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How to: Survive Valentine’s Day without a significant other

It’s that time of year again: Crimson roses are shipped by the thousands, chocolate hearts and cuddly stuffed animals fly off store shelves like Hannah Montana wigs and pink and red hearts adorn store windows across the country.

It’s February and love is in the air – or is that just commercialism? Like many holidays, the true meaning of Valentine’s Day is long gone and we have been left with an over-commercialized propaganda juggernaut.

To all the singles out there, if you were planning to spend the dreaded Valentine’s Day sitting in your room crying on your bonbons to the likes of Sarah McLachlan or Coldplay, don’t. Be proud of your independence and try not to be bitter. There is an abundance of things to do on Valentine’s Day for those flying solo in the Tampa Bay area.

For those weary of the upcoming Valentine’s Day, here is a little list of dos and don’ts for the relationship-challenged.

DO: Go out and hit the town with your friends. Celebrate and embrace your status of being unattached. Bring a picture of an ex to Howl at the Moon in Channelside and you will get in for free.

Check out the Valentine’s Day Fusion Party at Push Ultra Lounge, where you can boogie all night to great local acts like Win Win Winter, the Beauvilles and DJ Mega.

Crowbar in Ybor City is hosting an ’80s-themed prom party with live deejays spinning ’80s tunes all night. Face it: It’s impossible to feel sad in ’80s prom garb.

Don’t feel like going out? Stay in and make dinner for all of your other wonderfully independent friends, make an anti-love dance mix composed of any of the following:

1.”Don’t Think Twice” – Bob Dylan2.”Bullet” – Mason Jennings3.”Cry Me A River” – Justin Timberlake4.”Love Stinks” – J. Geils Band5.”Cold As Ice” – Foreigner6.”Love is A Battlefield” – Pat Benatar7.”I Will Survive” – Gloria Gaynor8.”R-E-S-P-E-C-T” – Aretha Franklin9.”You’re So Vain” – Carly Simon10.”Untouchable Face” – Ani DiFranco

DO NOT: Sit home by yourself, watch unrealistic romantic comedies and wonder why you, too, can’t fall in love on top of the Empire State Building – it is probably not going to happen. Definitely do not, under any circumstances, sit home pondering your failed relationships while listening to any of the following:

1. “P.S. I Love You” – The Beatles2. “We Belong” – Pat Benatar3. “Love of my Life” – Queen4. “Nothing Compares 2 U” – Sinead O’Connor5. “Iris” – Goo Goo Dolls6. “I Will Remember You” – Sarah McLachlan7. “Time After Time”- Cyndi Lauper8. “All By Myself” – Eric Carmen9. “Lost Cause” – Beck10. “The Recluse” – Cursive

Forget the corny stuffed animals and those little candy hearts that say ridiculous things like “you’re hot,” or even worse: “text me.” Be proud of the fact that you are independent and live by your own rules. By next week,Valentine’s Day propaganda will be stripped off the shelves to make way for little green shamrocks and leprechauns, and then we can all go on with our lives.