Single on Valentine's Day? B&Bs for the Broken-Hearted

Tired of Cupid's arrows missing their mark? No significant other to cuddle with? There may be a B&B just for you.

Valentine's Day is no longer simply a matter of giant bouquets of roses, candlelight dinners and gourmet chocolates. This weekend, a few of those cozy romantic inns will also be offering things like pints of Ben and Jerry's ice cream, voodoo dolls with pins, ski lifts for speed daters and copies of "He's Just Not That Into You."

For an estimated 89 million American single adults, Feb. 14 may be just another Sunday. But innkeepers at bed and breakfasts around the country are hoping to change that. They're offering packages that cater exclusively to those looking for love -- or looking to get over it.

The Avenue Inn, located minutes from the French Quarter in New Orleans, puts a Big Easy spin on getting over lost love. That's where guests get the ice cream, the book, the voodoo doll with pins and marker --a permanent marker, that is -- to inscribe the doll with his name, plus a one-hour massage and Mardi Gras beads.

Innkeeper Joe Rabhan says he came up with the idea for the "Breaking Up is So Very Hard to Do, But I'll Get Over Him" package after a meeting with his publicist four years ago. "She said, 'It's too bad that you don't have a Valentine promotion for people like me. I just got dumped by my boyfriend,'" Rabhan told So Rabhan started running the special year round, and he says women have flocked to the inn for girlfriend getaways, good cries – and good laughs.

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"It's got legs like you can't believe," said Rabhan. "It just seems to pick up steam around Valentine's Day." He says he's used to seeing women sitting on the front porch, digging into pints of Funky Monkey ice cream and ferociously stabbing pins into their complimentary dolls.

Susan Shapiro, author of "Speed Shrinking and Five Men Who Broke My Heart," says that any type of release would be ideal for singles hoping to get over someone. "I think if you're pissed off at somebody and if you're hurt, I think that you should delve right into it and let yourself feel it," she said. "Whether it's write about it or voodoo-doll-ing it, going to a shrink, telling your friends about journaling.... I think if you're hurt, don't pretend you're not hurt."

Relishing Independence

While voodoo dolls may be a New Orleans specialty, other inns offer specials for those wishing to wallow in their miseries or relish their independence in the lap of luxury.

"To have Valentine's Day as a holiday, everyone thinks of it as a romantic holiday, and when you think of romance, B&B goes hand in hand," said Janice Hurley Hollis, director of membership sales and support at "But with each [B&B] being unique, being able to offer Valentine's Day deals [for singles] just fits right in with all that. It covers both sides of the spectrum."

The William Henry Miller Inn in Ithaca, NY, has been run by Lynette Scofield for the past 11 years. After she was divorced, she realized that although Valentine's Day was good for business, she still didn't want to celebrate it. "We do lovely chocolates and we have a candle at breakfast and it's great," Scofield said. "It's just that there are some of us that don't get to celebrate that."

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