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Let’s admit it: Valentine’s Day – OK, Valentine’s WEEK and much of February leading up to it – can  be rough enough if you’re single and feeling particularly sensitive about it. (Like, ahem,  I am for example.) The one thing you wanna count on is your fellow single girlfriends. Well, have you heard this one before?

Girls who tell you they don’t wanna commit to an all-gal Valentine’s dinner/plans because they’re waiting to see if the guy they’ve “sort of” been seeing for a few weeks will suggest plans. Therefore, she doesn’t wanna make tentative plans with you. Better count her out because she would definitely cancel on you at the last minute anyway.

All I can say is: lameballs. Total effing lameballs.

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I can’t remember where I read it, but apparently Wednesday and Thursday are the perfect days to set your weekend plans, whether making reservations, confirming a date, etc. And that makes total sense–I can’t even count the number of times I’ve had all these great ideas for the weekend that never happened because I failed to turn them into concrete plans. I’m trying to be more proactive these days. So, what are YOU planning??

There are some great things happening in or near the Hampton Roads area–and all of them would make really awesome dates, if you’re searching for ideas!

  • Busch Gardens! The Williamsburg theme park is kicking off its 36th season this Saturday!And who doesn’t love a theme park?  This is definitely on my list of upcoming to-do’s. I haven’t been since 2002. I’m really interested to see if the 9 years will have made me terrified to go on roller coasters–I used to LOVE them!
  • Picasso is in Richmond till May 15th. Go pay him a visit! That is, his art. You know what I mean. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond is the only stop on the East Coast (and one of only THREE in the U.S.!) for the worldwide tour of the exhibit “Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris”. Apparently ticket sales have been breaking records in Richmond for this rare chance to see the nearly 200 pieces of artwork. Trust me, I don’t plan on missing it!
  • Visit a local farmer’s market. The 5 Points Community Farm Market always has tons of seasonal produce for all your fresh-food desires. Plus, this Sunday is the deadline if you’re interested in subscribing to their Community Supported Agriculture program to get fresh produce every week.
  • Catch a show. There are tons of musicals and theatrical productions playing right now – great if you’re looking for something indoorsy and classy!

I know it’s only Thursday, but it sure feels like Friday to me.  Reason enough to plan my Saturday/Sunday. Happy almost weekend!!

P.S. It’s SPRING! Can I just say how happy I am to see this warmer weather after our dreary/unpredictable winter?! Even if you decide to totally be lazy, at least be lazy OUTDOORS!

Forget about whether or not giving your girlfriends or guy friends the scoop on your latest relationship or date is actually helpful. I’m still undecided if that’s ever a good idea, because let’s face it–many married folks can’t remember what it’s like to be single, and single people are, well, SINGLE. So we won’t delve into going to friends for actually useful advice-getting.

Nope, I’m just curious about how much people divulge to their friends and family–leave nothing out or totally withhold (or a safe in-between)? Are your friends in the loop on the down and dirty of what’s going on in your love life? How much detail are you comfortable giving, and when does it cross the line? I read a book recently (see my post from yesterday) that I’m guessing is a pretty accurate account of what goes on a lot between friends when it comes to their romantic relationships and how they figure things out (or just vent). But frankly, I doubt I’d EVER forward a girlfriend an email I got from a guy, asking her to give me her take on it. It’s not just the inanity of girls-interpreting-guys either–it’s too personal a thing for me! (And maybe not so nice to the guy.)

So, how much detail do you give, and how much do you prefer to hear? I like to think I’m in the less-is-more camp when I’m on the listening side, but I’m the first to admit that when it comes down to it, I’ll never turn down some juicy gossip!

Thankfully, the ‘taboo’ and stigmas surrounding online dating courtesy of sites like Match.com or eharmony.com are things of the past. I don’t know what the stats are, but at least half the happy couples I know met online versus the traditional route of through a friend or at an event.

When do you know you’re ready to take the plunge? I don’t think you HAVE to be willing and ready to commit to something in order to try it. Atfer all, it’s not marry-me-tomorrow.com for a reason. Is it deceitful to not know what you really want? Some might say so, but then again, where has knowing exactly what you wanted gotten me thus far?

1. You Keep Making the Same Mistakes Over and Over
No matter what the mistakes are, the only way to break old patterns is by doing, by taking some type of action. And getting to know people you’ve just met in a no-pressure environment of a first date can be really good for bad-pattern-breaking.

2. Everybody’s Doing It!
I’m not talking about peer pressure here. Maybe it’s not a bad idea to sign up for an account to support a friend who’s taking the plunge and needs some solidarity.  Even if you’re still weirded out by what might be a new concept for you, think of how much easier it will be when you’re not choosing photos and writing out profiles solo.

3. You’re Becoming Cynical
What’s the LAST thing a newly single or longtime single person likes to hear? “There are plenty of fish in the sea.” HATE IT!  I mean, really, no one likes to hear trite sayings. But, well, if you are starting to frighten yourself with the bitter comebacks you hear echoing in your mind or with how despondent and teary-eyed you’re getting listening to sappy love songs, maybe it really IS time to see what’s out there. And if you find out that there really aren’t plenty of good fish to go around after all? Well, at least you can back up that cynicism or despair with facts!

4. You (Sort of) Know What You Want
OK, this kind of contradicts what I said earlier…but I wouldn’t jump into the online thing unless you are certain about some things you absolutely won’t compromise on. Are you looking for something casual or serious? Even (especially?) if you’re somewhat unsure, tread carefully!

5. Money Isn’t an Issue (or an Excuse!)
Online dating can be as expensive as a monthly gym membership…i.e. really not that much considering what you might get in return. If $30 bucks is too much to you, you probably just aren’t ready to take that step. And if your coworker or mother offers to pay that monthly fee for you, well, now you REALLY have no excuse!

No, I’m not venturing into the online world…yet. At least, not that I know of. (Although one of my colleagues has threatened to set up an account for me. True story.)

Tips and input about Match, eharmony, etc., welcome!

I know this post is a bit late, but I just found this interesting tidbit out, and actually, I keep hearing this from friends as well. Even if it’s just a myth it’s worth the pause: If you’ve been trying to fit in a monumental Decision before February is out—don’t. Here’s why.

Call it post-January failed-resolutions blues maybe, because all the excitement of a new year is beginning to wear off, holiday bills start coming in, and Valentine’s Day hits you in the face. February is NOT a month to make any life-altering decisions. Whatever it is, it’s definitely testing my resolve on many itching-to-make-a-change fronts.

Unless you’re totally sure and this decision is coming at the tail end of lots of introspection (as in, months’ worth), another week won’t kill you, and will probably help you make a better decision.

Thinking of quitting your job or throwing in the towel for a resolution? Give it some more time.

Itching to be proactive and meet someone new? Wait till spring…you know, love is in the air and all that stuff? Did your significant other just propose? Tell them to hold on a sec (just kidding, of course).

They say timing is everything. Did you make any big decisions this month?

I always think that modern-day Valentine’s Day is sort of like that childhood pastime of daisy picking. “He loves me, he loves me not…” Just like we as youngsters put too much stock into the number of petals we counted, it seems like a lot of the old mentality still might ring true. Remember in middle school and high school when the SCA brought around the carnations that you were able to buy for a dollar and give to someone? And if you didn’t get something from your crush, you were, well, crushed! Have we really changed all that much?

It could be that we put too much emphasis on what our significant others give us on Cupid’s day (or whether we get something at all). According to a study done by David McCandless and Lee Byron on break-up trends, it looks like Valentine’s Day is just the beginning of a slow climb to peak Break Up central around spring break. (The data was collected via status updates on Facebook , which we all know is totally infallible and COMPLETELY REFLECTIVE of real life, so take it for what you will.) Not a total shocker, though. If one person has certain expectations and another just doesn’t get the fuss, clashes happen.

For better or worse, Valentine’s Day brings out emotions in us all: pain, heartache, joy, cynicism, and sheer utter annoyance. And it’s nothing if not a little ironic–even if you don’t care about the holiday, or what you get or didn’t get, there’s always someone who thinks you SHOULD care (been in a store lately?). Funnily enough, I actually like Valentine’s Day! As with anything, a little moderation and style go a long way…even for such a ridiculously commercialized day.

Whether you love or hate the holiday, it’s just two weeks away, so you better start figuring out what to do, whether it’s sending flowers to a significant other, emailing a quirky e-card to friends, or hand-making a valentine card for your neighbor (or any mix-and-match of the above). And there’s nothing wrong with boycotting the holiday altogether, either. (Um, just be sure not to leave your house if that’s the case, because you will run into someone carrying a huge bouquet of flowers and/or giant heart-shaped balloons– guaranteed.) But whatever you decide to do, do it with love!

Is February 14th a hated day of the year for you? Would you break up with someone for not getting you a special gift, or, would you break up with someone to avoid the pressure of coming up with the perfect Valentine’s Day gesture?

In honor of this not-to-be-hated holiday, I’ll be posting some gift ideas for all the people in our lives soon!

The nice thing about quarterlife crises (thanks BTW, to readers for all the advice, some more questionable than others! haha) is that they’re sporadic. Life is busy, especially for a late twentysomething, and the inevitable doldrums are oft buried in the whirlwind of another week – especially a 3-day workweek.

Thanksgiving chez Majumdar is always interesting. Three sisters, two dogs, and the parents. The food will be traditional, but spiced up Indian style, and after dinner we’ll likely take family photos, play some Super Mario monopoly (oh yes!), and watch The Polar Express tonight.

No exhaustive laundry list, but there’s MUCH to be grateful for…too many things to recount, in fact. I may overanalyze my life and decisions, but I’m very thankful that the choices are mine to make.

Taking it easy today, but don’t worry, First Person Singular analyses will be back soon. You know, my non-single friends tell me often that reading this blog makes them ever so thankful that they’re NOT single, because they get that the dating scene is quite a messy, complicated jungle. Hey, you’re welcome! 😉 And happy Thanksgiving!!!