Valentine’s Day Date Ideas I’ve Had Since My Wife Left Me Six Months Ago

Let’s say you’ve been dumped by someone in a most unexpected way and then it’s a couple of months later and you’re being pelted with all these familial wintry holidays one after the other after the fucking other! And you survive them by the skin of your teeth because you are a resilient animal and also because of beta blockers. Maybe you even start seeing other people — CASUALLY! — because we’re only alive for so long and don’t you want to put on a cute shirt and sit in a dimly lit space with someone you just met and might make out with later? Yeah, kinda!

And so it’s in that spirit that I bring you this brief list of Valentine’s Day date ideas that are currently on my level. ☺️

Solo Date: Pap Smear

If you have a vagina you’ll eventually need to get someone else to collect some cells from inside there and send those off to a lab to make sure you’re not actively dying yet. It’s part of life and you are out here LIVING are you not??! Now go ahead and put your feet in those stirrups and scoot down a little. A little more? Keep scooting. There, great. Perfect.

Couple’s Date: Attend an Animal Butchering Class

If someone woke me from REM sleep and asked, “what’s one thing you want to do right now, more than anything” I would say “drive a cleaver through the flesh and bones of a dead animal” and that dream is well within my reach! Take a cute person along and you’ve got yourself a date.

Group Date: Visit the Plastic Bag Recycling Bin at Target

Who do you love right now? Haha not that bitch! Yourself? Maybe. Hopefully! Mother Earth?? UM YES OBVIOUSLY?? Do you love her enough to not have a drawer shoved absolutely full of plastic bags in the first place? Listen, now’s not the time to focus on how we got here; you’ve been doing enough of that in therapy. Today you just need grab those bags and your closest palentines and head on over to the nearest Target! You’re a good person!!!

Couple’s Date — Vegan Option: Get in Line at the Bank

What do you need? Checks? A couple of quarter rolls for laundry? Got a question about opening a savings account in your name only? Babe today is your day! Grab a sucker on your way out!

Share your own date ideas in the comments! (But only if you’re on a similar level, otherwise idc idc.)

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lnj has written 310 articles for us.


  1. I’ll be honest: I had no idea butchers use SWORDS. What I did know is that you’re perfect and so is this and I love you and amen.

  2. WHEW I was just unexpectedly left by one of the loves of my life on Saturday, so this list is VERY timely.

    I did a pap smear on Thursday and just found out I am all good there, woohoo.

    “Vegan Option” made me cackle.

    I also love the recycling grocery bags idea. It can be comforting to pretend that individual consumer acts like that can make any kind of significant dent in the massive climate destruction caused almost entirely by 100 corporations. Woohoo!!!

  3. Additional ideas:

    Ask your Lex date to help hold your dog while you cut his toenails because WELP you just lost the person who normally helped with that, and do you want your dog to get arthritis??

    • I told both my partners up front I wouldn’t be helping with clipping anybodys claws. My cat gets “peticures” at the vet.

    • Ah as an (almost too) intense dog lady–I’m in full support of this one. Who wouldn’t want to do this on the most romantic day of the year?

  4. My (now ex)girlfriend of 9 years dumped me almost a month ago. Thank you for these precious tips!
    I’ll also add inviting myself for a drink… with the wine that she and I were supposed to share on Valentine’s. I’ll probably skip the glass and use a mug. Cheers.

  5. And another, can be solo or couple date or group date

    Go to the DMV to finally get license plates for the state you moved to less than a year ago to be with the partner who just dumped you.

  6. Honestly if someone woke me from an REM sleep for ANY reason RN I’d be tempted to add a meat cleaver to the interaction

  7. I don’t see why the pap smear is a solo date. When we got our smear reminder letters the first thing my wife said was that we should make a date of it. Also now she just told me that the last time the nice Scottish nurse complimented her on the colour of her labia. Actually, unsure now if this would be opening things up to poly dating.

  8. A fun date I had with my now ex when we were trying to “make things work” and it was her turn to plan a date was sit in separate rooms in the basement to work on our own craft projects. When I said it didn’t seem much like a date, she said “why does everything always have to be on your terms?!?!”

  9. Why is it every time I read breakup-related content on autostraddle I immediately match myself with the author.

    Five years in the future

    “How did you guys meet?”

    “She commented on my breakup article, and, well — you know lesbians! The rest is history!!”

    Fin. (Sorry not trying to be creepy y’all are just all so gosh dang cute!!!)

  10. Go out and buy a bicycle chain degreaser. Then proceed to deep clean and lube your bike chain. Bicycle maintenance is important.
    Also to be noted that I did this for two Valentines and on the third one I stopped saying that my ex left me and started saying that we broke up and now I only lube when I feel like it.

  11. Go half and half on butchering a calf?

    Dance a jig while slaughtering a pig?

    Make some jam out of fattened lamb?

    Enjoy a date while cutting up bait?

    Instead of a romantic meal you can slice some veal?

  12. Create one of those paper fortune tellers and bring it out for every couple you see.

    Open up their fortune, then look dismayed and refuse to tell them what it says.

    Pause, say “Well….I could tell YOU” to one of them, and then follow up with “Mm, no, I guess I shouldn’t”.

    Walk away, and don’t look back, except once, regretfully.

  13. Brilliant article and extremely necessary. Based on this and the commiserating comments above, I need to know: what are the movies you watch by yourself on Valentines Day when you are full of single broken queer feelings? Asking for a friend.

  14. Past solo dates I have gone on after being broken up with have generally involved sitting mutely in a tree / on a rock / on a patch of grass in the middle of the forest and pretending that I just might decide to live out there permanently like Survivorman. Results may vary in February.

  15. This Valentine’s I am going to be single,but more single than I was last year when I was still living with my abusive ex. It was a week before I was leaving and moving to the other side of the country. So it’ll be my first here in Perth. Current ideas include pretending the day doesn’t exist and crying on my dog while eating chocolate. Not that I need an excuse to do that!

  16. Can Autostraddle’s open thread on Valentine’s Day specifically be for brokenhearted queers to commiserate? Please?

  17. I plan on spending VD with two awesome surgeons.

    I’m getting my Adam’s apple taken down by one and the other is working on fixing my nose so it’s straight and I can breath since I’m there she’s doing a bleff because my forehead melted.

    • I almost forgot. I was just informed that My divorce papers are in the mail and should be arriving soon to celebrate my birthday.

  18. Midsommar could be a good Valentine’s movie. (Spoilers)

    It’s got lots of flowers… A bear… Okay maybe not a teddy, but still.

    And it’s got the gradual destruction of a relationship, ending in ritual sacrifice.

    Sounds like a good time to me!

  19. Getting a pap smear was the first thing I did after the break up… I had made the appointment when we first got together and then it didn’t work out. Crying in the waiting room, a fun solo activity!

  20. This is wonderful. Plastic bag bin group date is my fav. Also, the first valentine’s day after my wife and I split, I scheduled some extensive, painful dental work for vday, bc it was available, and why not? I figured if I’m already suffering, why not do this other awful thing I’ve been putting off? And then I can REALLY dig into that suffering and wallowing with undeniable reason and fervor! Which I did and no regrets :) Five years later, I have healed from both and remember my “date with a dentist” with amusement. I wish you the absolute best growth and joy from now on!

  21. Anyone got ideas for helping deal with a THIRTY YEAR friendship that ended last week and has really fucked me up??

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