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A person wearing a robe is having a face mask applied.
Photograph: Supplied/Sol Spa

Things to do if you’re not coupled up on Valentine’s Day in Sydney

You don't need a partner to celebrate love in our fair city

Written by
Alannah Maher
&
Claire Finneran
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February 14 is almost upon us, and we all know what that means – the pressure is on for forced declarations of love and targeted ads for red rose delivery services are at an all-time high. For the single among us, we can start to feel a bit Bridget Jones (circa the first film) with all this talk of romance driving us to scream-sing 'All By Myself' into a tub of icecream.

So what is a singleton to do? Ignore the whole cringey affair? Well in our opinion, you don’t need a partner (or partners – we see you polyamorous pals) to celebrate L-O-V-E. Why not embrace sologamy and take yourself out for some masturdating (aka taking yourself on a date)? How about gathering your dear ones for some gal-entine’s or pal-entine’s celebrations and practice some platonic affection? Married to your job on Friday (the official Valentine’s date)? You can also use our suggestions for taking some me-time on the weekend.

1. Fall in love with the friendship and fabulous fashions of Jenny Kee and Linda Jackson at Step Into Paradise at the Powerhouse. Sydney’s weather hasn’t had much wiggle room between stinkin’ hot and torrential lately, but you’ll be spirited away from the elements when wandering the air-conditioned halls of this seemingly endless labyrinth of colour, wholesomeness and elaborate jumpers that would get Kath Day-Night’s heart racing. 

2. Browse the bookshelves at Kinokuniya knowing you will be safe from slimey pick up artists. Have a date with a book in PEACE.

3. Get in touch with your body and learn to think critically about the fundamentals of pleasure. There’s a couple of great talks coming up on Valentine’s Day. The School of Life is hosting A Night of Better Conversation, a laid-back discussion about communication and s-e-x at the Old Clare, and Work-Shop in Redfern is hosting a two-hour workshop called Great Sex for V-Day. (Note: these are both hands-off, clothes-on events.)

4. Do a workshop in carpentry, coding, home cookery – anything that culture is telling you you need a partner for. Get your hands dirty learning blacksmithing or making knives at Eveleigh Works, or get crafty at a studio like Makerspace &Company.

5. Splurge on the most luxuriant of cinema packages. Get a giant popcorn for yourself. Recline the heck out of that chair and kick your shoes off (ask me about the time I saw a woman with an ice bucket full of Champagne, a tiered snack tray heaving with deep fried jewels, who was baby wiping her feet before the movie started. My hero). Pro tip: if you haven’t seen Little Women yet, pack some tissues.

6. Go on a solo walk in nature and contemplate your existence. Waterfalls are all the more majestic and meditative when you don’t have to say “wooowww, look at that waterfall” to someone over and over.

7. Have a shopping spree at one of Sydney’s best delis. Make yourself the antipasto plate of your dreams that you don’t have to share with anyone. (Or if you’re in a sharing mood, get all your gal-entine’s/pal-entine’s to bring an element of the ultimate cheese board.)

8. Take yourself for a different kind of shopping spree at one of Sydney’s sexiest stores, like beloved Newtown boutique Max Black. The team here goes to great lengths to create a safe, fun space for their customers, regardless of gender or sexuality. To that end, they tend toward the pricier, high-quality end of the spectrum.

9. Get a self-affirming tattoo at one of Sydney’s best parlours. Ideas: “Me 4 Me 5eva”, “I rule”, “Me before bros/hos”, a little love heart that says “myself” in the middle.

10. Reenact your favourite movie montage scenes at one of Sydney’s best costume stores and try on heaps of fab outfits. Fun! Except if there’s no friends giving you the thumbs up it’s just you grinning in the mirror wearing a wedding dress. Still fun!

11. Derr, book a spa package. Employ an army of people to scrub, wash, and pluck you into oblivion. Indulgence is best when intensely solo. On a budget? Trawl Groupon for an offer. And if it is billed as a “Valentine’s Day special”, split it with a mate, roll around in rose petals and get that bloody complimentary flute of bubbles.

12. Be a tourist in your own city. Seize the opportunity to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge, check out that dorky museum you've always been curious about, go for a wander in one of Sydney's stunning gardens or check out one of our other recommendations for tourist attractions that don't suck

Other Valentine's date ideas for the coupled (and un-coupled)

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