Surviving Valentine's Day
Jo Hemmings' suggestions on surviving the day that some of us singles dread

Top dating coach Jo Hemmings gives some timely advice on a common problem ...

How to survive Valentine's Day

It's mid-Winter, Christmas is well and truly over, you're back to work and your much anticipated summer holiday is months away.

Just when you thought that it couldn't get any worse, along comes Valentine's Day, chock full of beautiful romantic couples looking wistfully down at each other why you wonder why you're single, AGAIN, this year ...

Hey, stop right there. If you really want a date for Valentine's Day, then you've got plenty of time to get yourself some action. For a start you're on Midsummer's Eve , so there's plenty of choice and secondly, loads of clubs and bars organise fun singles events on the weekend before – or even on the day itself. There's bound to be something local to you, so get surfing.

And for those of you that are too sluggish to get your skates on, here are my top ten survival tips – which actually celebrate being single for Valentine's Day.

1. Do you really want to buy into the cute teddy bear, pointless helium balloon, fattening chocolate and overpriced red roses routine? Or pay well over the odds for a substandard meal, while you watch all those other couples trying to have a fabulous time too? Valentine's Day has become a cheesy, over commercialised business and one of those days when declarations of undying love are best avoided. If you really want to do something positive, get back to basics and send someone you fancy an anonymous Valentine's Card to give them a hint at show them that you fancy them ...

2. Use the money that you would have spent on all those naff gifts or a meal out and spoil yourself at the shops. Buy a new outfit, shoes, haircut – anything that makes you feel good about yourself.

3. Indulge yourself with the TV remote – watch back-to-back sports or the entire series of ‘The Office' on DVD. The control and indulgence is all yours…

Valentine's diary
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4. Get a take away of your choice, a few cans of beer or a decent bottle of wine. Relax and enjoy.

5. Give yourself a home spa. An indulgent long soak in the bath, moisturize and defuzz all those places that you've neglected during the winter. And yes boys – that means you too…

6. Get to the gym, have a tougher workout than usual and revel in the fact that you're burning calories and getting fit while others are simply re-piling on those just-lost Christmas lbs with a large box of Thornton's or a heart shaped pink blancmange.

7. Plan to do something for the first time. Book a parachute jump, a salsa dancing event or a roller blading class. It doesn't matter what it is as long as you've never done it before. It will give you confidence and self-esteem.

8. You know that book you've been meaning to read for ages? Whether it's the latest Harry Potter, the bonkbuster you're saving for holiday or that crime novel you meant to get weeks ago – get buying or borrowing and give yourself a few hours to digest it at one sitting. Much more satisfying than a luke warm meal with shoddy service and high expectations.

9. Take yourself off to the movies for the early showing. Buy popcorn and a drink and enjoy a quiet late afternoon watching the latest Hollywood offering on the big screen.

10. Think about others – the season of goodwill may be officially over, but there's still plenty of volunteering work to be done whether it's chores for the elderly or rattling a tin for the charity of your choice.

© Midsummer's Eve 2007