Haters, welcome. This is a safe space for those of us fed up with the forced romantic holiday and its duty-bound commercialism. Feeling singled out this cheesy (not in a good way) time of year? No need to be left alone out in the cold. Gather your single friends — maybe even your coupled friends who also think the holiday is a shallow interpretation of love — for a party celebrating your independence. Platonic love is pretty powerful too. When planning your non-romantic revelry, consider our tips on how to drink, eat, and carouse in official Palentine's Day style surrounded by your friends (without benefits), on or around Feb. 14.
Like a divorce party, this is a healthy, yet not-so-healthy-it's-lame, way to celebrate your loss or lack of romantic love. Hey, it's not like you're spewing your bitterness all over the innocent joy of a newly married couple ... at their wedding, ie: The Wedding Singer.
Tip 1: Send e-vites that set the tone. Inject a funny/witty/ironic/angry/gross vibe into your event. It's probably too last-minute by now to post-mail an invitation, so do it by email. That doesn't mean you just type the details in a plain ol' message that you cc to all your friends. For the last 15 to 20 years, we've had these things called e-vites. Try it. Many sites offer free e-cards. On Punchbowl, click the "edit message" button and type in your what, where, and when, as well as what to wear, what to bring, and what food to expect. Be sure to give helpful details like parking instructions too.
Tip 2: Make a great playlist, but nothing by Adele, please. Your musical taste may depend on your birth decade and personal vibe, but these are some fitting suggestions of what to pile into your party playlist. Regardless, take time to plan the music. Here's what we like:
- "Bittersweet Symphony," by The Verve
- "Love Stinks," by The J. Geils Band
- "All the Single Ladies," by Beyoncé
- "Go Your Own Way," by Fleetwood Mac
- "So What," by Pink
- "F*ck You," by Cee Lo Green
- "I Hate Everything About You," by Three Days Grace
Tip 3: Have fun with the drinks and food. You got this. Label your signature cocktail, your sweets, your tapas. You can put the food and drink names on little cards before each platter, or draw it on: "Fries Before Guys," "Cupid Can Suck It," "Love Bites," "Meh," "It's Not Me. It's You," and "Over It" — you get the idea.
Create Some Dark-Hearted Drinks
Whip up an espresso martini, a blackberry-infused Prosecco, or a fig cocktail you name the Black Heart, as suggested by event planners Potcakes.
Scrawl it on a Sugar Cookie
"UR The Worst" Cupcakes
Don't have a steady hand for neat dessert-decorating? Stick a little sign into your cupcakes instead. Get a bunch of stand-offish messages with these Insult Cupcake Toppers for Anti-Valentine's Day.
Mark Your Macarons
Write your off-putting message on macarons, like Lindsay of Sprinkles for Breakfast does. Buy the macarons or make them yourself from our French Macarons with Pomegranate Ganache recipe. Use food-decorating pens, such as this set of 10 Americolor Gourmet Writer Food Marker Pens, filled with U.S.-certified food coloring.
Tip 4: Pick a theme to coordinate the decor and what you want guests to wear. Wear black. Suggest an unsexy or date-from-hell costume. Require all guests to wear their bathrobes. And no, not any sexy, silky, kimono ones either. We're talking terry cloth types. For the décor, start by typing up a banner, like this pretty (and sh*tty) "Love Stinks, Cupid is Stupid" banner in a deceptively sweet pink shade. Plaster images of Cupid getting shot all over the place. Why does he get to shoot all the arrows anyway? Isn't that fun?!
Tip 5: A few activities can't hurt … (like spurned love can). Once everyone's had a few drinks, they can be enthusiastic about swinging a bat at an Anti-Valentine's Day piñata. Put sour gummy worms or black licorice in there, something more sour or salty than sweet. You could bring out the Cards Against Humanity game, or do anti-Valentine's Day charades, with topics like "worst date ever" and "turn-offs." Umm … it might help if no exes are there.
You can fit up to 2 pounds of sour candy in there. Whack away.
Now try some of our drinks and food recipes:
Dark 'n' Stormy
Dark rum, ginger beer, and lime make a statement when together that they can't separately. That statement: Watch out, here we come. Oh yeah. Get our Dark 'n' Stormy recipe.
Pink Gin (Gin & Bitters)
At first, you think it's a sweet cocktail. But oh, no. It's bittersweet. Or just plain bitter. Swim in the feeling it gives. We're not judge-y. Get our Pink Gin recipe.
With four liquors plus a couple other ingredients, this is an impressive drink. You might find yourself breaking out your verbal weapons. Trading barbs. Or you might be the type to wait until you've had a few of these and drunk-dial your ex. That's always a good idea. (Sarcasm intended.) Get our Artillery Punch recipe.
Mini Black Bean Cakes with Carnitas and Avocado
Make this nibble that's so filling it can, well, fill in for a real meal. It delivers on its promise — unlike your ex. Get our Mini Black Bean Cakes recipe.
Slow Cooker French Onion Dip
Nosh to your heart's content on this onion dip that caramelizes the onions in a long, slow, sweet manner. (If you just sighed, slap yourself.) No need to be concerned about your onion breath at this party, unless you're planning on kissing someone, you traitor. Get our Slow Cooker French Onion Dip recipe.
Spicy Sriracha Ceviche
We like a little pain with our pleasure — not too much, but just enough. You get that with this heat-packing ceviche using mixed seafood such as scallops, tilapia, and halibut. Get our Spicy Sriracha Ceviche recipe.
Fine, Something Sweet(ish)
Mexican Chocolate Slice-and-Bake Cookies
A little cayenne goes a long way in these cookies that you can decorate like sugar cookies, if you're going that route. So much better than just plain sugar. Get our Mexican Chocolate Slice-and-Bake Cookies recipe.
Chile and Tamarind Trixy Stix
Simple sweetness does not interest us on this occasion. Sour-spicy sweet does, however. Plus, these candy-filled straws remind us of our childhood Pixy Stix. Remember, it was back we had hope? Just down them. Get our Chile and Tamarind Trixy Stix recipe.
— Head Image: Moms and Munchkins.
Amy Sowder is the assistant editor at Chowhound in New York City. She loves cheesy things, especially toasties and puns. She's trying to like mushrooms. Her running habit is the excuse for her gelato passion. Or is it the other way around? Follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and her blog, What Do I Eat Now. Learn more at AmySowder.com.