Being single on Valentine's Day can be tough, but it shouldn't have to be.
You're savvy. You're independent. You're fabulous. You don't need overpriced roses or your coupled friends' smug reassurances. All you need is a positive attitude.
So if Annual Hallmark-Makes-A-Killing Day has got you feeling a bit down, don't worry. Here is a handy 14-point guide to surviving February 14 alone, in class and style.
1. Devote a whole day to pampering yourself!
Valentine's Day is all about love, so it's time to love yourself. Sleep in! Nuzzle deep into your pillows! Enjoy having the covers all to yourself! Ignore the disturbing grunts of your middle-aged next-door neighbours having a blissful hour of V-Day Morning Sex. Embrace your woefully sexless existence. Make a note to buy earplugs.
2. Visit your loved ones!
This is the perfect time to shout your lovely parents a nice breakfast. Take them to their favourite cafe. Whoops, there's a 40-minute wait, thanks to all the couples hungry after their blissful hour of V-Day Morning Sex. Seethe as your parents pass the waiting time by asking you invasive questions like "Still not seeing anyone? Can we fix you up? Do you realise it's Valentine's Day? Why are you still alone? What's wrong with you?"
3. Dress up!
They say if you're feeling a bit lonely, or having an 'unattractive day', it helps to dress up - even if you're not going anywhere. Shave, shower, fix your hair and get into your best date clothes. Look at yourself in the mirror and smile. Hey, you're actually pretty damn good-looking! Aaaaand no one is going to see it. Because you're single, alone, and just wasted two hours of your evening getting ready for no reason. Sigh and put your dressing gown back on.
4. Have a romantic dinner-for-two delivered to your door!
When the delivery guy knocks on your door, pretend you're halfway through a long, very-much-in-love laugh with your partner as you open it. Smile and shout behind you, "Honey, the food's here!" Avoid meeting the delivery guy's gaze of pity. He knows.
5. Throw a Singles' Party!
It's time to get your entire crew together to have some FUN! Set up a Facebook Event page, and invite all your friends over for wine, chocolate and silly movies! Wait. Whoops. All your friends are in relationships now, and they're busy pampering their partners in that four-bedroom house with a shiny white picket fence they bought together last month. Okay. Cool. Have some Easy Mac For Four, for one, instead.
6. Send yourself flowers!
Timing is everything here. You need to be in a public place, like the office or a crowded cafe. When your gift arrives, act like you're really surprised and overwhelmed. Start crying. Be sure to make them look like tears of joy. Avoid meeting the gaze of your colleagues, who know they're tears of loneliness.
7. Head out to a romantic restaurant!
Why miss out on a nice dinner, just because you're single? As restaurants are booked to the max on Valentine's Day, getting a table-for-one can be a difficult task. But have no fear. Book a reservation for two at a fancy restaurant. Sit down and tell the waiter your partner is running a few minutes late. When the waiter returns, claim you've been stood up and start crying. Hopefully he will take pity, and offer you free spring rolls.
8. Recreate your first date!
Remember your first moment with your first love? Back when everything was all innocent, carefree and fun? Head to that sacred spot and connect with those good old times. Smile. Breathe in the nostalgic air. Slowly let the reality of the fact that you're no longer with them - or anyone else, for that matter - sink in. Stalk them on social media. Learn that they're married with a kid, and a four-bedroom house with a shiny white picket fence. Leave them an angry voice message. Go home. Burn your smartphone.
9. Watch a romantic movie!
If you want a deep, heartfelt, 100 per cent realistic love story, nothing beats The Notebook. Smile with anticipation as the opening credits roll. Get immersed. Get snugly. Get confused. Get irritated. Get fired up. "What sort of sick f**k threatens to kill himself via ferris wheel just to get a woman to go out with him?" "When will these two hurry up and kick the bucket so I can go to bed?" "Why are people so attracted to Ryan Gosling when he abusively blackmails women with ferris wheel suicide threats, and then wastes perfectly good ice cream by literally shoving it in his date's face?" Watch The Exorcist instead.
13. Have a reality check!
As you settle into your sad little microwave meal from Coles and blast your secret Cheesy 80s Spotify playlist, just remember you've got decades ahead of you to have to deal with another person's crap. Shamelessly belt out Cyndi Lauper's greatest hits while you still can, and relax. Because when you do end up in a relationship, there's no more getting away with those amazing gross things you can only do when single.
14. But seriously, stay away from Tinder.