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Owner of A Lonely Heart

Not feeling the love? Here are Austin's top anti-Valentine's Day events

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Austin photo: Places_Food_Contigo_Exterior
Contigo will host a night of good eating and dancing without any heart decorations. Photo by Contigo
performer on stage for Mortified Nation documentary
Let it all out at Mortified when it returns this weekend to Austin. Photo courtesy of the Alamo Drafthouse
Austin photo: Places_Food_Contigo_Exterior
performer on stage for Mortified Nation documentary

Valentine’s Day can be a crappy holiday. If you’re single, you feel ostracized for an entire day, suffering the constant reminder that you're alone. And if you’re in a loving relationship, the entire idea of the holiday comes with undue pressure and schmaltz.

Luckily, a lot of places in Austin either want to help you get over your lack of a relationship or offer couples an alternative to an overpriced meal in a dimly lit restaurant.

Here we pick the best ways to celebrate Valentine's Day — by not actually having to celebrate Valentine's Day.

House of Torment Presents: Valentine X
Why should haunted houses be reserved just for one holiday? House of Torment, one of Austin’s most popular Halloween scare shacks, is opening on February 14 and 15 to put its own bloody spin on romance. Grab a few friends and walk through a haunted experience following the rampage left behind by the Bear Butcher. Skip the candlelit dinner and go with some candlelit horror.

Action Pack Presents: The Love Bites Sing-Along
Frustrated by the shambles your love life is in? Dealing with a broken heart? The best remedy for both of those things is to belt out your discontent with some of the greatest power ballads of the '80s and '90s. Sing the heartache away at all Alamo Drafthouse locations with the likes of Journey, Bon Jovi, Meatloaf, Bonnie Tyler and Seal. You might do anything for love, but you won’t celebrate a fake Hallmark holiday.

Contigo’s Anti-Valentine’s Day Valentines Day Celebration
If you’re looking to eat out on Friday night, good luck finding a place that isn’t overflowing with lovebirds. Contigo hopes to be an oasis from all of that cheesy romance. In addition to a delicious buffet dinner, Contigo is promising dancing and absolutely no Valentine's Day decorations.

The New Movement’s Valentine’s Shows
The best way to take Valentine’s down a peg or two is with comedy, and you can choose from a full slate of improv shows at The New Movement downtown. Shows begin at 8 pm, or stay for all three performances with a special combo price. Laughing is a great way to forget that you don’t have a date for Valentine’s — again.

Mortified Austin
Finally, the folks from Mortified are back in Austin — and at just the right time. At this semi-annual event, Austinites get up on stage to spill their dirtiest and darkest secrets from the awkward years of adolescence. Expect readings directly from diaries and journals about crushes, unrequited love and maybe even a little Hanson fan fiction. Mortified’s Friday night show is almost sold out, but the Saturday show still has seats available, so you can join your fellow loners in post-Valentine’s solidarity.

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