Disillusioned by the garish exploitation of love in favour of obscene commercialism? Unimpressed by the over-priced, predictable gifts on offer, devoid of sentiment or imagination? Annoyed with having a time/date dictated to you appropriate for displaying your affection or love to your better half? Or are you single and not a fan of a day designed solely to remind you of that? Valentine’s Day has become less about love and affection and more about shopping. Bored of it all?

For single ladies: When single, Valentine’s can be a somewhat depressing affair, only if you allow it to of course. Stick two fingers up to the Big L, gather up a group of your best (single) girlfriends, and have a girly night in – face-packs, cheap wine, traumatic tales of boyfriends past, and a good old-fashioned girly giggle. A selection of the best ‘Sex & the City’ episodes wouldn’t go amiss.

For free fellas: Descend on Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Street and indulge yourself at Firewater. Boasting an eclectic rock/pop/indie DJ set and host to a versatile collection of beers, it’s a treat for your ears and tastebuds, devoid of any romance or sentiment.

For creative couples who shun convention: Boycott the tedium of the traditional Valentine’s date and opt for something imaginative instead. Enjoy a little ‘friendly fire’ with fellow couples at a karaoke sing-off. Whether at home or in your nearest karaoke bar, challenge each other in a Battle of the Duets, replicating the hits of famous duos.

Keep the tradition of a cinema date without the predictability. Trade the rom-com, weepie or chick flick for something a little less nauseating. ‘Paul’ sees the pairing of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost once again in a spaced-out comedy about two friends who befriend an alien. Or if you want to put an old-fashioned twist on romance, Glasgow Film Theatre is showing ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ with Audrey Hepburn on Valentine’s Day.

Dodge the over-priced ‘Valentine’s dinner special’ for something a little more creative. Here in Scotland, we rarely enjoy weather suitable for outdoor dining so opt for an indoor picnic, complete with tartan blanket and in the comfort of your very own living room. Open your very own restaurant for one night only by cooking a meal together in your kitchen.

Avoid a slushy Valentine’s soundtrack with your own unconventional compilation. A boyfriend once gave me a CD of ‘Alternative Love Songs’ (as chosen by NME, not him) and despite the relationship failing, the friendship lasted; although I’ve never told him, it had a lot to do with that CD. Suggested tracks include Joy Division’s ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart, The Cure’s ‘Friday I’m In Love’, ‘For Lovers’ by Wolfman and Pete Doherty, and ‘Cannonball’ by Damien Rice – some are more romantic than others, I’ll admit.

Or, do what Valentine’s Day was designed for; show your love to your better half where it counts – in the bedroom. Anne Summers boasts a range of exclusive Valentine’s underwear and nightwear, as well as an assortment of saucy sex toys and fabulous fantasy costumes to help you spice up your Valentine’s night.

Whether you adopt the conventional route of hearts and flowers or opt for something a little more adventurous, Happy Valentine’s Day!

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