Most groups of friends are a mishmash of couples and single guys and gals. For most occasions this isn’t an issue, but relationship status can seem a little more obvious around Feb. 14.
If you’re planning a gathering this Valentine’s Day, make sure it’s one where everyone feels comfortably included.
Take away the “cheese”
This time of year, stores are covered in paper heart garlands and chocolate displays, which can get a little tiresome and “in your face” for single folks. So take a break from the cheesy decor possibilities, and give your space a more classic look for your party. A few elegant red candles and some pink cocktail napkins are enough to get the point across without straying into being “too much.”
Invite new people
Do you tend to see the same people at most of your gatherings? When you always spend time with the same crowd, it’s easy to fall into the habit of talking about the same things. And those who might wish they had a partner but don’t can find this reminder that not much new is going on in their lives a little disappointing. But when you throw a party that includes all kinds of people who have yet to get to know one another, fun new conversations will abound. By asking a few of your close friends to bring along a couple of people no one else has met, you can get an exciting new atmosphere going.
Not all “cheese” has to go! Make it a wine and cheese party >>
Make it about more than Valentine’s Day
When you throw a party on or around Feb. 14, it’s easy to assume the event is meant to celebrate Valentine’s Day. But it doesn’t have to be just about Cupid’s favourite holiday! Give singles and couples alike a rest from all the Valentine’s frenzy, and include a totally unexpected aspect at your party. For instance, host a murder mystery party. Or set up a get-to-know-you-better game, where people have to answer fun questions, like “where was your first kiss?” or “what’s the most original gift you’ve ever given someone?” The questions can have a Valentine’s-themed touch or be totally independent of the holiday — whichever you think your guests will like best. Bottom line, Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to just be about chocolate, flowers and romance; you can have a hilariously good time with all your friends in any warm and inviting environment.
Scatter the food
Mingling is key at any party, but it’s especially important when you want to ensure people don’t couple off too much and leave the singles feeling uncomfortable. And a great way to do that is with food. If you set up all your food in one area, people will go to get a few treats but then might sit down with someone and not get back up to chat with anyone else for a while. But if you scatter your delicious appetizers all over the room instead, folks will have more of an excuse to go from place to place and strike up conversations along the way. And the more people mingle, the more fun there is to be had!