How to be Single: Dating yourself this Valentine's day

I know. It’s sad to think about spending Valentine's Day alone without a significant other. No dates and no prospects of even a budding potential relationship on your horizon. Stressed out from essay writing, to Netflix binging Full House in anticipation for Fuller House (Feb 26th, FYI), slaying those mighty midterm beasts and remembering to cook every once in a while, while doing your own laundry and paying bills. Yes, the "adulting" struggle is real. So between the hair pulling, sobbing and the manic caffeine hazes who has time to date? Well, apparently plenty of people, but I believe they must have come from some crazy planet Bowie made up.

For those of you single girls I know that are planning your Nicholas Sparks marathons and contemplating crashing your friends dates (Just DON'T!), you want to cry and obsess about Ryan Gosling in the rain.

Well, I want you to put those plans aside for a moment and say to yourself, "I deserve love," "I'm hot," and "Nothing’s wrong with being single." Put on your war paint. Doll yourself up and take "YOU" out on a hot date.

I've been single pretty much for the last twenty-one years of my life. I've only kissed one person, with whom I had an awkward relationship. My best advice: always trust the dog. If it hates you, then the relationship is over. I’ve had my fair share of unrequited crushes, but I've never felt that “special spark” with someone, and given my experience being a hetero-romantic ace it can be tricky navigating the murky dating waters. People are prone to believe that normal is straight, gay or bi. Is it a crime that I'd rather eat pizza and slay dragons? (Apparently that's what we aces do).

What do you do when someone doesn't want physical intimacy? That's unheard of. I've often been asked why I talk about crushes when I'm ace. Well, there are a lot of darn attractive, smart funny dudes out there and I appreciate each and every one—Tom Hiddleston, did you get that? But I crave alone time and I thoroughly enjoy being by myself as an introvert. I think that’s an attractive quality to have; to be able to enjoy your own company. I know someday Domhnall Gleeson will come calling for me from his time machine (About Time joke) and I will be ready and willing to feel the ginger love forceit is strongbut for now, I like being single. I'm young, I like to have fun, and I see no reason why anyone should hold me back from doing things for myself. If I can love and take care of myself, then I can shake off all of the negative energy that prevents me from being happy and living. 

So how does one date themselves? Good question. You do everything you'd normally do by yourself out in public in a stellar outfit or you call all of your single friends and unite. 

Step 1. Doll up. You may not think putting on makeup matters if it’s just you or your best girlfriend, but trust me. A little mascara, some tinted lip balm or gloss and you're ready to go. If you take the time to pamper yourself, then you will not only feel an infinite confident boost, but you’ll be projecting a version of yourself out into the world that says: "I like myself, so I don't care if you like me or not… but you should." Nothing attracts friends and relationships like ordinary light; the radiance that comes from looking and feeling your best. But that doesn't mean strapping on heels if that isn't your thing. A smart pair of funky oxfords or some chunky low heeled booties can always work too.

Step 2. Gather the troops. Call your BFFs or your mom. But if it’s just you, make up a weird cheerleading chant, and pump yourself up before going out. I highly recommend putting on your favourite danceable song. Note: Adele should not be factored in unless Calvin Harris is calling from the other side with a remix. 

Step 3. Pick a destination or destiny. Decide whether you’re hungry, contemplate Subway but force yourself to go to a slightly nicer restaurant—the entrée should cost at least eight dollars. I like to take myself to Fresh. Personally, as a vegan, it can be quite a romantic setting (unless you are on a date with a questionable musician. He-who-shall-not-be-named is what I will call him). You will enjoy eating in peace and taking half the time to order.

Movie Dates are amazing. Go see How to be Single with everyone's favourite funny girl Miss Rebel Wilson, and the always lovely and tough as Steele—ha ha ha—Dakota Johnson. Watch Johnson learn to let herself go and enjoy independence with a wisecracking fairy godmother by her side. You’re guaranteed laughs, hot guys and a strong feminist message. What could be better?

You could see a play. Evita is at Hart House from February 4th to the 6th. You'll get student pricing so cost is no issue and you'll get the experience of watching a grand romantic drama unfold through song. It has got it all: the juicy, the political, the depressing and the longing. You'll cry just as hard as you would be if you’re watching The Notebook and you won't be sitting at home.

Do something touristy. Maybe Ripley's Aquarium, the CN Tower or even a scenic walk down the Harbourfront.

See a concert. Local groups play at bars all the time. By going out, it’s likely that you could discover your next favourite band while sipping that fruity cocktail. 

Go to the Innis College "Dancing Flame" winter formal on the 26th. Bring a friend. Or not. Be sure to dance like it's 1989 and meet new people. The tickets are $40 for Innis students and $45 for everyone else.

Go to high tea in a flowy lady skirt (pencil is always a bad idea when it comes to crossing your legs).

Innis is having a speed friending event Friday, Feb 5th at 3:00 p.m. in the Residence Events room. Enjoy free food and a nice casual atmosphere, bond over your love of pugs and excitement over the official return of Gilmore Girls! Maybe you'll make a besty for life—or at least for a night—and you might have someone to go bowling with.

Rotaract is hosting a murder mystery party at the ROM on February 12th at 4:30 p.m. You must be on a team but I'm sure you can join one once you get there. Us Rotaract folk are very welcoming. I won't be there because I'll be heading home for Reading Week but it's being planned by my roommate, so I know it will be amazing. The tickets are 20$ for non-Rotaract members but all proceeds go to the Sandy Lakes First Nations Reserve providing food and helping the community build a school!

Give Back. Volunteer for something!

Pouring your love and energy into your community feels so much better than I could ever describe.

Whatever you choose to do whether it be it a manicure, volunteering at a soup kitchen, school or even a David Bowie Marathon at the Reg Hartt Theatre on Bathurst or Paint Nite! I want you to Go Big and Do You! 2016 is your year to sparkle like the sparkly unicorn goddess you are!