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If you’re a single gal like me, there are two words that you detest more than any other: Valentine’s Day.

It comes around every year without fail (unfortunately), and every year I dread it like the plague. Even when I’ve been in relationships and “relationships” (definitely a difference between those ), I’m still not excited about Valentine’s Day.

I hate that it makes you feel forced to stretch a connection that might not really be working out or to spend money that you don’t have just so you don’t look like a bad boyfriend or girlfriend.

But the worst part of everything, though, is how it makes you feel when you’re single.

Many people prefer to refer to Valentine’s Day as Singles’ Awareness Day, which I totally agree with. Most of the time, I don’t mind that I’m single. I just haven’t found that right person yet, and I’d rather be single than to settle on dating someone just because I want a relationship. While I make this sound super easy (hint: it’s not), any sort of uneasiness I have about being single gets amplified by this horror of a day. It makes me want to run to the nearest liquor store, pick up a top shelf bottle of my poison of choice and cut my losses. I want to stay in my PJs, watch some chick flicks and sip on some adult beverages!

Unfortunately, like the majority of the nation who will be at work or school on Valentine’s Day, this won’t be an option. I’m not going to be able to hide away from the holiday … it’s going to be staring me in the face everywhere I go. Thanks, Cupid!

Here’s my guide to avoid feeling nauseous about all of the love in the air …

Avoid social media

Especially Instagram and Facebook. Unless you want to see all of the awesome stuff people in relationships are getting (i.e. jewelry, roses, chocolates), stay as far away as you can. I know people aren’t trying to brag or be annoying about their relationships (hopefully), but all of it is too much at the same time. Back away from your screen(s).

Spend time with family/friends

If you’re able to make a trip back home, do it! Not only will it be nice to sleep in your own bed, but it’s a heck of a lot less lonelier on Valentine’s Day when you have family and friends by your side.

Ignore the dating website commercials

They’re trying to kick you while you’re down! Don’t give them the satisfaction! Seriously, this is a day when you’re probably feeling more desperate than most. Don’t jump the gun because you’re having a down day and sign up for a multi-month account for one of these websites. If you really think you want to try it out, make yourself wait a week and see if you’re still interested. Odds are, you’ll probably be very uninterested by the time the Valentine’s Day flu is done sweeping across the nation.

Do something productive

Run errands that you’ve been putting off forever, do your laundry, organize your closet — do whatever it is that you’ve been avoiding. Not only will you feel better about yourself once it’s done, but it will also distract you from this hearts and flowers nonsense.

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