Whether you’re spending Valentine’s Day with a loved one or alone, there are a few things you’ll probably want to avoid in your quest for that “loving feeling.” Hollywood movies and jewelry TV commercials teach us that there is nothing better than spending Valentine’s Day with the man or woman of our dreams. As such, many of us spend our days searching for something to offset what we feel we should feel. However, if you’re planning to do one of the following things for Valentine’s Day looking for what those commercials are pedaling, chances are you’ll be disappointed.

1. Dinner at “EL” Restaurant: In most cities, there is usually a restaurant (or maybe several) where would-be Casanovas take their loved ones. While this may seem like a good idea, the problem is that the restaurant will likely be crowded, the staff will be stressed, and the cooks are less likely to attend to your food as they would on a less busy day. Instead of the clichéd restaurant dinner, try something a little different. Take a boxed lunch to a drive-in. Order food to take home. While it may not sound as romantic, you’ll likely end up a lot less frustrated if you ignore that call to go out.

2. Romantic movie at the Cineplex: When couples run out of things to do, the first thing they seem to jump on is the romantic movie now playing at the local theater. No matter how many bad reviews or how clichéd the trailers are, you just might find yourself there this Valentine’s Day. One piece of advice: don’t do it. If it’s not a movie you were already interested in before Valentine’s Day, then there’s no reason to suffer just because it’s February 14th.

3. Lonely trip to the bar: For those spending Valentine’s Day alone, taking a trip to the local bar to check out the dating scene is likely to prove to be a disappointment. Instead of spending your V-day at the bar, invite a couple of single friends over for dinner at a local cafe or movie night at home. You won’t be alone and you will really enjoy your night instead of looking for something in the bar that you probably won’t find.

4. Getting angry: You just received your Valentine’s gift from your significant other and it’s a bar stool. Safe. You wanted a bar stool, but not for Valentine’s Day, right? Instead of getting mad, laugh and maybe later, explain that for Valentine’s Day, all you want is a little more affection and attention.

5. Romantic Picnic: While this might work in some places, this idea is often touted on “to-do” lists that revolve around Valentine’s Day. There is only one problem. It’s winter! If you opt for the picnic, make sure it’s an “indoor picnic.” While it may not be that novel, at least you won’t be at risk of losing a toe due to hypothermia.

The most important thing to remember is that Valentine’s Day is a day like any other day. If you spend every day doing the things you want to do, you’ll have absolutely no reason to put so much emphasis on Valentine’s Day or any other day of the calendar year.

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