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It’s still more than two weeks until Valentine’s Day. That means if you think your girlfriend is expecting an engagement ring or other meaningful piece of jewelry that signifies a commitment on your behalf, you still have time to break up with her to avoid seeing her face fall when she opens the long, flat box and finds … GLOVES inside!

Of course for every couple who wishes the end would just come already for their stagnant relationship, there are two singles who would give up room in the medicine cabinet just for the opportunity to sit on the couch for one night next to a warm body and watch some crappy TV.

Matchmaker, Matchmaker Make Me a Match

That’s why it’s peak season for online dating (Dec. 26-Feb. 14), which just goes to show that the loneliness people feel during the holidays drives their desperation up high enough to push them to the edge of the diving board and into the pool.

As a denizen of online dating, I assure you this is true: As the season progressed, my inbox began overflowing with messages from every man I ventured with past a handshake but not as far as a “relationship.”

As Bette Midler sang in Hello in There:

Ya’ know that old trees just grow stronger
And old rivers grow wilder ev’ry day
But old people just grow lonesome
Waiting for someone to say, “Hello in there, hello.”

If you remember being in third grade and choosing one special conversation heart from the bag to give to your sweetie — the one that said, “Be Mine” or “True Love” — and getting one back that said, “My Pal” or “Friend 4Ever,” you know the pain of a V-Day gone horribly wrong.

Alas, the impending orgy of smoochy togetherness that Valentine’s Day represents can be more than many people can handle. Coping mechanisms include buying the biggest heart-shaped box of candy you can find, then eating it alone in the eerie blue light of the TV, washing the sweet stickiness down with a four-pack of Barefoot Cellars red Moscato.

Valentine’s Day Events in D.C.

If you do have a sweetheart/relationship/better half — or you can scare one up in the next two weeks — you may want to try one of the Valentine’s Day events below. What could go wrong?

  • Romantic dinner — Opentable has a listing of restaurants in the DMV that are offering Valentine’s Day specials, including champagne, matching mini desserts, Omakase, photos and more.
  • Special event — Poke through the 504 special Valentine’s Day offerings for couples — and singles — on Eventbrite, including parties, “love workshops,” live performances, dance lessons and more.
  • Overnight escape — When your own bedroom gets boring, try someone else’s. Destination D.C. (the capital’s version of a CVB) is promoting date night activities, including hotel getaways, all month. You take more pleasure in getting the sheets dirty when you don’t have to wash them yourself.

Valentine’s Day on a Budget

If these ideas add up to more than you were planning to spend, you can always get your special lady one of those cheap gold necklaces from Macy’s that are the thickness of a loose thread and immediately get hopelessly knotted if you dare to wear them, eventually tangling with your hair so badly you need scissors to free yourself. $99. Hey, it’s the thought that counts, right?

If you’re on an even tighter budget than this, consider a gift of service. Perhaps you are now imagining index cards on which you write some naughtiness for your significant other to trade in for romantic or sexual favors. If you are a woman, this is a good idea and will likely earn you big points. If you’re a man, not so much. Because first of all, how often is a gift card necessary for that in your relationship?

Secondly, are you sure you know what turns women on?

Let us take a moment to remember the iconic quotes from women in a Washington Post story about Anthony Weiner sending ladies unsolicited selfies of his privates. The question was put to married women — who presumably had at least a begrudging acceptance of their husbands’ privates — if they wanted dick pics of their true love.

They didn’t.

What did they want?

“I would like a photo of a made bed,” one said.

“Or laundry. Folded laundry. Maybe in a wicker basket,” another said.

Ohhhhhh yeahhhhh …

So there you have it men — you want to score big Valentine’s Day? Put your phone down and unload the dishwasher.

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