Being single on Valentine’s Day is usually made out to be a lonely experience. And maybe it is sometimes, with all the stuffed animals and heart-shaped chocolates constantly reminding you that you have no one to share it with. But then again, the usual V-Day gifting and cheesy romancing is totally tired and, frankly, boring.

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We say, single or not, skip the red roses and round up your friends. Here are five ways to spend the night that are waaay more fun than a candlelit dinner:

Dig into the messiest food

Being on a date or in a fancy restaurant forces you to eat the tidiest and least-offensive food you can. Celebrate your freedom from those constraints by ordering the messiest food you can think of and digging in with friends. Ribs, nachos, sloppy burgers yours for the picking!

A wine-bar crawl

Take advantage of not being stuck in one restaurant and hop between bars all night. You can try different wines and tapas and shamelessly flirt with anyone you meet along the way.

Hate-watch the most cringe-worthy movies

There are few better ways to bond with friends than agreeing on how bad something is. Grab your favourite so-bad-they’re-good movies and have a laugh. We recommend dance movie extravaganza from 2000 Centre Stage or 2009’s terrible drama Obsessed, starring Idris Elba and Beyoncé.

Watch Fifty Shades of Grey 

Speaking of cringe, we couldn’t leave this off the list. Love it or hate it, Fifty Shades is the most-talked about movie of the year and it’s not every V-Day that you get to watch some badly acted-out S&M, right?

Attend an anti-Valentine’s Day event  or host your own

Invite some friends over, asking each person to bring a dish and a bottle of wine. You can provide the music and games. Alternatively, book a table for group dinner. The Larder in Cape Town is hosting a gourmet four-course dinner for R175 per person. You can book tables for 4, 6 or 8 people, so no couples on their own!