V-Day for women is all about one-upmanship: "I see your hot air balloon ride and I raise you a hundred red roses!" Unless your proposal was sung to you by a large Disney flashmob atop a mountain at sunrise, you've essentially lost at Valentine's Day. That £200 Pandora necklace is just not going to cut it, my friend. Better luck next year.
It's a period of your life, which my married friends reassure me will be gone far too quickly! So, unlike most singletons, rather than rushing to ditch my single status, I've set to work making the most of it. Because when I finally reach the 'other side of single', I don't want to have any regrets!
I'm 59, the eldest of four siblings, but have no partner and no children. A sense of inadequacy grows: what can I leave my nephews and nieces, and their children? I don't mean memories; I mean, what that is tangible and lasting, that I can equitably share among them? It's like feeling a phantom limb, a shadowy disconnect with future generations that I so ache to put right.
Whether your "New Year New You" dating resolution was to find that someone special in 2014, to cut down on your never-ending list when it comes to finding that perfect person or to update your profile picture from the one of you posing on holiday seven years ago, I think now is the time to take a look back.
Before meeting my other half I spent the best part of five years navigating the peaks and troughs of single life and know all too well the pain and pleasure of flying solo on special occasions. Here are some of my tips on how I enjoyed, made the most of and kept my sanity/perspective in check at Christmas and many other special occasions.
If you're a single woman, it's highly likely that the most annoying things you encounter on a daily basis aren't bad dates or jerks hitting on you while you're on the train. Rather, it's the 'wisdom' that your friends, family and strangers on the street love to dispense when the subject of your single-dom comes up.
Our High Street this week, I have to say, is a shame to us all. It's gone a trashy shade of red. The colour pollution of Valentine's paraphernalia started four weeks ago. Four! Barely had the dregs of the January sales rails been relegated further into bargain bins when Clinton's was transposed into a sea of red.
With the cheese-fest that is Valentine's Day fast approaching, it's time to get your exit strategy in place. For whatever reason (you're recently heart-broken, perpetually single and cynical, or you just happen to have taste), here are the places where you're most likely to be left untroubled by lovebirds.
Almost everything sold in the supermarket is aimed at an audience of two or more. Your hand hovers over the English muffins, packed in sixes. You'll never eat six, not before they go stale. The only way you could get through six muffins before the mould hits is by having them for every meal for the next two days.
After having such a nice time with the Stuntman after the gallery, I decided to get all proactive on his ass, and ask him out. But for more than just a few drinks. A friend of mine owns a bijoux little cottage on the optimistically-named English Riviera and asked me if I wanted to housesit for a long weekend.