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Celebrate singlehood: Be your own Cupid this Valentine’s Day
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Just because a girl’s single doesn’t mean she can’t have a great Valentine’s Day.

They say misery loves company, so if you’re single on Valentine’s Day take solace knowing that there are 89 million other Americans just like you.

Sure, Valentine’s Day unleashes feelings of loneliness, frustration and pressure among some singles, but dating expert Jennifer Kelton says an antidote for the lovelorn is to indulge in yourself. It’s a day about love, so why be bitter, Kelton asks.

Instead of crying and sulking, do things that make you feel good, like a spa day or a long workout, said Kelton, who is the woman behind the Web site BadOnlineDates.com and the author of the relationship book “Don’t Use My Sweater Like a Towel.”

“As a single woman I can relate to the pressures around Valentine’s Day. Being single on Valentine’s Day can make you feel more single,” said Kelton, 42.

Echoing Kelton’s sentiments, Diana Michaelides, 26, of Hull, said even though she’s married now, she hates Valentine’s Day.

“It’s probably a spillover from when I was single,” Michaelides said. “When you’re single you think it’s the worst because it’s so in your face, with all the TV commercials and flowers being delivered at work. So it doesn’t mean as much when your older.”

Still single after having dated for 30 years, Kelton knows all too well the pressures associated with facing Feb. 14 alone. Ranging from renting DVDs to cozying up with a hot tub and bottle of wine, Kelton drew on her past dating experiences and concocted eight tips for a solo celebration she called the SV-8 (single Valentine’s).

“The SV-8 is about nourishing yourself and not buying into the tradition of what Valentine’s Day is about. Valentine’s is about love, so you have to love yourself and be present with yourself. Do things that make you feel good, even if it’s drinking a giant bottle of Absolut vodka,” Kelton said, laughing.

Like Michaelides, Phaedra Truglia, 36, of Hull, said she doesn’t like Valentine’s Day, especially when she was single.

“I’d go out boozing,” Truglia said, adding all her single friends would get together for a girls’ night out to celebrate their friendship.

Gail Martell, 54, of Marshfield, has been married for 26 years but she said she’ll never forget what it felt like to be single on Valentine’s Day. So much so that she scheduled one of her single employees off to have a spa day.

“I don’t want her seeing flowers being delivered to the office or any of that other stuff, so I booked her a massage so she could feel pampered,” Martell said.

Being single on Valentine’s Day isn’t fun, Martell said. “It’s a constant reminder you’re single, and who needs that?”

Just as she did on New Year’s Eve, this Valentine’s Day Kelton said she’ll go alone to one of her local hangouts in Venice, Calif. Kelton, who has been in a few long-term relationships, said she hasn’t found the right guy. She isn’t anti-men or anything like that. “We all want companionship, to be loved and feel safe. I haven’t found that somebody yet.”

And, not to worry, there is solidarity in single sisterhood. Getting engaged on Valentine’s Day six years ago isn’t enough to make Cynthia Auckly an advocate of Feb. 14. She, too, remembers the lonely days of singlehood.

“Bars in town should create a ‘Festivus-for-the-rest-of-us’ type holiday for Valentine’s Day,” said Auckly, 34, of Weymouth, referring the holiday made famous on the TV show “Seinfeld.”

“It should be a singles night, but better,” Auckly said.

By Dana Barbuto