Style

Valentine’s Day, Three Ways

Dive Bar Dress-Up

Valentine’s Day might as well be renamed The Worst Day of the Year to Go Out to Dinner. So, if you’re looking for alternate plans, with a friend or date, here are three ideas. Which would you pick?

DIVE BAR DRESS-UP Take your dressy selves to a low-key dive bar, order two Old Fashioneds and put The Rolling Stones on the jukebox.

1. Crystal Earrings 2. Opal Ring 3. Old Fashioned 4. Leather Clutch 5. Mira Heel 6. Music Love Note 7. Maison Louis Marie Perfume 8. Silk Tank Dress (Or this long-sleeve number)

Casual Valentine's Movie Date

PIZZA AND A MOVIE Every Valentine’s Day, two of our friends go to a movie and sneak in slices of pizza and a mini bottle of Champs. How fun is that? This year, The Big Short and Anomalisa are playing, and How to Be Single is also out, if that’s more your speed.

1. Plumping Rose Lip Balm 2. Movie Tickets 3. Cotton Heart French Bikini 4. New York Pizza 5. I Just Want To Like You Forever Card 6. Rose Hibiscus Face Mist 7. Plaid Button-Up, High Riser Jeans, White Oxfords

Cozy Valentine's Night In

NETFLIX AND ACTUALLY CHILL Last, but not least, you could get cozy at home and watch a movie. If you are with a friend, stream funny movies that stand the test of time, like Clueless and Swingers. If you are with a date, watch a scary one. (After all, researchers have found a link between anxiety-provoking situations and feeling turned on.) What could be better than snuggling up with your favorite person and favorite snacks?

1. Pretty Pajama Set (These are cute too.) 2. Let’s Make Out Necklace 3. Peanut Butter Cup Popcorn 4. Almost Bare Perfume 5. The Departed 6. Favorite Beers 7. You’re The Cat’s Pajamas Card 8. Sweet Fig Candle

Thoughts? Which would suit your personality best?

P.S. Slamdunk date conversation topics, and my worst Valentine’s Day ever.

(Photo-illustration by Miss Moss)

  1. Andrea says...

    My tradition as a single girl is to get Mexican food and watch Kill Bill. Most years, my single friends (and a few couples!) join me and it is a blast!

  2. Em says...

    I…I would not recommend Anomolisa for Valentine’s Day haha. I’m incredibly depressed as I sit next to my boyfriend who is vey confused why we just watched this. Haha I usually love the recommendations here, but I can’t stop laughing at just how dark and sad this movie is. Single or in a relationship, this will not cheer you up on the holiday of love.

  3. Lilly says...

    That popcorn! You need to have a cravings trigger warning for us pregnant folk! But now I know what I want for Valentines Day so thanks!

  4. I love that lets make out necklace!!!
    maybe it’s the married women in me, but I’m totally always up fro staying in! Cute list, loved it!!

  5. This is a fun & creative twist on Valentine’s Day posts. I loved the last one (mostly because it’s what I plan to do). Great job!

  6. i love themed pajamas! makes them feel so special :)

    hammyta.wordpress.com

  7. alyssa says...

    netflix movie suggestion: cloudburst. hilarious, poignant.

  8. Great ideas! I’m always looking for fun date-night ideas that don’t break the bank– especially on Valentine’s Day! I love the idea of sneaking champagne into the movie theatre!

    -Nellwyn | http://www.thecardinalpress.com

  9. Mel says...

    We have never celebrate Valentine’s Day before but now that we a married we will, at least this year :) We will go watch Deadpool and have sushi afterwards. I’m really looking forward to it!

  10. Fiona says...

    A bunch of us former roommates are on our third year of team valentines day with an awesome dinner at a family-style restaurant. Some bring SOs some bring friends, some just themselves, but there are so many of us who all love each other (between 10 and 14 on average) that no one ends up feeling left out! Booze, pasta and belly laughs FTW!

  11. I must chime in with the Wisconsin secret to the best Old Fashioned: swap Brandy for Bourbon. In Madison, basically all bars serve Old Fashioneds, and you can order them “whiskey sour” or “brandy sweet.” I am (definitively) team “brandy sweet” :)

  12. Hilariously, for the first time SINCE WE MOVED TO THE CITY, I was off for enough of a stretch of time to go to a nice dinner with my husband. On Valentine’s Day. Let’s hope the rumors aren’t true, haha! We’re going to Print, has anyone been there?

  13. Christie says...

    I am the ever-single, and when I was in college, I decided that I could feel sad about Valentine’s Day, or I could really enjoy it. So for the past couple of years, every Valentine’s Day I do nice things: I go to a movie, buy myself a book and flowers, and have a nice meal. Sometimes I’m with friends, sometimes not. Whatever, I look forward to Valentine’s as simply a nice day.

  14. Prudence says...

    Love the idea of just staying cozy at home and watching a nice movie with my hubby but am likely to have a good meal out of the house too!

    Prudence
    http://www.prudencepetitestyle.com

  15. We’ve had a rough couple of months lately. Me expecting our second daughter and going back to college (and exams coming up this week) has taken a toll on our usually peaceful routine. So I have special plans for us this year, though we rarely celebrate Valentine’s Day.
    I want to surprise him and celebrate this past months will be over by then!

  16. Brianna says...

    Eight years ago, our Valentine dilemma was solved when our first-born came two weeks early. Now we do crafts, eat birthday cake and hold up piñatas, then crash for movie night amidst the streamers, new toys and sugared-up little girls. Not very romantic but sure fun and giggly. :)

  17. Laeti says...

    A friend of mine is throwing a Cookies decorating party for toddlers, lots of heart shaped cookies, all sorts of sprinkles and pink and red icing, it should be fun!

    We’ll probably do a mix of the 3 with my husband in the evening, a good movie (Irrationnal man, from woody Allen maybe) at home, with cocktails and pizza, a wood fire, candles, blankets and fancy chocolates!

  18. Every time I think of something romantic, I think of the “bridge” experiment from my undergraduate social psychology class. If men were asked to fill out a rather boring, meaningless survey on a rickety, wobbly bridge (as opposed to the sidewalk outside of the library), they were more inclined to be interested in the outcome of the study and would even call (!) the girl experimenter a couple of weeks later to hear more about the statistics. So, I always try to plan something testosterone inducing during the day – some form of outside activity – and we both end up enjoying the evening better (regardless if we movie it up or take the town on).

    Charitie
    https://visavisjournal.wordpress.com

  19. La says...

    #3 made me laugh! Google ‘Netflix and chill’ and you’ll see why :D
    All great ideas though, either way!

    • Karoline says...

      Ha, yes! I teach high school seniors and one recently asked me if I Netflix and Chilled over the weekend. I said, “Of course!” and they all died laughing. Awkwaaaarrrrd.

    • Emily says...

      I made the mistake of asking my teenage son if he was going to “Netflix and Chill” with a male friend. His mortified look said it all.

  20. Kimberly says...

    I’m voting for having a baby for Valentine’s Day… or before. Ha. Due date Feb 17th!

    • Congrats!!

  21. Lauren Lyons says...

    Agree on Valentine’s Day being the worst night to go out to dinner. I love the “Netflix + Chill” option. IMO, it’s the MOST romantic. Spot on, as usual, Cup of Jo! And, FYI: There’s a card on Etsy that reads, “I Heart You More Than Horror Movies.”

  22. We usually do something for Valentine’s the day before or after, just because we want to celebrate our love but not buy into the commercial hype!
    I’m taking my husband to watch Deadpool for Valentine’s this year…I’m trying not to get more excited about my date with Deadpool on Valentine’s, than my date with my husband. But I don’t think I’m kidding anyone lol!

  23. Jennifer says...

    I’m a #2 kinda gal, with #1 kind of aspirations. Actually, #2 sounds good for this weekend, even!

  24. I think options 2 and 3 would be great on the same night :)

  25. Yael Steren says...

    I would do pizza and Netflix! In general I’m more of a homebody so that would be right up my alley! Xx Yael

    http://www.yaelsteren.com/blog

  26. Okay I am between one and two, I want pieces from both sets to make my own. I fall asleep watching netflix so number three is out. lol xx

  27. angel says...

    I hate scary movies and not so fond of the departed. Since I’m making the plans, reserving the sitter and just celebrated Xmas, I’ll take some old fashioneds please.

  28. Taylor says...

    Love this post. I’m not huge in to Valentine’s day but have a bf for the first time in a while so I’m loving #2. Anyone have any ideas for a small, creative gift?

  29. Definitely Netflix & chill. Since we never ever have a sitter, we usually order takeout and drink champagne after Luna’s bedtime. I love to include Luna so heart shaped pancakes for brunch.

    Xo Lendy
    http://www.twoplusluna.com

  30. Sarah says...

    A gal pal and me (who are both pregnant and have toddlers) are taking our mamas and babies to brunch. Both of our hubbies are out of town this year. I’m hoping for heart-shaped pancakes and lots of love for all!

  31. Amie says...

    I don’t know about you but the Departed does not get me in the mood. No amount of leo and matt damon can make up for all the, uh, departures haha

  32. Carrie says...

    I’m planning a fondue night at home for our first Valentine’s day as a married couple! I’m excited!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that is so cute!

  33. Lauren says...

    Would have loved this to have been written from a less specifically-romantic POV! Not all of us are celebrating romantic love on Valentine’s this year. :)

  34. Julie says...

    It’s Sunday night so, date night the night before :-) then we are going to the zoo breakfast with the kiddos and making a fun dinner and dessert at home (thinking Lobster, heart shaped pretzels, and chocolate pudding)

  35. Sarah M says...

    My boyfriend and I are not into Valentine’s Day — our anniversary is Feb 4th, and both of our birthdays shortly precede that– so we do a Valen-birthda-versary trip: this year, Portland! We will joyfully eat dinner when it is normally priced (on the 13th) and then just explore and eat and enjoy doing so. That’s when I love him most, after all!

  36. Kate says...

    You mean, not everyone sneaks wine into movies all the time? I’m a cheap lush ;)

  37. Whitney says...

    The third option sounds like my typical weekend plans. I adore my husband, but I’d rather celebrate us on any other day. We use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to celebrate our family. With two young kids I like to make a festive breakfast (pancakes with sprinkles) then get a latte from our favorite coffee shop and head to the park. My 4-year old calls it “loving day”.

  38. Jade says...

    Valentine’s Weekend for me this year involves attending an engagement party on Saturday and a brunch wedding on Sunday (both by myself) and hopefully love actually with wine and wedding cake to cap off valentines night! (So Option 3 would be my pick!)
    To be honest – I’ve never really worried about being single for Valentines before – I’ve tried to always celebrate all of the love in my life and I am thankful to have amazing parents and a few good friends but at 25 this is the first year I am totally daunted by the prospect of being alone forever.

  39. lorie says...

    since we haven’t been to a movie since way before our daughter was born, she’s 14 months, we decided that going to a movie was just perfect enough without having to go to dinner before or after. this post, however, has just upped our game; totally sneaking in dinner and a libation(s). i’m excited to figure out exactly what it will be. i love that your friends do this, and it just maybe something we do each year too.

  40. Maire says...

    I love the first one! I throw a party for V-Day every year, inspired by the scene from Julie & Julia. Everyone pins paper cut out hearts on their lapels. This year will be my 6th annual.

  41. Mary Jenkins says...

    the middle one! the outfit is too cute.

  42. Dottie Louise says...

    My favorite would have to be #2! It’s fun and kinda sneaky. Plus hey who doesn’t love a good movie? I’d probably sneak in homemade cookies, but that’s me :P – I wonder if other people sitting next to them smell the pizza and get jelly (jealous)! lol

  43. Number two is my favorite! This year I’ll be spending it with 700 junior high and high schoolers as a leader at a winter camp, pray for me ha!

    http://www.kelseymarie.co

  44. Gabriela says...

    These all sound great! We have a toddler and a baby so we were thinking about a Valentines day brunch (pre nap time). The adventures of parenthood! :)

    • Dottie Louise says...

      That sounds great!! How fun! :D

  45. kelly says...

    where are the boots from in the photo of the red dress? they’re not everlane.

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Hi Kelly! They are from Everlane’s Capsule Collection: http://bit.ly/1ULdpGX

  46. If weather permits, I imagine us doing a hike, having a picnic and doing the groceries (the reality of life!). Since Sundays are the only days that husband cooks, I would likely score myself a home-cooked meal too ;)

  47. Christine says...

    Every Valentine’s Day my boyfriend and I stay in, drink wine, and cook a new recipe together. Its fun for me to share the kitchen with him… and it’s gift free and stress free :)

  48. Although it’s not usual for our generation in Bavaria to celebrate this day I love your first suggestion!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena
    http://www.dressedwithsoul.com

  49. Leah says...

    Anomalisa is darkly cynical and visually inspired but also ultimately boring and sexist. The script is not that great, either. Sorry to be negative, but Cup of Jo readers, go see something fierce or gal-written. If you want a interesting take on men getting bored with women (basic plot of Anomalisa), read Adelle Waldmann’s The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.

    Love this blog so much, which is why I comment. Thank you for this insightful place on the ‘net.

    • AuntHo says...

      Thank you! Good thoughts. Love Affairs has been on my list forever.

  50. Kelsey says...

    First thought upon seeing this: Oh crap. Is Valentine’s Day soon? Sigh.