Party of one: your guide to drinking alone on Valentine's Day

For the past couple weeks, we've been zeroing in on, well, couples, as the annual celebration of paired-up lovebirds approaches in a parade of commercialized adoration and red glitter.

We've suggested where boo'd up Detroiters can spend what is sure to be one of the most romantic evenings of their year (maybe even their lives), and even highlighted a number of engagement photos to inspire those who are sure to get a ring on it. And it is in the spirit of fair and balanced reporting, that we now turn our attention to those of us who, for whatever reason, find ourselves by ourselves on this national holiday.

Maybe you refuse to perpetuate the idea that love can be commodified (you go, Glen Coco), and you and your honey decided to spend the day apart in a show of rebellion against a capitalist regime. Or perhaps you've given up on love, relegating yourself to the class of #ForeverAlone gypsies who find companionship through internet forums and/or books and/or a cat or five.

Maybe the company of others is just something you prefer in small doses. We're not saying you don't like other people, but when presented the option of being around them or just hanging with yourself, you'd choose you every single time. 

So with this guide, we celebrate you: the fiercely independent, the loner, the recluse, the party of one. And without further poetic waxations, here's some tips should you find yourself raising a glass in your own honor by your damn self. 

Get dressed. Now, one of the perks of being in the driver's seat of your own life is being able to decide when and if you make an effort with your appearance. Most days, we'd say who cares! You wanna wear your hoodie from 8th grade softball, cool. You can't quite recall when the last time was you washed your hair? Fine, that's what dry shampoo is for. But no, not on Valentine's Day. We're not saying get dressed to the nine, though by all means, you do you; moreso, getting dressed will show that this wasn't a Plan B but a first choice outing. 

Make a reservation. Don't slouch on your commitment to a smooth evening out. We recommend making a reservation for three to ensure proper space for your celebration as well as to give a nod to the multitudes you contain. When you show up alone, give no explanation to the host/hostess. Keep any and all glasses of water already placed on the table. You're gonna need it. 

Start slow. For your first beverage, pick something that suggests you're somewhere between weekend warrior and full-blown alcoholic. Save the cheap beer and shot of whiskey pairing for a bit later, and opt for a Manhattan or maybe even a glass of a house red (you're alone after all, no need to get too fancy). If you really wanna make it obvious you're celebrating, order some hand-crafted, artisanal cocktail. This will not only show your server that you're not there to drown your sorrows, it will also taste good, and that's what this night is about, good taste. 

Do a shot. Once you make it to your nightcap spot (here's a list of suggestions), it's time to get down to business. Pick a seat at the bar near a service station (where waitstaff pick up drinks and/or congregate) if you can. This will provide you with unlimited entertainment opportunities as listening to servers on a night like Valentine's Day will undoubtedly be hilarious. Once you've found your new home for the next few hours, order a shot of something straight and a good beer. You will earn the respect (or at least the momentary attention) of your bartender and show you know exactly what you're doing. 

Switch to something you can drink for awhile. By now, you're probably feelin' yourself so it's time to ease it into cruise control. Domestic brews are always a good option here, especially when paired with that shot of whiskey we mentioned — though don't overdo it — and choose a bottle if possible. Save the cans for the next time you're forced to go to someone's backyard barbecue. 

Set the mood. Let everyone know what the deal is by playing George Thorogood "I Drink Alone" on the jukebox. This is gonna take your celebration to the next level, be prepared.  

Amuse yourself. By now you're probably drunk enough to find amusement in just about everything, but you've gotta stay focused. Start taking a small sip of beer each time you hear a server say "can I get..." or try and pick out which couples landed here after swiping right. Whatever you do, don't play Keno or any other form of bar gambling. Also, avoid TVs if there are any present, zoning out now could provide just enough mental capacity to begin thumbing through your most recent texts and we all know where that leads. 

Take a bathroom selfie.
With the pressure of not spending too much time in the bathroom gone, you're free to spend as long as you'd like finding the perfect angle and lighting in the one place where solitude is celebrated the most. Plus, you'll want to document how good you look and what a great time you're having for posterity.

Take yourself home. While you could probably find a companion for the rest of your evening, this night is about you. So as you close out your tab and call yourself an Uber, avoid eye contact with anyone other than the bartender. This is the opportune moment to post that selfie on Instagram with a bunch of semi-ironic hashtags. We suggest #datenight #bestIeverhad #theone and #gotababysitter. When your Uber driver offers a quip about why you're alone on Valentine's Day, casually tell them "I came into this world alone and that's how I'll leave it," and say nothing else for the rest of the ride. 

Sleep well. Dive into your cave of blankets and spread out. The one true joy of being alone is not having to share your bed. Embrace this, you deserve it.