Whether you’ve sworn off the dating apps, still reeling from a recent breakup, or in the ‘hey do you like this engagement ring’ phase of a relationship, there is absolutely no hiding from Valentine's Day.
The flowers, the cards, heart-shaped chocolate, packed restaurants. You either lean right in or (try to) opt out. But February 14 will come and go regardless. So if you need something to do, we’ve got you covered.
Here’s what to watch, read, and listen to on the love-iest day. No matter your relationship status.
Watch…anything that screams female friendships, because god knows there is nothing more cup-filling. The Sex Lives Of College Girls follows the chaotic young lives of four freshman roommates who navigate friendship, love, finance, independence (and sex, duh) before forming an unbreakable bond. Sticking with the dramedy theme, Girls is another must. An adventurous, surprising, and influential series that unpacks the millennial mind via Lena Dunham’s screenwriting genius. And an early noughties throwback for good measure: The Sisterhood Of The Travelling Pants. How four teens hatch a plan to stay connected with a magical pair of secondhand jeans.
Read…having upheld editor positions at the now defunct Man Repeller (ie. you know you’re in great hands), Aussie writer Gyan Yankovich has released her first novel Just Friends which celebrates the power of platonic love. A reminder to not let that slip in favour of romantic relationships. And one just for fun: The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. An ageing and reclusive Hollywood actress recounts her very glamorous, very scandalous life in showbiz from the 1950s-80s.
Listen…Call Your Girlfriend aptly described as the podcast for long distance besties everywhere. Hosts Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman call each other once a week to shoot the shit, give listeners advice about their work, life, and love, and make us all laugh. And whilst single, what better time to establish your independence financially too. She’s On The Money will give you the resources you need to find financial stability (so you can pay rent and travel and treat yourself weekly).
Watch…the ultimate revenge fantasy, that is, John Tucker Must Die. The ex-girlfriends of a serial cheater set up their former lover to fall for the new girl who is primed to break his heart. Legally Blonde, because is there a better story of working on yourself post breakup to be smarter, chicer, stronger than ever. And Boy Swallows Universe for some very bingeable Aussie drama (Phoebe Tonkin at her bloody best). Because when you’re truly not in the mood, it can be very hard to find a storyline that isn’t driven by a romantic relationship.
Read…Break-Up Boss by Zoë Foster Blake if you're looking for some reason and logic as to why you feel the way you do. And how to sit in those emotions. Otherwise, Really Good, Actually by Monica Heisey for a hilarious and relatable account of one woman’s messy search for joy and meaning in the wake of an unexpected breakup. Or if you’re really searching for something to take your mind off everything, then Bunny by Mona Awad is a weird, dark, down-the-rabbit-hole novel that will override the chaos bouncing around inside your brain for some time. Trust us.
Listen…to up-and-coming Canadian girl rock band The Beaches who’s debut album Blame My ex, welp, needs no introduction. Great tunes for screaming in the car. Bonus points if your ex’s name is Brett. Then there’s All Too Well by Taylor Swift. The 10 minute version. Perfect length for a quick cry before getting on with your day.
Drink…a necessary new category for this phase. Or so I’m told. (Thank you Liz for this rec, and many above.) (Don’t worry, she confirmed she is now in the post-breakup category.) A delicious drop to try is The Hidden Sea GSM.
Watch…something to help justify the way you are feeling. Two Weeks Notice, an absolute gem of a performance from Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant, is proof that opposites attract. And it can work out. And that work/gym/friend-of-a-friend thing may be more than it is. But you’ve also got He’s Just Not That Into You to help debunk the strange signs and behaviours you might be witnessing.
Read…Coco Mellers debut novel Cleopatra And Frankenstein not just for its intoxicating writing style, but to know that it’s okay to be in love with someone who can’t give you all that you need. And I’d also recommend trawling New York Times’ style section for essays on love. Submissions like Let’s Meet Again In Five Years and No Labels No Drama, Right? are utterly raw and relatable reads.
Listen…to the podcast all about boys wasting our precious time. The Girls Bathroom with Sophia and Cinzia discuss love and friendship dilemmas where all great DNMs happen: the bathroom. And for more unfiltered, potentially un-sage advice, tune into Happy Hour with Lucy and Nikki who somehow survived their 20s and reckon you can too.
Watch…Bridgerton for a) the costumes, b) the cast, and c) a reminder about how sexy it is to chase what you want. Changing tact a little, Modern Love is another impeccable series that takes a candid look at love in all its forms. How quietly, quickly, and obsessively it can manifest itself. Then there’s the ever iconic 10 Things I Hate About You because it’s important to know we all have flaws.
Read…a raunchy series like A Court Of Thorns And Roses. Because apparently there is nothing like fairy smut to get you in the mood with your significant other. But if that genre isn’t quite your cup of tea then Trent Dalton’s Love Stories filled with observations of the human spirit will definitely restore your faith in fate. Think, a blind man yearns to see the face of his wife of thirty years. A divorced mother has a secret love affair with a priest. A girl writes a last letter to the man she loves most, then sets it on fire.Listen…to everything sexologist Chantelle Otton has to say about pleasure and wellbeing for you and your partner. Thankfully she dishes up a lot of tips and tricks across her IG page. Or you may wish to sit back and think ‘how lucky are we’ by listening in on Esther Perel’s couple therapy sessions on Where Should We Begin? Some nuggets of communication gold/learnings in there too, no doubt.