How to survive Valentine’s Day – A Guide for the Broken-Hearted

So, you’ve literally just recovered from Christmas with the family – the sympathetic glances, the reassuring taps on the back, familiar shoulder squeezes and being the only over-30-year-old to serve as exclusive entertainment to all the nieces and nephews.  At the Christmas dinner table everyone, almost in unison, announces all too regularly that you really have no need to worry as “people get married SO much later nowadays” and your dad is starting to show signs of leaning favourably towards the “respected and understandable” tradition of arranged marriages.

As if the Season to be Jolly wasn’t reminder enough of your everlasting single status, being the only attendee without a Plus One at Lucy’s annual New Year’s bash was the final nail in the lack of relationship coffin… Until now of course.

February. The month of love and the most heart-breaking and devastating reminder of them all – VALENTINE’S DAY.  I mean, seriously! Have you not suffered enough?

Now before you become a danger to yourself and to others, let’s consider a few possible options to make this year’s Valentine’s Day at least bearable.

  • Private Pajama Pity Party

Saint Valentine, that ridiculous little cherub Cupid, desperate family involvement or a very recent break-up has left you absolutely miserable. You are in no mood for company, crowds or chatter and the only way you can possibly stomach the 14th is at home with a bottle of red wine and melodrama on BoxOffice. Perfectly understandable and possibly even a wise choice.  Certainly no judgement here!

In fact, a suggestion of what to rent is Behind the Candelabra. I can guarantee you that Liberace’s disaster of a love life can only make you feel better about yours.

  • Night Out

Oh no, not I. I will survive
Oh as long as I know how to love
I know I’ll stay alive
I’ve got all my life to live
I’ve got all my love to give and I’ll survive
I will survive,
I will survive!

This teddy bear, red carnation fuelled holiday will not break you. You may not be sharing it with your eternal flame but that doesn’t mean you will be spending it alone. Sure, maybe you’re a little past your prime and throwing back tequila’s on the dance floor till 4 am isn’t as appealing as it used to be but a night out with your other single ladies is always fabulous.

Splurge on making a group booking at a ritzy fine dining restaurant (you’d better get onto that quickly) and spoil yourselves with champagne, lobster and chocolate fondant. If budget doesn’t permit after chronic overspending the recession, there’s nothing wrong with sharing box wine at your local pizzeria. At least wear something red and good luck with the hangover.

  • Act of Kindness

Maybe this Valentine’s Day you are not receiving but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be giving. There may very well be someone for whom this day is even gloomier than for you and how special would it be if you can brighten it up just a little.

Invite this someone over for a heart-warming, home cooked meal or go over to theirs with some comforting fried chicken. Whether it is your grandmother who has been begging you for a visit or a colleague that had recently gone through a divorce, commit to making their Valentine’s Day a happy one.

It’s about love after all, right?

  • Ready to Mingle

You’d be delighted to know that you are not the only missy pup looking for some affection on this day traditionally reserved for annoying couples and sickeningly sweet courters. There is a whole world of potential lovers, suitors and possible rejects using this day purely to get laid meet someone. Parties are hugely popular, well attended and festive and it’s almost 100% certain that everyone there is at least somewhat single and hopefully willing and able. Have a look at these;

94.7, Highveld Stereo is hosting a party in conjunction with Virgin Atlantic on the 14th.

The Foreign Exchange Pub in Observatory, Cape Town is also throwing a bash on Valentine’s.

Meet Joburg ( specializes in hosting events for singles and they’re creative in having a Red Cocktail Evening the night before the actual Valentine’s explosion. Who knows you may actually have a valentine when the clock strikes midnight.

So, while we’re working on at least getting the local government to support and endorse a holiday set aside exclusively for those who are “currently between relationships”, we’re going to have to suck it up and embrace the only one we’ve got for now. I hope the abovementioned at least gives you some ideas on how to cope as being the Third Wheel to Lucy’s romantic candlelight date simply cannot be an option.


More about the author:

Suzette Leal has three Hons degrees in Psychology in the fields of General, Child and Industrial Psychology. She has been involved in individual counselling as well as Corporate before starting her own business, Meet Joburg. Co-owner, Mathilda Loots, has recently received her PhD in Psychology and is still practicing while assisting Suzette with this thriving business. Together, Suzette and Mathilda who have been friends since University days saw a gap in the dating market and combined their knowledge about human behaviour and psychology to develop a unique dating concept.

Meet Joburg has been running successfully for two and a half years now and they have over 2500 members to date. There are between two to three events hosted on a weekly basis where the Meet Joburg team consisting of the Directors and two lovely Sales and Event co-ordinators facilitate the meeting and mingling of single professionals so that natural chemistry, great conversation and relationships can develop. Table placements and grouping for and at events are done in a specific way to ensure like-minded people are introduced to each-other at events and this has afforded them an excellent 70% success rate in terms of forming relationships – which are romantic, platonic, or business-oriented.

To become a member, visit: and complete the application process.  If successful, you will be invited to your first obligation-free event.

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