went out to dinner together and then went to go see a cheesy rom-com in theatres together,” says Leta Stevens, a 2012 Purdue University graduate. “We went to one of the theatres that serves alcohol and had popcorn, candy and wine, and it was so much fun!”

2. Stay in

Not so stoked about being out in public, surrounded by couples? We get it. If you’re up for playing host, there are a slew of different parties you can plan. Send an email out to all of your single girl friends and encourage them to invite anyone they know who’s also single and without plans. Here are some of our favorite ideas:

Girls’ night in: Invite all your friends over and encourage them to show up in yoga pants. Order in and consider letting your friends spend the night so everyone can drink that extra glass of wine. We’d vote for a Gilmore Girls marathon (the love between Rory and Lorelai is truly something to admire), but chick flicks and rom-coms starring your favorite celebrity crush do the trick as well!

Game night: Everyone loves an excuse to play their favorite board games! How will you choose between Taboo, Cards Against Humanity and Trivial Pursuit? Don’t forget about the classics either: Monopoly, Sorry!, Uno and Scrabble are great for smaller groups.

Beer or wine tasting: Ask all your friends to bring a few bottles of their favorite adult beverage, and then have everyone participate in blind taste tests. Guests can vote on their favorite in each category, and the winners get a fun a prize. Did someone say, “10-pound Hershey bar”?

Potluck: Suggest a potluck dinner to your friends, or even just a potluck dessert. Everyone loves an excuse to try new, homemade foods, and you can even encourage everyone to bring their recipes so they can exchange them with your other guests!

Single and ready to mingle: If you have more of a mix of male and female friends, consider hosting a singles’ mixer for all of your friends who are unattached. All you really need are some appetizers, drinks and a good playlist. Everyone will be happy to socialize, but there won’t be a ton of pressure. Who knows—maybe you’ll be playing Cupid without even realizing it!

The anti-love party: If you’re feeling cynical this February, put on your anti-love playlist and warn all your guests they may not mention the names of their exes, the V-word or even the L-word. Set up a Bloody Mary bar, serve skewered appetizers, put out a bowl of black jelly beans and let your friends decorate their own cookies with black icing.

Gift exchange: Secret admirers aren’t just for the holidays! Pick names out of a hat a week or two beforehand, and then exchange as a group so each person goes home with a slew of goodies. Or, plan a white elephant gift exchange—it’s the perfect way to get rid of odd holiday presents!

3. Shower your friends with love

There’s no better way to spread love than by treating and giving gifts to the people in your life who mean the most to you. It harkens back to the days when we had to hand write our names on pre-written Disney princess valentines and put them in everyone’s cubbies—and we kind of love it. Take Megan’s lead: “My friends and I don't necessarily exchange presents, but last year I made them little ‘Single Girls’ Valentine’s Day bags with chocolate and wine in them, and I'm planning on doing something similar this year,” she says. “It’s just a fun way to show you care!”

4. Pamper yourself

Love can also be about splurging on the number-one person in your life: yourself. What better way to pamper yourself than with a spa day? Solo or with a friend, set up an appointment for a massage or a facial.

Not feeling like you can spend the dough? “My roommate and I wanted to pamper ourselves for Valentine’s Day this year, but we didn’t want to splurge on expensive massages. Instead, we’re going to turn our apartment into a mini spa!” says Rebecca Silverman, a University of Arizona grad. “We’re going to light candles, put on relaxing music, do yoga and have a veg-out girls’ day in. We can’t wait!”

Like Rebecca, plan an at-home spa day with a friend! Do your nails and try different face masks, and start watching that show you’ve been meaning to binge-watch.

5. Get in some family time

If you’re in the same city as your family this year, consider spending the evening with them: the truly constant (and unconditional!) loves of your life. Cook dinner for your parents and siblings, then have a game night. Or, if you’re feeling really generous, offer to babysit.  

“My aunt and uncle work so hard and they rarely get a night off or a chance to go out without their kids,” says Andrea Grobman, a University of California, Davis grad. “Since Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean a lot to me, I offered to babysit for them this year. They appreciated the gesture so much, and it’s a chance to bond with my cousins!”

6. Spend the day volunteering

Homeless puppies and kittens need love, too! Volunteer with a local shelter or find other ways to donate your time, such as spending the evening at a senior home. You won’t be alone or wallowing, and you’ll be giving back to the community—it’s a win-win!

Need ideas, or ways to find volunteer gigs? Check out VolunteerMatch.org, a site that lets you pick your interests and causes and helps match you with in-need organizations in your area.

Whether you choose to spend Valentine’s Day pampering yourself, going out with a group of girlfriends or giving back to the community, there are plenty of alternatives to staying cooped up inside your apartment feeling sorry for yourself on February 14. Just because you’re dateless doesn’t mean you’re any less fabulous—just let this Valentine’s Day be an excuse to celebrate all of the incredible love in your life!

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