The Fight Club Guide to Valentine's Day: Help for the Unromantic, Unattached and Lazy

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So it's Valentine's Day and there are dozens of romantic dinners, parties and performances planned all around town. For the truly enamored, a big bouquet of roses, a candlelight supper, some candy and a diamond engagement ring should cover all the bases.

What about folks who aren't "in love" at the moment? You know, people who are happily in a casual we-absolutely-know-this-isn't-going-anywhere friends-with-benefits situation.Or folks who are in a "meh" stage of their relationship? Or guys who would much rather buy a round of shots for their buddies at the sports club than give a girlfriend a Valentine's Day card. And, of course, there are those couples that have trouble communicating hence they shout at each other a lot.

No matter what the situation, there are plenty of unromantic alternatives to the usual expressions of ardor and undying love. Some of them are fun, some of them leave no doubt that the honeymoon's over.

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Bayou City Outdoors Farmer's Market Bike Ride Onion Creek 3106 White Oak bayoucityoutdoors.com 8 a.m. February 14

Nothing says "I like you enough to spend Valentine's Day with you but I don't know if I want to make a big deal out of it yet" better than eggplant. The free Bayou City Outdoors Farmer's Market Bike Ride is in the morning of V-Day, but it is February 14 so technically, this is Valentine's Day date even though it's over by lunchtime. What we really like about the BCO Farmer's Market Bike Ride is that it can slide up and down the unromantic scale, making it whatever you want. The folks at BCO lead a 15 mile ride to farmer's markets in the area (they even provide bikes if needed), and the focus is on food, not l-o-v-e. Shop for handcrafted cheeses, baked goods, locally sourced organic meats and local produce while remaining romantically neutral (or not).

At the end of the morning, you can demur from a second date with, "Ah, I thought we were just buying eggplant." If your partner pushes for a declaration of love, you can avoid having to use the "L" word, with an innocent-sounding "Of course I care about you - I let you have the best green onions, didn't I?"

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Howl at the Moon 612 Hadley Street 713-658-9700 howlatthemoon.com/love-sux

For our unattached readers who may have some lingering anger over their last break-up, there's the annual Love SUX party at Howl at the Moon. Bring in a torn, burned or otherwise destroyed photo of your ex and trade it in for goodies and party treats. There are drink specials, games, prizes (including a happy hour party), live music and dancing all night long. Bud Lights, Skyy Cocktails and 24oz X-Boyfriends help everyone get in the party mood and admission is free.

Organizers promise a happy, it-is-so-okay-to-be-single atmosphere and say: "Trust us, your Instagram photos will look way more exciting."

Faking It: A Show of Love (Improv) Station Theater 1230 Houston Avenue stationtheater.com

Feel like laughing? Try Faking It: A Show of Love over at Station Theater. Stand-up comics and improv actors do their best to explain the truth about love. $6 admission.

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Valentine's Day at Cover Girls 10310 West Little York Road covergirlshouston.com, 713-937-7772

For the lazy, we suggest you opt for the Cover Girls Valentine's Day party. You're guaranteed female company - the club employs dozens of lovely ladies who will be happy to spend time with you. For a small fee, of course. There's also the added bonus that you're guaranteed no one will fall in love with you (something we're sure lazy guys are in danger of all the time).

If your pesky significant other insists on coming along, escorted women get in the club for free and there are lots of wine specials all day. (The less you spend on your girlfriend, the more you can spend on the Cover Girls dancers!)

Fight Night Cabaret Rudyard's British Pup 2010 Waugh boilingpointplayers.com 8:30 p.m. February 19, $10

And if you find that this year's Valentine's Day celebrations left you with a "never-again" attitude, you might like Fight Night, a cabaret with music, stage shorts, and long form improv from a woman's point of view presented by Catacopter and Ophelia's Rope (aka The Boiling Point Players). Stage shorts include Color Me Screwed by Nedra Pezold Roberts (a man tries to sell a woman in a bar a corkscrew), She Said, She Said by Bryan Maynard (proof that fighting is good for relationships now and then) and works by Stacey Lane. (Note: the performance is on February 19.)

Future Boiling Players performances include 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche in April.

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