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a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation


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share the love 
valentine's day isn't just for couples anymore
by Kelly Beachell Gasner | 1 2 3 4

How many singles out there are dreading Valentine's Day? It's OK -- raise your hands high. On the "most romantic day of the year" every one of my single friends just hates feeling like a dateless wonder. And they're not alone -- most of the couples I know hate Valentine's Day just as much. Just as they're beginning to recover from the holiday bills, Valentine's Day forces them to spend buckets of money to honor loved ones with expensive dinners, gifts, and chocolates. Who needs this kind of pressure?

This year, why not take the pressure off everyone, married, dating, or single? Skip sulking at home alone! Skip the expensive dinner for two at Chez Beaucoup Monée! This year, host a fabulous V-day fête for everyone you know. Not just for couples anymore, Valentine's Day is the perfect way to bring your extended friends, family, cohorts, associates, and comrades-as well as your loved one-together for one big love-in. A "Share the Love" party offers not only a chance to eat, drink, and be merry together, but may also open up new possibilities for all the singletons in your life.

Give a party that provides all the trappings of romance and adds a nostalgic twist that will take your guests back to school, to a time when Valentine's Day had nothing to do with pressure and was all about the love. Check out our readers valentine's day stories!

Remember those little Valentine's cards your mom bought by the box for you to hand out to your classmates at school? They're still available at your friendly neighborhood grocery store. Buy a box, and use them as invitations. Your friends will feel the little thrill of receiving a Valentine in the mail (maybe for the first time in years), and the sight of those cards will bring back a flood of warm and fuzzy memories of V-day parties past. The more heart stickers you put on the envelopes, the better. Include the usual info about time and place, but also make sure to get them into an "anything's possible" mood by indicating a dress code. If you want the night to be full of possibilities for your single friends, you don't want them showing up in their usual schlubby t-shirts. Dress code: Hot!

Encourage everyone to bring guests. Friends of friends of friends are the new faces you need to add into the mix for sparks to fly. Tell every guest to bring at least one new face to the festivities. It's not a date -- it's the opportunity to meet a potential date!

Even though the invitations are evocative of kindergarten parties past, you don't want to extend the theme to the décor. Resist the impulse to furnish with pint-sized chairs and a sprinkling of chalk dust. Instead, combine elegant and sophisticated with a hint of junior-high dance.

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