If you don’t have a significant other or partner to celebrate Valentine’s Day with this year, no problem.

The mushy, gushy holiday presents opportunities is traditionally for lovers. But it also presents an opportunity to celebrate oneself, such as indulging in a spa day, going to the movies or even cooking a fancy dinner; the possibilities are endless.

The self-care trend has highlighted the importance of indulging once in a while. Here, we expand on that: to “date” yourself, the key is not just to tolerate being alone but to revel in it, even when you’re doing something you’d normally do with another person.

Spa day

Grab a bath bomb and face mask because this Valentine’s Day, it’s time to freshen up and relax.

Start your holiday off right by heading to the store and selecting your favorite bath or shower soaps. While you’re at it, grab a pleasant-smelling candle to put you in relaxation mode.

I recommend bubble bath liquid over bath bombs, because suds make a bath feel luxurious, but both are a great way to relax in the tub.

When Feb. 14 rolls around, light a candle or two, put on some calming music — I enjoy the Lo-Fi Beats or Dreamy Vibes playlists on Spotify — and slip into the bath, perhaps with a glass of wine.

After soaking in the tub, put on your favorite robe or pajamas, and slippers or fuzzy socks.

You can even put on a face mask during the bath or after it to continue the spa-like vibe.

To conclude the experience, put on your favorite movie or TV show, get comfortable with some snacks and enjoy the rest of Valentine’s Day feeling pampered and refreshed.

Movie date

You don’t have to have a date to go to the movies this Valentine’s Day. Some people feel self-conscious being at the theater alone, but hey, you’ll be in the dark for most of it.

Grab some popcorn and a drink at the concession stand and you’re set for a great time at the movies. Of course Manhattan’s theater, AMC Dine-in Manhattan 13, has a full dine-in menu, too. Dinner and a movie in one!

If you think you’ll feel self-conscious, don’t go too early. Aim to arrive just as the previews begin. Also, you can select a seat online and look for one that isn’t likely to be near other parties.

But keep in mind the positive aspects of watching a movie alone: You can see anything you want. You can go any time. You don’t have to share your snacks.

Party of one

Dining at a restaurant without a date can seem daunting, but many people find it liberating. Here are some tips for enjoying yourself.

  • Sit at the bar — This may get you seated faster. It also gives you the option to make small talk with the bartender or other patrons.
  • Bring a book — Or your phone, of course. There’s nothing wrong with having something to look at while you eat.
  • Focus on your food — Now’s the time to savor your meal. Remember that you get to order what you want and eat as much — or as little — as you want.

Cooking at home

Cooking a fancy meal on Valentine’s Day is another option to treat yourself.

The keys here are to make the meal feel special, perhaps by setting the table, and to cook something that doesn’t create a lot of leftovers since you’re a party of one.

Another idea is to choose foods that would be expensive for multiple people but might fit your budget for a single serving. Lobster and steak are good examples. They often come individually packaged and don’t require many ingredients to prepare.

Here’s one recipe to try:

Broiled lobster tail with butter-herb sauce


2 cold-water lobster tails, thawed if frozen

4 tablespoons salted butter

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon parsley finely chopped

2 lemon wedges


Pre-heat oven broiler to high heat, and put rack on top setting.

Use kitchen shears to butterfly and clean lobster tails. Place butterflied lobster tail in a baking dish or broiler pan with the shell side down, so meat will be closest part the top oven element. Set aside.

In a small microwave safe dish, melt butter in microwave by heating for 20-30 seconds.

Stir in minced garlic and fresh, finely chopped parsley.

Carefully spoon butter mixture over lobster meat. Reserve some for after cooking.

Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the top of each lobster tail.

Place lobster tail in oven and broil 4-5 inches from heat for around 1 minute, 15 seconds per ounce.

Remove from oven, use a meat thermometer to test doneness (140 degrees) or check that meat is no longer translucent, but rather white or opaque.

Remove from baking dish, and serve with remaining butter, and a squeeze of lemon. Serve with a salad, steamed veggies or baked potato.

— Adapted from the blog Spend with Pennies

Recommended for you