Person with cat on pink couch.

Solo, pal, or pet dates: Doing Valentine's Day, your way

Whatever your relationship status, here’s how to celebrate love in all its many forms this Valentine’s Day.

7 min read

Here’s a thought: What if Valentine’s Day wasn’t a marketing holiday designed exclusively for couples? Instead, what if it was an opportunity to celebrate love in all its colorful forms — whether it’s a date with ourselves, our friends, our pets, or our imagined future selves? This February 14th, we’re encouraging you to cook up the perfect day and celebrate Valentine’s, your way. Here are some alternative date recipe ideas to give you some inspiration.

A recipe for the perfect solo date

Ingredients:

A stack of your fluffiest pillows

A personalized snack buffet (no sharing required)

A map of all the best cafes/delis/shops in an unfamiliar neighborhood 

A face mask 

Bake time:

Duvet day: 24 hours

Exploring a new neighborhood: 3-6 hours

Spa day: 12 hours

At-home spa day: until your skin begins to get wrinkly

Serving size:

Valentine's Day is an expression of love, which means it’s also a celebration of self-love, regardless of relationship status. Whether embracing singlehood, navigating a situationship, or healing from heartache, spending this day solo is nothing unusual. In fact, a solo date on Valentine's Day can be truly pleasurable.

The first step in this recipe is to decide what kind of day would be the most nourishing for your particular situation. For those wanting to hide away from Valentine’s altogether, consider making the day a 24-hour hibernation session. This could mean transforming the living room into a pillow fort or hiding beneath a weighted blanket with various snacks on hand. Set up a queue of the finest (or trashiest!) movies to stream and revel in a cozy duvet day.

Alternatively, if life beyond the apartment calls, why not spend the day exploring a new neighborhood, discovering new shops and cafes, and indulging in something special? That could include anything from a French pastry to a new book or a fluffy pair of socks; the essence of treating yourself lies in the act of kindness itself, not in the price tag.

For the perfect blend of home comfort and novelty, spending the day at the spa can make for a great solo date. From sweating it out in the sauna to selecting from a wide range of luxury treatments, a day at the spa can relax the body, mind, and soul. On a budget? No problem. Any home can be transformed into a DIY spa paradise with a bottle of bubble bath, a face mask, a pitcher of homemade sparkling cucumber water — or a glass of something bubbly! 

A recipe for an memorable Palentine’s Day 

Ingredients:

Tickets to a crafting workshop, an escape room, or a club night 

Alternatively, all the brunch classics with optional mimosas

A good internet connection

Bake time:

Escape room: 2 hours

Crafting workshop: 2-4 hours

Club night: Until the last one standing calls it quits

Boozy brunch: 2-12 hours

Serving Size: 2+ 

From cheering on new romances from the sidelines to passing the tissues if things don’t work out, our friends often accompany us through the ups and downs of our relationships. So, this Valentine’s Day, why not use it as an excuse to celebrate our nearest and dearest? A “Palentine’s” day can be an excellent excuse for some great quality time — or some all-out debauchery! 

Palentine’s Day comes in a wide range of different flavors. Maybe it’s a memorable night on the town, a pottery workshop, or trying to find the way out of an escape room. The key to baking a perfect Palentine’s Day is in balancing the flavors to match everyone’s tastes. Plus, not all Palentine’s activities come with a hefty price tag. Hosting a murder mystery party or a boozy brunch at home can cost anything from €10 to €200 depending on the extravagance of the event and whether guests bring their food and drinks.

Palentine’s Day doesn’t just have to be shared with those in our immediate proximity, either. It could also mean catching up with friends on a video call, playing an online game, or even having a virtual baking date! The most important ingredient for a memorable Palentine’s Day is connection, which can come in all shapes and forms.

A recipe for a memorable pet date

Ingredients:

A pet companion (or several!)

A bag full of toys and/or treats

A pet-owning friend or family member

Bake time:

Extra special dog walk: 1-6 hours

Pet game night: until your companion loses interest

Serving Size: 2+ 

For some of us, the purest expression of love is spending a day with our beloved pets. Whether you share space with an energetic pup, a mischievous cat, or a sassy little lizard, Valentine’s Day can be an excellent opportunity to bring joy into our animal companions' lives. A great way to make the day special is to think of a gift that both of you will enjoy. For a dog, this might mean an extra long walk around their favorite park; for a cat, it might be a fun new feather toy they can pounce on around the apartment. 

Alternatively, a game night with a pet can be a great way to spread the love and to strengthen bonds. Engage dogs in a lively game of fetch, explore with a Frisbee, or introduce them to fun puzzles and snuffle mats that stimulate their brain and senses. For cats, bring out interactive toys that mimic their natural hunting instincts. For pets that aren’t particularly play-motivated, you can’t go wrong with a selection of their favorite treats. Whether homemade or store-bought, any pet will be delighted by their most loved morsels. 

No pet? No problem! Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to spread some love by offering to pet-sit. Check out local pet care platforms, or offer to dog- or cat-sit for a friend or family member. This can be a win-win — you’ll be helping pet owners who may want to make Valentine’s plans but can’t leave their beloved pet home alone for too long.

A recipe for the perfect future self date

Ingredients:

A dream vacation mood board

A calculator

A pair of rubber gloves (optional)

Bake time:

Dream getaway: As long as it takes to reach your budgeting goal

Decluttered home: 1–7 days

Serving Size: 2 (your & your future self)

Valentine’s Day doesn’t just have to be about celebrating the present; it can be a golden opportunity to show some love to our future selves, too. From dreaming up a big adventure to creating a well-organized sanctuary, this Valentine’s Day could be a way to pay it forward and make the first step towards living a more fulfilling, aligned life. 

First, let’s think big. February can be the perfect month to start picturing an ideal getaway. Imagining your future self wandering along a spotless beach, exploring a bustling city, or reading in a serene mountain lodge can be an excellent cure for any winter blues. Once you know where you want to go, creating a simple action plan to get there is the logical next step, including working out the budget and choosing the right time to go. By using Valentine’s Day to start getting plans in motion, we can give ourselves the gift of something to look forward to. 

If the idea of a big trip doesn’t excite, try setting sights a little closer to home. It might not sound glamorous, but using Valentine’s Day to get a head start on spring cleaning can be an excellent gift. By organizing living spaces, sorting through closets, cabinets, and cupboards, and getting rid of possessions that no longer serve us, we make more space for things that truly bring us joy. Plus, now’s as good a time as any to clean out that half-forgotten banana in the far reaches of the fridge. If nothing else, your future self will thank you for that!


Your money at N26

With N26, matching your finances to your lifestyle is effortless. Intuitive features like Spaces sub-accounts let you allocate funds for specific expenses, such as saving to splurge on your loved ones. Meanwhile, Insights helps you organize your finances and set budgets — attaining your financial goals couldn’t be easier. Plus, push notifications help you monitor your account activity in real-time, empowering you to care for your financial well-being. Opening an account with N26 takes just a few minutes, and there’s no pesky paperwork. Achieve your goals and build a more secure future today with an N26 account.

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