*This article was originally published on Shroffed on February 14th, 2017.
the Valentine’s Day Conundrum for single people (photo taken by Cindy Ko Tsz Yan and Pao Roann)
Roses, chocolates and cheesy love songs. When they say love’s in the air, that air can sometimes appear rather exclusive. I’m complaining on your behalf, single people. I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but it seems that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Bracing yourself for the most dreaded holiday of the year? Feeling all fed up with the discriminatory festiveness that not so subtly creeps through the city? Completely clueless on how to survive the upcoming ubiquitous lovey-doveyness? Here enter the seven pointers that’ll help you power through the day!
- Party Hard the LKF-Style
Chances are you are not the only single person in this wild city. The perk of singlehood manifests itself when you get to embrace your crazy side without having to do tons of explanation afterwards to some significant other. So go hit the pubs and clubs at Lan Kwai Fong and enjoy a night of raving with a bunch of fellow unattached people. Who knows? Your Mr./Miss Right may just so happen to be sharing a drink or dance with you there! Hearing your heart pounding to the loud electric-techno music? That’s to the freedom of being single!
an LKF bar (photo taken by Cindy Ko Tsz Yan and Pao Roann)
- Drown Your Heart in Love Songs
I trust that you’ve got your heart broken once or twice to find this holiday exceedingly unbearable. Then given the common coping mechanism, you’ve surely compiled yourself a playlist which consists of a range of sad love songs resonant with your sorrowful past. However, merely listening to artists walk you through the narrative a lot of the times doesn’t suffice for you to let out all those emotions. You really should be telling the story yourself. So go Karaoke and sing your heart out! You can start with something slow and downbeat, but remember to always end on a positive note because life goes on!
a Red MR Karaoke room (photo sourced from U Lifestyle)
- Brighten Up with Fifty Shades Darker
Word on the street is that the much anticipated sequel to the 2015 erotic romance hit Fifty Shades of Grey has already hit the cinemas in Hong Kong. And it would be a pretty safe prediction that the screening halls will be packed with couples on the very night of Valentine’s Day. Yet, no one dictates romance movies cater solely to those attached. Why not snatch some central seats with your best buds and immerse yourself in a two-hour-long love affair laced with the savor of popcorns? Restore your faith in romance and perhaps the next protagonist of a modern-day fairy-tale will be you!
the movie poster for Fifty Shades Darker (photo sourced from The Guardian)
- Have a Date with Nature
Maybe you’ve been through enough agonizing break-ups to find yourself exhausted in the game of love. And the city’s overdone Valentine’s Day vibes aren’t exactly helping you heal those old wounds. You don’t need the drama no more. Through the vicissitudes of life, one thing that’ll never turn its back on you is the perpetually picturesque nature. Whether you choose to cycle along the seaside of Lamma Island or you fancy a hiking trip up Dragon’s Back, throwing yourself into the arms of Mother Nature will for sure rid you of all that negativity and breathe vitality back into the post-Valentine’s Day you!
Sai Kung Country Park (photo sourced from Hong Kong Tourism Board)
- Play a Pretend Game
Don’t want to be alone on Valentine’s Day but inconveniently find yourself short of one boyfriend/girlfriend? Always feel like there’s a spark with a close friend yet too scared to act on it lest you are reading too much into the friendship or ruining the existing beautiful dynamics between you two? Well, February 14th may have just gifted you with a golden 24-hour window of opportunity for experimentation! Call up your special friend and invite him/her to join you for a game of pretend couples. Dating as one-day lovers might as well pave the way for your next happily-ever-after adventure!
the movie poster for Blind Date (photo sourced from IcePoster)
- Perform a Cleansing Ritual
When others are preoccupied with public display of affection, marriage proposals and traditional gift-exchanging, perhaps what you need is to get your previous relationship failures out of your system. While you can’t really just right-click the trash bin icon and select “empty trash”, you can instead invite a couple of friends over to witness your cleansing ritual, or better yet, host a combined cleansing ritual together with them! The marks your ex(es) left – matching tees and mugs, old photos and presents, and couple rings and necklaces that serve as nothing more than reminders of an unpleasant past ought to be utterly erased from your house. Clear the space now and make room for a fresh start!
getting rid of old stuff during a cleansing ritual (photo taken by Cindy Ko Tsz Yan and Pao Roann)
- Take Valentine’s Day Head-On
If you are considering an escapade from the city’s omnipresent Valentine’s Day aura, don’t. You shouldn’t be bothered simply because they are trying too hard. Just think about it. Over-priced flowers and candy, over-crowded restaurants and cinemas, and a variety of sales gimmicks taking up billboards everywhere. Sounds familiar? That’s because you’ve already been through these hundreds of times during the Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Chinese New Year seasons only with minor differences in color themes! So if the artificial festiveness is what incites your fear towards the holiday, you should see right through these commercial tricks and spend it your way like any other normal day.
a Valentine’s Day manifesto (photo sourced from Her Campus)
Despite the seven pointers offered above to help single people survive Valentine’s Day, I hope they don’t drive a wedge between those attached and unattached. Valentine’s Day is all about the celebration of love. So if you have yet to land your better half, don’t be a hater. Instead, spread that love of yours to your family, to those in need and last but not least, to yourself. Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all!