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Column: If you're consciously uncoupled or bitter, some Valentine's Day ideas

Embrace drinking wine at a spot like A Taste For Wine on Central Avenue in downtown St. Petersburg.

Times files (2005)

Embrace drinking wine at a spot like A Taste For Wine on Central Avenue in downtown St. Petersburg.

Have you recently met someone you really like, who actually likes you back? Are you in a healthy, vital relationship? Are you married and trying to keep the spark alive? Are you planning a hot date for Valentine's Day weekend?

Good for you! This issue should help quite a bit. Our critics and writers have a whole bunch of date night suggestions you can use this Valentine's Day weekend, or any weekend, really. We have romantic ideas from movies to concerts to fresh air fun to acting like a big kid with your grown-up love.

But what if you're not one of the above in love? You probably despise Valentine's Day. You probably wish it would just curl up and die so you could get on with your loveless existence in peace. Believe me, I've been there, too. We've all worn black and watched Heathers on Feb. 14.

If you prefer to skip the date night ideas in these pages, stay right here for some suggestions that might better fit your personal situation this time of year.

Consciously uncoupled

Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow aren't the only ones who decided to end things like mature adults. Plenty of people take the brave step of knowing it isn't working, and there's no reason to pretend it is. If you've recently consciously uncoupled, why not invite some enlightened friends to a cozy wine bar, like A Taste for Wine in downtown St. Petersburg, and dissect why your relationships worked/didn't work? I suggest a book club-style reading of Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by relationship expert Dr. John Gottman. (No, really, it's a helpful book.)

Bitter forever

All right, honestly, that sounds like a terrible idea (other than the wine). Really, no fun at all. This one is more fun! Have an ex to actively hate? Get together with your equally bitter friends and have a ceremonial picture burning in a backyard fire pit. Really take in that burnt photo smell. Then head out to swig some bitter drinks. Try an Eberson's Old Fashioned at Datz in Tampa, with cherries soaked in brandy, cherry bitters and candied bacon. Way more fun than psychology book club.

Dog parent

You really don't need a boyfriend or girlfriend. All you need is a best friend, a best friend who can't talk. Mr. Kibbles just wants to party! Take your furry pal, who doesn't think you buy too many shoes or want you to "speak your truth more often," on a doggie date. Take him to the Enterprise Dog Park in Clearwater, a sprawling park with a doggie agility course and plenty of libations (water stations), or to Downtown Dogs in Hyde Park Village (see Shopping Planner, Page 9) And who knows? Maybe while you're there, you'll meet someone who loves pups just as much as you do. Cue cartoon hearts!

Sorry. You can resume being bitter now.

Column: If you're consciously uncoupled or bitter, some Valentine's Day ideas 02/10/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 10, 2016 12:28pm]
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