Why It's Better Not To Have A Valentine

single alone valentine's day
Love, Self

You're likelier to be thinner, happier, and drama-free, if you're man-free.

Sometime when I wasn't looking, Valentine's Day metamorphosed from a C-list kids' holiday, with pink and red candy and construction-paper hearts, into an extravaganza. The regular-person equivalent of Oscar Night, but instead of Best Picture or Best Supporting Actress, prizes are given for Best Achievement in the Acquisition of a Leading Man.

But what if you don't have a new pet "project" to promote or arm candy to show off? Better stay home rather than remind everyone that you couldn't land the role of girlfriend, even for one night. Cause being single is cause for as much mortification as a bad dress on the red carpet.

Well, at least in our own minds.

Though some singles have to endure commentary from family and friends of the when-are-you-going-to-settle-down variety, our harshest critics are ourselves: If only I was thinner/had bigger boobs/smaller thighs/got Botox/bought $400 shoes/had slept with him/hadn’t slept with him, I wouldn't be single.

But in fact, there are many worse things than going solo on February 14th. Like a couple of years ago when I had a blind date on Valentine's Day. The guy ranted the whole night about taxes (romantic, huh?), except when he interrupted himself to correct me when I asked for chopsticks in a Thai restaurant. "Thais don't use chopsticks," he informed me, oozing condescension. "Um, we're not in Thailand," I retorted. (I didn't actually retort, but I did think it. Unfortunately, it wasn't until about 20 minutes later.)

While I don't want to be single forever, it's a lot better than being with jerks who are also chopstick purists. And until Mr. Non-Jerk comes along, I’ve discovered there are a lot of consolations to being alone on Valentine’s Day:

1. Not having to fake it when you get that trademark long white box.
I know red roses are supposed to be the ultimate romantic gesture (or actually, the second most romantic gesture, after that little velvet box with a ring in it), but has anyone else noticed? They're hideous! And since the poor guy shelled out a 200 percent premium to get you them on Valentine's Day, you need to be Meryl Streep to fake that much appreciation. And let's face it, I'm not that good an actress. I'd rather just buy my own flowers.

2. Less time scrubbing toilets and cleaning gunk out of the drainer, more time eating bon-bons and watching VH1 or doing whatever the heck you please.
Single women do less housework a week than married ones (10 hours for single women versus 15 hours for married), most of it apparently cleaning up after married men, who only do five hours, according to a Toulouse University study. (Single men do seven hours of chores, hence the telltale odeur of most bachelor pads).

So instead of picking up someone else's socks and underwear (and washing them and folding them and putting them away), I have five extra hours a week to go out with friends, read the paper, see a movie, or just lie on the couch and look at my messy apartment without having to get up and do anything about it.

3. Bigger bucks.
Though the income gap between men and women is long-standing, some women do make more than men: Women in their 20s who live in big cities, most of whom are single. They earn up to 20 percent more than single men, a Queens College study found. The same did not hold true for women over 30, or those who lived in rural areas. Why? Because those women were more likely to be married, researchers speculated. Let Rush Limbaugh call me a crazed feminazi, but I like earning at least as much as a guy for the same work. (And single women aren't just buying Manolos and Balenciaga bags, we're also investing in homes; in fact, single women bought about 20 percent of the homes on the market last year.)

4. We can still fit into our "skinny" jeans.
Ever been a teeny bit jealous of how great a bride looks? Don't be, because chances are she'll be gaining more weight than you in the next few years. A recent Cornell University study that single women gain 15 pounds between their late teens and early 20s, while married women gain 24.

5. We're better in bed….
even if we're the only ones in it. Australian researchers found that 55 percent of single women could achieve orgasm every time they masturbated, while only 25 percent of women with a current partner could. And a British study found that married women were significantly more likely to report sexual problems than single women.

If you've read this far, here's a bonus reason it's better to be single of Valentine's Day--just for you. (Think of it as the hidden track on your favorite album.)

6. There are record numbers of single men out there.
The best news a single woman can get on Valentine’s Day: Forty-five percent of men in America are unmarried. With so many single men out there, meeting the guy of your dreams is really just a numbers game. He's out there, you just haven't met him yet. So why not get dressed up and meet up with some other single friends this Valentine's Day, and check out a few more. One of these nights, you're bound to meet Mr. Right.