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Most of the time, being single is pretty fun. Maybe you don’t have someone always available to cuddle or to hold your hand while crossing the street, but you only have to shower bi-weekly and if you watch yet another episode of Blue Planet instead of cleaning your apartment, nobody is really going to notice.

You don’t need me to tell you, however, that being single on Valentine’s Day sucks. You can’t even get a table at a nice restaurant, all of your friends in relationships are too busy to hang out, and even not showering takes on a sad, depressing hue. The question then becomes, what are you going to do about it?

The solution is obviously to find a Valentine’s Day boyfriend. This term is defined as someone you date exclusively so you don’t have to be alone on the holiday. A Valentine’s Day boyfriend is typically mediocre at best and lasts only until the return policy on the presents he buys for you expires. These brave men can be found in a plethora of locations, from Tinder to your local bar to the check-out line at Kroger (don’t be choosy; the guy scanning the four boxes of chocolate you’re buying for yourself this February already has a pretty solid idea of your interests).

You have to act fast, though: start one of these relationships too late, and you risk your new beau already having plans on V-Day, or worse, not being able to get a reservation at the incredibly overpriced restaurant you like. You simply do not have time to slowly get to know someone and share quick, chaste kisses on your front porch. This is much more gritty situation—think drunk booty calls at 2 a.m. and bringing up marriage on the second date. Let’s talk beauty tips to help you through this turbulent, one-month-long relationship.

1. Accessorize lightly. There are two reasons for this. One, if a man thinks you already have nice jewelry, he may be less inclined to buy it for you. After I recommended that a male friend of mine buy jewelry for his girlfriend, he said to me, “She already has a necklace. I bet she doesn’t want another one.”

Are you kidding me? She already has a necklace? When was this ever a standard by which a woman judged her life? Just make it easy for your new guy, show him bare wrists and bare earlobes and let him fill in the rest.

Second, considering that this relationship has approximately the same staying power as a carton of milk, you don't want to risk losing an earring in the sofa and having to send that awkward text because it was your great-grandmothers. If you must sparkle, stick to pieces from Forever 21.

2. Pack two or three pairs of options. The upcoming days for you are going to be jammed packed with first and second dates as you narrow the playing field to your own personal flavor of the month. If you have to double up one evening, bring an extra set of clothes to change into in the bathroom of your favorite dive bar. That way, if the bartender recognizes you from that afternoon, he’ll get the signal to play it on the down low about the hottie you were sipping Hopston with.

3. Wear loose clothes. The early days of any relationship are carb-heavy. Beer, wine, bread, and pasta with a light Alfredo sauce are all hallmarks of a passable date, and you’re eating for two anyway—you and your delirious ambition to avoid spending Valentine’s Day alone. Don’t distract yourself from your task by allowing any hindrances to your self-esteem.

4. Drink lots of water. This will fight your hangovers, replenish your body after all-night crying jags as you accuse a relative stranger of having no serious feelings for you at all, keep your skin looking youthful enough to pass off as your six-year-old Tinder profile picture, and give you something to do with your hands as you struggle to laugh at the same joke told for the seventh time.

5. Remember to nurture yourself! You’ve been living the single lifestyle; you’re used to prioritizing Netflix and cheating on gym day. It’s tough to start dating a new person. If you can’t find someone to spend the holiday with, it’s probably for the best. Now you can order the “lobster dinner for two” and not share. 

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