Making the Most of Valentine’s Day as a Single Dad

By Contel Bradford

Note: This is Part 2 of a two-part series on Valentine’s Day. In Part 1, I outlined three dating advice tips.

Once Christmas wraps up and I hang up a new calendar, I always try to get on my annual money-saving kick to begin the New Year. Sadly, things never seem to go as planned.

If you are divorced and have yet to jump back into the dating game – well, lucky you. You’ll probably be off to a good start on your New Year’s money-saving mission.

On the other hand, if you’re bummed about having no one to spend Valentine’s Day with, then I hear you on that, too. Having to go solo may hurt you if this occasion once meant something to you and her, but rest assured there are plenty of ways to make the most of it.


Hang Out With Friends or Family

I know it’s hard to believe, but not everyone is planning to indulge in dinner and movie on Valentine’s Day. Lots of sane people treat it as another regular day. Chances are, some of your friends or relatives are among that group, so why not use this day to hang out with them?

Hanging out with some friends you haven’t seen in a while could be a good way to get your mind off the being single aspect. If I could set up a Valentine’s Day that was this simple, trust me, I would.

On second thought, maybe kicking it with friends or relatives is not an option. Uncle Frank is too animated to be around in public or at family functions and Craig still hasn’t given you that $50 he owes you from a month ago.

When this is the case, the best option may be to spend some extra time with the kids. You guys could plan for a night out at your favorite restaurant, or stay behind and throw together a meal at home. Watch a movie or two and this could turn out to be the best Valentine’s Day you had in a long time. All that romance stuff is overrated anyway.


Throw a “Losers” Bash

An idea I got from a friend involves getting the guys together over at the house for some barbaric-style partying. This friend isn’t necessarily single, but not committing himself to a single female seems to be a good enough excuse to have an annual Valentine’s Day party.

I can’t necessarily recommend the type of shenanigans that go on at these bashes, but inviting all your single friends over for a few beers could be a way to relax and enjoy the day. If you know enough lonely “losers,” you might have such a good time that not having a date will be the last thing on your mind.

If you don’t like the idea of throwing a party at your place, you can still party away the Valentine’s Day blues by having a night out on the town with the fellas.

While some other poor sap is stuck in some overpriced crowded restaurant or in a theater watching Sex in the City 5, you could be out enjoying yourself without pretending to be interested.

As an added bonus, you can mingle with a few ladies who are out on the same kick. Unless her ideal romantic evening is a night out at the local bar, you may even be able to avoid the boyfriend drama, which is always a plus.


Just Chill

For you, making the most of Valentine’s Day could be doing nothing special at all. There is nothing that says you have to hang out with friends, family, or even the kids. If they’ve been driving you crazy lately, you may even be looking forward to spending some time away from them.

In this sense, chilling doesn’t have to be staying home catching up on old reruns of your favorite comedy, although that wouldn’t be a bad idea. It could be hitting the gym, walking a few extra laps around the track, or simply doing whatever makes you content.

Whether it’s having a one-man Madden 2011 Marathon or springing for a new toy, doing something for you is never a bad idea.

Note: This is Part 2 of a two-part series on Valentine’s Day. In Part 1, I outlined three dating advice tips.


Contel Bradford is a professional freelance writer, journalist, and published author of multiple books. He specializes in many areas, including legal, divorce, and family-related topics. You can learn more about his services by visiting

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