Well, I’m 22 years old and I have never had a girlfriend. To me, Valentine’s Day is just... there. Maybe one day that day will be something to be celebrated but right now it’s just another Sunday. Still, there are people who are going to feel the pain of loneliness for a while.
A very, very long while.
So you may as well complete some games to fill that void.
We’ve already written an article about games to play when you’re lonely as f*** but I’m going to focus on the long-term. It’s not just Valentine’s Day people are going to feel lonely on, it’s the whole 365 days and until you find someone to spend your time, money and love on... you can pour those same things into a couple of series that I personally love.
Well, specifically from Persona 3 to Persona 5. Great RPGs dealing with heavy themes such as death and accepting the inevitable, choosing blissful ignorance or the painful yet necessary truth, and suffering under corruption and being unable to fight back. They’re also part dating sims where you can hang out with people from various walks of life and even date a few of them... or all of them if you want to earn yourself an emotional and literal punch to the gut. The protagonists are usually straight males though, but there is a mod for Persona 4 Golden on Steam that restores the cut Yosuke romance option…
I started playing Monster Hunter on the 3DS with Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate and I haven’t looked back since. Slaying monsters isn’t something you can just dive into and expect to come out fine, you have to prepare and think about every single hunt you go on. New monsters are added every game and with that comes a whole new set of challenges to conquer. Your rewards are often tangible and every quest you take is just one step closer to making your best armour and weapons. And you can do this with friends or random people online; Monster Hunter has one of the friendliest communities I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with. There’s no competition other than speedruns, you’re all in this together.
You know, sometimes the best thing to fill the void of loneliness... is with blood and gore. Story? Yeah, that can go on the wayside while I kill demons with my shotgun. The developers described DOOM (2016) and DOOM Eternal’s gameplay loops as a dance and they’re correct in that part. At some point in the game, you’ll be just like Doomguy, thinking on the fly how to end the lives of every demon in the room. Going into this calm and just focusing and ripping and tearing through the masses. You’ll be too deep into Hell to mind that you stand alone.
Come on, co-op games were made with friends in mind so why not grab your buddies and dive into a planet (or galaxy) full of things trying to kill you and loot. Or you can do it alone and keep all those legendaries to yourself. Borderlands’ childish and dark sense of humour has given me plenty of laughs, but has drawn me into its story and world too. But let’s be honest, you came for guns and this series has a lot of guns that only get crazier with each entry. Only in Borderlands where my gun talks and either tells me I’m a terrible person or encourages me to kill more things. So why not spend some time grinding for a new bullet hose?
The Yakuza series is long. Not just in how many titles there are, but their game lengths as well. Just the amount of other stuff you can do other than the main story is staggering. Play (and probably force yourself to learn) Mahjong, go fishing, hang out with hostesses, sing karaoke, gamble away your in-game cash, teach a dominatrix how to dominate, buy a child a dirty magazine, manage real estate and much, much more. And I’m only describing Yakuza 0 - there’s seven games of this stuff and counting. You can also beat people up in hilariously brutal ways and deal with an often sad and tragic story, I forgot to mention that.
Okay, I admit, these games are more about filling time and distracting you from your loneliness on Valentine’s Day but... the truth is that being alone is totally fine. There’s an entire world outside full of people, so there’s more than likely someone out there who is willing to spend time with you if given the chance. Whether you just meet them at a bar to talk about life or marry them... who cares? It’s your life, spend it like you want to. Persona taught me to cherish the relationships I make, Monster Hunter to never give up and that I’m never alone, DOOM taught me to enjoy the simple things, Borderlands taught to just let go and laugh, and Yakuza taught me about life and how I should live it to its fullest.
Being alone on Valentine’s Day isn’t something to be sad about, it’s okay to enjoy being alone. But also you're not alone most of the time. You can still enjoy it with friends and family. And if you don’t have those... well, it’s 2021! There are seven billion other people who you can spend it with. And hey, maybe you'll find the one you'll spend the rest of your life with... teabagging your in-game corpse.
And if all else, I have a song you can listen to.