10 Ways to Get a Date by Valentine's Day

Don’t you miss those grade school days, when every person in your class had to put a hand-addressed Valentine in your red-paper-pasted box? Now, only the smug coupled-up people among us are guaranteed some attention on Valentine’s Day, and even they complain it’s not enough ("They didn’t get me the right kind of flowers!"). So why bother with it? Well, because it’s kind of fun to get all dolled up and go somewhere romantic, imagining for weeks beforehand how it will be the best night of your life. What do you do if you haven’t got a date to look forward to yet? Make one. Here are 10 foolproof tips to make sure you’ve snagged a body to sit across from at the fancy restaurant of your choice.

1. Mix some red into your daily ensembles

This study (you really needn’t bother with reading the full thing) shows that when collegiettes wear red, college cuties pay more attention to us. Okay, maybe they didn’t use those exact terms, but that’s the gist of it. Wearing the color may entice boys to “sit closer” to us and ask us “more intimate questions.” One “intimate question” being, “Will you allow me to pick you up in my horse-drawn carriage on February the 14th?”

2. Gab like a guy

You may be thinking about the perfect candy-red shade of lipstick to wear on the big night, but no dude is. Engage your crush by bringing up any topic free of conversation hearts: how March Madness is impending or how your favorite sitcom is (finally) back from hiatus. He’ll notice you’re a cool chick, not one of these crazed, date-hungry psychos that seem to be walking around campus (not us, not us).

3. Increase the intimacy

If you have your sights set on a certain valentine, show him you’re open to more than just a weekend hookup or casual conversation in class. Former Real Live College Guy Joey admits, “I immediately have my interest piqued if a girl begins to touch me at all, even something like picking a crumb off my sweater or touching my arm when [I’m] talking. Become more open and available.” Joey also recommends asking your dude if he has plans for Valentine’s Day weekend WITHOUT mentioning Valentine’s Day. This shows you’re open to hanging out but takes away some of the pressure.

4. Be alluring

If you’re dead set on snagging someone you’ll want to up the ante when it comes to dressing for class and extra-curricular activities, like frat parties and basketball games. Boy Expert Cher, of the timeless classic Clueless, once said, “Sometimes you have to show a little skin. This reminds boys of being naked, and then they think of sex.” This may not be your exact end goal, but ditching a few of the bulky winter layers we’ve all been buried in lately couldn’t hurt.

5. Get a group together

The solo-date can be terrifying if you’re on it with someone you don’t know that well (seriously, any restaurant you go to will be full of people who ARE in love). If you’re not ready for it, Anna, from The College of William & Mary, recommends grabbing a group of girls and guys and heading to the latest horror flick. “It’s a good excuse to cozy up to your crush during the scary parts,” she says.

Related: 7 Romantic Valentine's Day Ideas 

6. Get set up

It’s a huge risk, but ever-hopeful collegiette Sarah, from Colby College, says that it’s worth the reward. “Getting set up is romantic because it can be great or the most awkward experience ever. Valentine’s Day is miserable if you’re single, so take the chance!” Go ahead and ask your friends or sorority sisters if they know any eligible people who would like to meet up on a day that just so happens to be the 14th. It could be a story for the grandchildren! And if you don’t have anyone to set you up? Check out HowAboutWe.com, which allows you to pick a fun guy AND a fun date idea . . . what could be better?

7. Take advantage of the weekend before

Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday this year, so use the weekend before to get out and mingle! Dating expert and publisher of OnlineDatingMagazine.com, Joe Tracy, advises to simply “be out there.” He says that the best way to get asked out is to “be self-confident and always look your best. Smile at people and say ‘hello’ when you pass them on campus or off.” Hit up the spots where you know your crush will be hanging out, or better yet, make plans to meet up with them. If you take the initiative first, they may surprise you by asking you out for Saturday.

8. Go for a friend

Maybe you don’t see your best guy friend as a romantic option, but he could be a ton of fun. Collegiette Remy, from William & Mary, recalls, “Last year, my guy friend and I went to one of the only romantic restaurants near campus and just mocked, quietly of course, other couples. I’ve never had a better Valentine’s Day.”

9. Guilt him into it

When I asked my current boyfriend how I managed to get him to ask me out last V-Day (we weren’t officially dating then), he told me he felt like he basically had to because of all the hints I dropped. Really romantic, right?? We’re still dating, so I guess the “guilt trip” can work, although it doesn’t make for a great story.

10. Just ask him out!

If you want the date, Former RLCG Joey says, “Don't be afraid to ask him out. Guys admire initiative, especially if they're shy. This isn't the 16th Century . . . girls don't have to be courted.” If all else fails, make the romance happen yourself.

Well, what are you waiting for? Go pick out your outfit, get a heart-design manicure and slap a picture of Cupid up on your dorm room door. You can officially get in the spirit, because you’ll have a date for the big day. And if you don’t? Joe Tracy advises spending the day racking up “good karma” by helping those less fortunate. Sounds like a plan to me!