The Bitter Bitch’s Guide to Surviving Valentine’s Day

She’s not bitter at all! Follow Robyn Strachan on a traipse through the vagaries of V-Day and find out how not to spin off into a teary meltdown every time you see a Facebook relationship status.

advice booty call Single tips Valentines Day


Not like any other love.

If ever allowed to enter into some dictator-type arrangement with the whole wide world, I’d eradicate Valentine’s Day completely, or at the least treat any insipid couples or supporters of this sappiest of days to suffer the unpleasant demise of St. Valentine himself (beaten with clubs and beheaded, according to Wikipedia. Shudder).

Alas, as a vaguely disenfranchised and marginally misanthropic undergraduate, I no more have this power than I have the opportunity to go into the nearest branch of Hallmark Cards with a flamethrower and a copy of Prodigy’s ‘Firestarter’ and have a pyrotechnic orgy with the plethora of overpriced pink and red tat that stupid people buy for their sweeties. Pass me the heart-shaped bucket, I’m going to be sick.

Look at this flirtatious display of UNABASHED MASCULINITY. Attractive, amiright?

You can cry BUT ISN’T IT NICE TO CELEBRATE LOVE ETC ETC ETC AD INFINITUM as much as you want, it still doesn’t change the fact that the modern incarnation of Valentine’s Day was basically invented to fan the flames of passionate and rampant commercialism; besides, if it’s “not like any other love” then surely you don’t need to make some grand, artificial gesture to prove it? Jesus, just go down the pub and grope each other in the toilets or something!

It’s only us singles, more in a relationship with our housemate’s Netflix password than a real, breathing human being, that understand the intense irritant potential of PDA and simpering glances. It’s only us unattached that understand just how pointless the whole charade really is. And so, it’s to these enlightened souls that these practical tips for surviving V-Day are dedicated.



You too could be the proud owner of a handmade, tie-dye vest that whilst obviously a lush piece of clothing, might not be deemed obvious date-wear.


As easy as it is to descend into a stream of platitudes about loving the skin you’re in, personal style tends to go out of the window when you’re on a date if that style tends towards the statement. This means that any fledgling lovers will more likely than not be spending Friday as watered-down, neutral and rose-tinted versions of themselves in uncomfortable underwear in order to please some Cosmo-sanctioned cliche of a Valentine.

“But I’m an individual, no DATE’s going to take away my knitwear!” I hear the naysayers cry. Bollocks. I had a date the other night, and rather than stomp into the pub in my usual battered rockabilly shoes and chunky cardigan, all lipstick and vitriol, I deliberately armoured up in a little black dress and boring makeup, and acted twice as obnoxious as usual to make up for it.

At least if you’re single, you can whack out the crazy hair and try and entrance a similarly crazy snog and a grope next to the bar of a nightclub, which is way more fun than making small talk with some clone because the calendar told you to.



Who needs someone to seductively feed it to, when you could just eat this bad boy yourself?


See that bottle of Chardonnay with the love-heart label in Tesco? It loves you more than anyone else in the world right now, and being single means you can drink the whole gorgeous bottle in one embrace of a sitting without any vino-grabbing lad or lady to waste half of your precious units on.

You can, in other words, get twice as plastered under the guise of feeling sorry for yourself. See that lovely steak dinner? It’ll taste twice as good when you can gobble up half a cow, sat in front of Peep Show in your pyjamas and hissing if any of your flatmates try and sneak a chip. You’re not getting laid, so you might as well get bloated.

Moreover, gluttony doesn’t stop at the things you can shove into your gaping maw as a replacement for some soggy tounge! Spend the money you might have otherwise had to waste on Valentine’s crap on YOURSELF; that way, you’re guarenteed to get something you like and won’t have to practice your grateful face for when The Lover likes to pretend that pun-based fluffy animals are in good taste. Besides, who says you can’t buy yourself flowers, the rom-com police? Morrissey wasn’t getting his gladioli in exchange for a kiss and a cuddle and dude’s doing OK.


Unlike the dude that stands you up at Bar 55, shots will never let you down.


So you’re single? Chances are, a lot of your friends will be as well. Make like a pack of man-eating Black Widow spiders, if they had a fondness for Glen’s Vodka and singalongs on the night bus, and go out and terrorise London as an anti-Valentine’s mob, on a quest for fun and frivolity.

Your single Camelot features some of the finest bitches to ever grace the Round Table, so you might as well make The Roxy your holy grail and go and down pitchers like there’s no tomorrow (which, in the eyes of some sections of the media, might actually be true if you’re single. Never mind).

If you fancy a candlelit meal, go out with your pals and make simpering eyes at each other across the Groupons – at least, with no arbitary standards to uphold, you can all ogle the hot waiter’s arse together, in a non-sexual-harrassment-y way of course. If you’re really into the grand and ultimately futile gesture, you could even host an Anti-Valentine’s party, though I’m not promising that I won’t take the piss out of any pun-based cocktails or breakup anthem song choices.



You know who’s founded a career out of misery, weird and ultimately futile sexual experience and moping around. Brett Anderson. Brett Anderson is FINE AS HELL. I rest my case.

We all love a good mope, a bit of self-serving, self-pitying sulking that would normally make your family laugh, your flatmates groan and your friends despise you. Now, my singletons, the time is ripe and the opportunity juicy to indulge these tendencies.

Stare at your shoes, mumble vaguely about bad karma and the partisan nature of the world and use your bed as the centrepiece for your very own performance art piece on being a hermit, or alternatively, a crudely made facsimile of a mid-Noughties emo teenager.



MAYBE use some slightly more endearing terms of seduction than this example, culled from what is ostensibly a Chinese textbook for teaching English. Matt sounds like a right catch.

Everyone has at least one number in their phone marked “Possibly Jim/Tim/whatever”. Use it. Even if its carnal potential remains unfufilled, a dream whisked away with the chicken shop detritus after that blurry night a month ago, Jim/Tim/whatever will serve as a distraction from the couples parade, make you feel like you’re taking ownership of your own single status, and be someone to pick on via text if things get too stupifying.



The embodiment of happy singleness, as seen via two Essex girls and a whole lotta Snakebite.

At least you got a card from your dad, right? That’s an improvement in the year me and my best mate got matching Kermit the Frog cards from our manager at work,  purely out of pity. Just feel superior that, unlike all the sheeple holding hands and skipping down the pavement in a his-and-hers dream, you’re above the manafactured landfill site that is Valentine’s Day.So enjoy, my single beauties, and remember that you’re better than a folded piece of wood-pulp and a cheap box of sickly chocolates. I love you, even if no-one else does.