You’ve already discussed your majors, summer plans, and opinions on postmodern literature. There is a long pause while you try to come up with less controversial conversation topics. You start to ask how many siblings your date has. At the same time, your date starts to speak. “Sorry, you go first,” you say. “No, go ahead,” your date says. This goes on until eventually, you’re both too flustered to say anything at all. You sit in silence, avoiding eye contact. You study your silverware. Your date admires the parking lot view. “Lovely,” you manage. Finally, your appetizers are served.
Let’s be real: the worst part about dating is interacting with your date. If you struck out this Valentine’s Day, next time just skip the whole human contact thing (so cliché!) and do something special for the one you truly love. Follow The Argus’s guide to solitary courting and make yourself yours in no time.
1. Get to know yourself better. Chances are you already know what classes you’re taking and what your stance is on gender-neutral bathrooms. So skip the standard date night questions and take this opportunity to delve deep into your psyche. Take a Myers-Briggs test and find out your personality type, or try out OkCupid’s “Which Freudian Stage Are You” quiz and reevaluate your childhood according to your results. Remember, there’s no such thing as over-thinking when you’re thinking for two. But if you dig up anything questionable, brush it under the rug. You are, after all, building a real relationship here.
2. Grab some grub. The most annoying part about restaurant dates is the self-restraint they entail. Maybe you’ve learned the hard way that pad thai just wasn’t designed for sharing, and gloppy Indian food is best consumed in solitude. This February, ride solo to a Middletown eatery of your choice and greedily devour the sweet taste of freedom. Away from the judgmental gaze of your suitors, every pizza is a personal pizza and third helpings of froyo are totally fair game. It’s Only Natural for you to polish off all the hummus, and Cold Stone’s “Gotta Have It” size should be taken no way other than literally. Gluttony is a social construct and you consider every bite a statement of opposition.
3. Do something wacky. Now that you’re taking the unconventional route, you might as well take it all the way. Be your own most interesting person and veer away from the standard dinner-and-a-movie model. Try reenacting the “Blow” video at the Middletown Roller Skating Rink. You’ll get the best of both worlds by playing the parts of both Beyoncé and Solange. If Queen B doesn’t do it for you, kick it over at the now-abandoned Connecticut Asylum for the Insane over on Silver Street, where some of the very first lobotomies took place. If you dare, conduct a séance in the cemetery of unmarked graves. Dates with pulses are way overrated. Make the dead your valentine.
4. Take your breath away. Life is no rom-com, but face it: V-Day is probably the closest yours will ever come to resembling one. Be your own Manic Pixie Dream Girl/Guy/Person and do something outlandish to express your affection. Perform a grand romantic gesture for yourself based on your hobbies or interests. Do you collect trolls? Bulk order them on Amazon and cover your bed with them. Bonus points for blindfolding yourself to maintain the element of surprise. Remember, there’s no such thing as taking this too far. Think of yourself as all eight couples of the 2010 ensemble comedy “Valentine’s Day” rolled into one infinitely amorous human being.
5. Commemorate your date. Every good date is an affair to remember, so make some memorabilia of your solitary outing. Upload a Facebook album of selfies and name it after an inside joke from the date. If you’d rather keep your special time private, take some artful polaroids and put them in a scrapbook. Maybe write some autobiographical sonnets. No good romantic comedy is complete without a montage, so pay tribute to your big date by setting it to an appropriate song. Options include Beyonce’s “Me, Myself, and I,” “I’m Single” by Lil’ Wayne, and Jason Derulo’s “Ridin’ Solo,” but you can make any love song work by replacing “you” with first-person pronouns in Garage Band. Roll the montage somewhere cozy and bask in the glory of solitude. If hell is other people, then heaven is yourself.