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How to cope with being single in Shanghai this Valentine's Day

'Oh, it's just me, myself and I. Solo ride until I die...'

Unsplash: Goh Rhy Yan
It's here again. That day when couples are pressured by society to celebrate the fact that they are indeed a couple. Shouldn't they be doing that every day? That's how couples work, right? You aren't 100 percent sure, actually, as if you're reading this, there's a pretty high chance that you're single.

Yes *forlorn sigh* it's Valentine's Day again and you are alone. Oh, so very alone. Like tackling a bowl of noodles with one chopstick, or trying to read your WeChat Moments with just one lens in your glasses, celebrating Valentine's Day as a singleton is pretty difficult.

At this time of year, you start to see couples everywhere: on the metro; at the supermarket; in your peripheral vision; in the clouds; whenever you close your eyes – it's tough, we feel you. We understand if you start feeling desperate – trying to catch the eye of every vaguely attractive person you see at Found 158 on a weekend; swiping through Tinder with finger-eroding urgency.

We here at Time Out Shanghai think you should celebrate yourself this Valentine's Day. Sure, we might have typed this article on a tear-stained keyboard, through misty eyes with Grammarly working overtime to correct the typos, but being single is ABSOLUTELY FINE. WHAT? NO, YOU'RE THE ONE YELLING. Here are some great things to do solo this Valentine's Day.

Have your cake and eat it... all to yourself


Fill the gaping hole in your heart with cake. This Valentine's Day, Bread etc. is making special Valentine's cakes (88RMB for a heart-shaped cake; 28RMB for lips). There will be no judgment and at no point during the purchasing process do you have to specify your relationship status, or how many people the cake is for. On the outside, buying a whole Valentine's cake for yourself seems sad, but, on the inside, it'll feel pretty damn satisfying.

Drown your sorrows Irish style

Slieve Foy, Cooley Peninsula – Wiki Commons

No date? No problem. Head down to The Blarney Stone for their St Patrick's Day practice session – an actual thing that is actually happening. Carlsberg, house wine and house pour spirits are all 25RMB, so you'll forget all about being lonelier than a walk along the windswept coastline of the Cooley Peninsula – a remote part of Ireland just below the Northern Irish border. There aren't a lot of people there, hence the loneliness. (The best jokes often need explaining...) If anything, go for the looks on mortified girlfriends' faces when they realise their boyfriend's idea of a romantic Valentine's date is a pre-Paddy's Day piss-up.

Laugh until you cry, because let's face it, you were gonna cry today anyway


Feel better about yourself by going to the stand-up comedy open mic at Kung Fu Komedy (8.30pm) and listening to people tell jokes about how much more tragic their lives are than yours. And if you're (un)lucky, you might be able to pick up a sad comic at the bar after the show. In this instance, LOL stands for 'lots of loneliness.'

STYX and stones may break your bones but words also hurt because you're extra sensitive at this time of year


Food on a stick makes everything better, and STYX World of Skewers has that in abundance. This Valentine's Day (or 'just another Wednesday' as you're militantly calling it) they're replacing their all-you-can-eat skewers deal with a Valentine's sharing menu (488RMB). Dine out on your tragedy (pardon the pun) by having it all to yourself – we're pretty sure you're allowed to do that... Eat enough internationally-inspired meats to make yourself slip into a food coma, escaping the bleakness of reality in the process.

Drop it like it's hot... it being your hopes of ever finding love


Forget Valentine's Day and ring in the Year of the Dog a little early at Le Café des Stagiaires at their Snoop Doggy Dog – Chinese New Year Party. Again, another real event that is actually happening. We could argue that every year is the Year of Snoop Dogg, but this Valentine's Day celebrate the lunar new year as traditionally intended, by grooving to the tunes of the Doggfather. One of the subheadings on his Wikipedia page is '1998–2006: Signing with No Limit and continued success'. We wish you 'continued success' with trying to find something worth doing this Valentine's Day...

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