Reasons to be single this Valentine's Day
If you are single, Valentine's Day can make you see the world through a twisted prism, in which every other living soul is a loved-up couple struggling to squeeze a bouquet of roses into a cab. It feels as though no-one else is, or ever has been, single. Even your cat is getting it on with the fat ginger from down the road...
But reality is very different. First, there are far more singletons than you'd imagine. They just don't sit snogging on park benches. Secondly, the single life has many advantages, especially on 14 February.
No tacky pressies
Being single means that you don't have to pretend to like the cheap chocolates, flowers or teddy bear that your other half coughs up. You know those gifts, the ones that leave you with a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach as you realise that this person doesn't really know you at all.
Being single also means that you don't have to shell out your hard-earned cash on tat. Singletons relax while others are hunting for a late-night petrol station selling limp flowers. Spend the money you save on a pressie for yourself. There's no gift quite as good as the one you pick yourself, whether it be a facial, a haircut, or a good DVD.
To Russia with love
Alternatively, save up for a plane ticket to Russia. On 8 March every year, all women are given flowers, chocolate and a day off work, just for being female. We like Russia.
It's cool to be single
Valentine's Day singles are the trendsetters. Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that the number of people choosing to stay single has reached record levels. The UK is now home to more than 1.65m single men and 1.27m women. Good news for flirty girls!
Single people have busier social lives than couples, according to Edinburgh University researchers. We may not get a tacky teddy on 14 February (shame), but we're having more parties.
Better to be single than an unhappy couple
Remind yourself that coupledom does not guarantee happiness. Valentine's Day means stress for a lot of couples, with worries about what to buy and whether their other half will remember. Being single is less lonely than being unhappily attached.
Your day is your own. You can get up when you want (having spent the whole night asleep because you weren't lying next to a snorer), come home when you want, eat what you want, watch what you want on the telly and go to bed when you want. Try to find a repeat of Wife Swap on V-Day. Seeing those coupled-up nightmares yelling at each other should bring some comfort.
Enjoy being different
Have you ever tried going out for a romantic dinner on Valentine's Day? It's not dinner for two, it's the feeding of the 5,000 - in every restaurant in town.
Romance is about spontaneity and imagination, and Valentine's Day can have nothing to do with those things. Psychologist Dr Laura Brown of Seattle's Argosy University says: 'Love is not about a particular day, or cards or flowers, or even being in a relationship. Seeing the illusory nature of this holiday can be the first step in feeling better about it.'
Valentine's Day is the perfect day to celebrate friendship. The love you give to and receive from friends will last longer than most romantic love or lust. Arrange a single's Valentine's party with a group of single friends, male and female. You can bet that there'll be at least one new couple by the end of the evening.
It is a surprisingly good time to flirt with fellow singles. Valentine's Day and the impending joys of spring bring lots of singles out of the woodwork.
So use today as a kick-start to getting out there. Just don't fall into the mindset that you have to be in a couple to be happy.
Start meeting other single people near you for fun, love or romance
Love it or loathe it, Valentine's Day is an opportunity for couples to indulge and singles to flirt....