In Seattle, home to so many of the nation’s hipsters, Valentine’s Day has taken on some very unique incarnations among the singles crowd. Just ask Alexandra Chauran, a local fortuneteller.
Each year Chauran’s services are booked weeks, even months in advance of Valentine’s Day by those not in a relationship.
“I get booked by groups of single friends who split the bill for my hourly office fee and have fun getting their fortunes told about the future of their love lives,” says Chauran.
The Valentine’s Day fun for singles, however, doesn’t end there.
Typically during the evening, Chauran is booked for “anti-Valentine’s” parties, which she says have become quite popular in the Seattle area.
“They may be a regional thing,” she says of the widespread parties, where she reads wine sediments (very similar to reading tea leaves) for partygoers. “It’s pretty fun and it sure beats going out to a restaurant packed full of couples.
“Valentine’s Day has always been one of the busiest times of the year for me,” says Chauran, whose services cost $125 for the first hour. That becomes more affordable when split among a crowd. “Along with Halloween and New Year’s Eve. Because they all have people thinking about their future.”
In New York City, singles have some equally intriguing and inexpensive options for passing the holiday, if perhaps more artsy or physical.
The Ailey Extension, for example, is offering two inexpensive dance workshops on Valentine’s Day that are ideal for singles.
The Valentine’s Day Salsa Class, offered from 8-9:30 p.m. ET, requires no partner to participate. People from all walks of life are invited to enjoy learning to salsa. An added bonus: Dance partners will rotate throughout the evening, so it’s a great opportunity to meet new people.
The school also offers a Valentine’s Day Zumba Dance class from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET on Feb. 14, giving singles a chance to kick off the day with a dance party workout. Participation in either class is $25.
According to a poll done by It’s Just Lunch, 52% of unattached singles plan to surround themselves with the love and camaraderie of good friends on Valentine’s Day. Another 23% of unattached singles will enjoy the day of love by pampering themselves with a special treat.
Here are some additional suggestions for singles seeking to pass Valentine’s Day with a combination of fun, love, and affordability:
Share your love: One of the most popular suggestions for singles seeking to make the most of this holiday designed for couples is to spend the day or evening volunteering at a food bank or soup kitchen. Soup kitchens in particular are eager for assistance and typically do not have an onerous vetting process to go through in order to sign up.
“I’m a big believer in giving back, because it will make you feel good,” says It’s Just Lunch spokeswoman Irene LaCota.
Host a BYOB & F (Friend) party: Host a party and ask all of your friends to bring a friend of the opposite sex — making the party a great way to expand your network of friends, as well as potential pool of dating partners.
Hit the sale rack: Valentine’s Day shares a weekend with Presidents Day, a big sale holiday, which means clearance winter apparel will be even more of a steal, says Kendal Perez, a savings expert with Coupon Sherpa, who adds that you can likely nab a new arrival for 20% to 30% less thanks to the sales.
“Go shopping and find something that makes you feel beautiful,” says Perez.
Speed dating: There’s nothing like a good game of speed dating or other singles events on Valentine’s Day. Look online or in your local newspaper for activities for singles close to home. It’s a fun, inexpensive way to meet people. The added bonus of such events is that cuddly, kissing couples won’t be crossing your path at every turn.
Are you spending Valentine’s Day solo? What have you got planned?