Marshall Barnes is an up and coming scientist and self-proclaimed all-around Renaissance man.
"When I was solo on Valentine's Day last year, I decided to do a book of poetry for people who are alone on Valentine's Day. It's called Life Without Love, and is written from a personal perspective, sometimes based on actual experience, sometimes just on a certain feeling and sometimes just making it all up. I wrote it while listening to a range of music from the '60s, '70s and '80s, everything from the Carpenters to New Order.
I'm a workaholic, with major goals that I'm now achieving, but the price has been a solitary existence with no social life to speak of for at least the last five years. I've been in and out of love enough times to be able to say "been there done that," so it was a choice of sacrificing the kind of life that most people want and have, in order to do something extraordinary on a grand scale.
But hey, like I say in the book's introduction, with tongue planted firmly in cheek, "...without having experienced the void that you feel when those few moments hit you, when you've slowed down enough to realize what you've missed, I wouldn't have had the notion to write this book and rake in the millions of dollars that I'm sure are well on their way, just as you're reading this now!" Editor's Note: The book was released in January if you're interested in the read!"
Melinda Lee, author of Sex Over Fifty, recalls one of her more memorable Valentine's Days.
"The year that the movie Julie & Julia came out, I hosted a Valentine's Singles Dinner. Each single person made a course from the French Cookbook or brought a bottle of French wine to complement the course. We had an amazingly fun and tasty time and French music played in the background. We had Beef Bourguignon and the amazing chocolate flourless cake that were both highlighted in the movie. It was one of the best Valentine's Day dinners I have ever had!"
Girls only night!
Kerri Zane, Emmy Award-winning TV producer and author of It Takes All 5: A Single Mom's Guide to Finding the REAL One, used Valentine's Day as a night with the girlfriends:
"As a single mom, Valentine's Days can be very challenging, especially when first separated/divorced. It's been 10 years for me, but back then, my single girlfriends and I would make it an evening about us. We would all get together in one of our kitchens to collaborate and prepare our best dishes (mine is always dessert), drink a lot of wine and turn up our favorite '80s tunes and dance like crazy. It was a total blast... we didn't even remember it was V-Day."
All the single ladies
A LovingYou.com reader shared her story:
"I held a 'Single Awareness Day' party and invited all of my friends who were divorced, widowed or (in two cases) just had husbands out of town. About 20 women came for dinner and everybody loved having a way to celebrate Valentine's Day instead of just sitting it out."
Focusing on the positive
Life Coach Leah Carey wants people to identify with what is already going right in their lives and then build a happier, more fulfilling everyday experience. This year, she's focusing on how to be happy and single on Valentine's Day.
"Spending Valentine's Day with a bunch of friends and drowning in your single sorrows might feel like the way to get through it all, but on Feb. 15, all you'll have to show for it is a hangover! Nobody wants to spend time with someone who is feeling miserable and sorry for themselves. If you let Valentine's Day make you feel that way about yourself, you could be driving "The One" away, even if you were to meet him! Instead, this year, I'll use Valentine's Day as a day to recommit to myself, so that when "The One" shows up, I'll be ready!"
Sweets and good reads
Allison Z., a publicist living in New York:
"I normally spend my Valentine's Day "celebrating" my singledom. In fact, I revel in it. My idea of the perfect evening is filling the bathtub with an array of pricey bubbles and salts, sparking up a few incense and lighting an obnoxious amount of candles. I then settle in with a new book for a good hour. This year, I'll be focusing on my favorite author's new book, Over You. Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus (authors of The Nanny Diaries) created a character who has a happily single heroine to root for, sure to be a quick, chic read. Cannot wait! Did I mention I normally have a stockpile of chocolate nearby?"
The romcom challenge
What do men look for in women?
Is your date into your date?