Bittersweet Lovin’

Being single is not the end of the world. Still, being depressed about it most of the time is nothing compared to being alone on Valentine’s Day. Some of you out there have been single

Being single is not the end of the world. Still, being depressed about it most of the time is nothing compared to being alone on Valentine’s Day. Some of you out there have been single for a while and you can make it through Valentine’s Day practically unscathed. Yet, there are others – take this writer, for example – whose recent singledom has put a huge rut into her Valentine’s Day plans. Valentine’s Day is hard to ignore, but a recent breakup puts a name and a face to your longing.

I have always been jealous of those who can successfully disregard Valentine’s Day and spend the night studying, watching a movie or just going to bed early. Because the holiday falls on a Monday this year, doing things unrelated to love are going to be a little easier. Everything “Valentine’s” is hard to ignore, however. Whether you are out taking a stroll or just watching TV, those red and pink hearts are everywhere.

For those recent singles out there who refuse to take this holiday lying down, here are a few tips on how to not be alone on Valentine’s Day, and more importantly, how not to regret that time you spend with someone new.

First, there are ground rules. No matter what the circumstances, do not call, instant message, text message, e-mail or make any contact whatsoever with your ex. Not only is it bad form, but it will leave you feeling worse than when you started.

Now, you must locate your target. In my case, the target is the guy sitting right behind me in my most hated class. I have become so smitten with Mr. X, in fact, that these short few weeks since the semester started have been just enough time for me to realize I probably attend that class more to see him then anything else. At least I can locate him on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Once you’ve located your objective, start investigating. Is the person single? Does the person already have Valentine’s Day plans? Does the peron live near you? Of course, a “no” to the first question pretty much puts an end to the inquiry, but a “yes” should keep you digging. Remember, you don’t want to marry this person, you just don’t want to be watching Sleepless in Seattle alone again this year.

Now for the most risky step, but the one that will reap the most rewards: ask out the one you admire! In this particular situation, honesty may actually work to your advantage. Inform your target that you would like to go out sometime soon, and it doesn’t have to be on Valentine’s Day.

Like I said, the holiday falling on a Monday has the possibility of working out for us rebounders. By not making the date on Valentine’s Day, a lot of the pressure and expectation is taken away. The reason for this is that many people, both guys and girls, have a fear of Valentine’s Day. It means romance, but most importantly, it means commitment. Make it clear this could be just a one-time thing, and if they aren’t busy you wouldn’t mind the company.

So now your date is set. It sounds so easy right? Well maybe you don’t have a Mr. X of your own. Or maybe you could care less about a date and just want to get lucky on Valentine’s Day.

Often, people think sex will help to bring them out of a romantic depression. Whether getting some action on Valentine’s Day is a one-time rebound, or the start of a new “relationship,” sleeping with someone when you’re lonely has its ups and downs.

On the positive side, you don’t have to worry about filling up your night with plans. This person could possibly offer you a night – or maybe just a few brief moments – of bliss. And forget about worrying if you’ll contact your ex, you’ll be too busy in the sack. There is always the option of calling your ex after the fact to inform him or her of your victory. If that choice sounds appealing to you, however, I suggest you stay home next week in order to avoid involving other innocent people in your crazy sex games.

If you choose to rebound this way, please heed some advice of what not to do, and I promise you only have to listen to me on this one holiday. Chances are, you don’t know this person too well and that means you don’t know his or her history. Keep an eye out for some red flags.

There is no surefire way to tell if someone has an STD when talking to him or her in a bar. In fact, sometimes it’s difficult to tell if they have one when they’re lying in bed next to you. So do yourself a favor and use caution; some STDs are treatable with antibiotics and others can stay with you for life. Enough said.

The possibility of getting depressed after a one-night stand is strong. Not to say that you can’t be satisfied, but the chances of your ecstasy lasting until the sun comes up on Feb. 15 are slim. Once depression, guilt and any other emotional consequence sets in, you’ll definitely realize it wasn’t worth it.

Finally, a word of advice on behavior. If it’s liquor you crave, go easy. If you’re on an actual date, the last thing your partner wants to hear about is your ex, and when you start drinking on Valentine’s Day, you are going to start to gush. If your aim is only to get a little physical with your new playmate, talking about the ex is sure to leave you alone for the night. After all this work, you might have been better off at home with your movies.

Michelle Nicoletto can be reached at

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