Nightlife

It’s OK to Not Be OK: Five Spots to Celebrate Valentine's Day With Your Ex

XO, Phoenix.
XO, Phoenix. Everett Collection/Shutterstock
Welcome to It’s OK to Not Be OK, a bimonthly column focusing on dating (kind of) in the Valley, but ultimately, being responsible for yourself. Check out our last entry here and enjoy this week's column.

It’s about to get real basic up in here. Let me have this.

Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays, though not because I’ve ever been on a special V-Day date (unless you count buying one ticket to a Gatecreeper show). I just happen to love pink, hearts, love, and the overall aesthetic of this Hallmark holiday. (But I’m not into Galentine’s Day. That’s taking it too far.) In that spirit, here's my super-sweet early Valentine's Day gift to you: a list of places to celebrate this day of love ... with your ex.

Yes, your ex. At some point, you've surely contemplated putting on your hottest fit, meeting up with an ex, and showing them what they’ve missed. Some of us have actually done this. Hell, half of my friends don’t even know I’ve met up with my exes (uh, sorry guys). As long as it’s a safe situation and will prove to be beneficial in whatever way you need, I say: go for it.

Here are five places in the Valley to do some making up, making out, or further mistake-making.

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Copper Star Coffee in Central Phoenix's Melrose District.
Benjamin Leatherman



Copper Star Coffee

4220 North Seventh Avenue
Best for: Making up




Each table at Copper Star is like a private study room in Hayden Library — no one’s getting in on your business, and you can speak freely. If you’re looking for an intimate and homey place to facilitate conversation about unresolved (or resolved) feelings, this is your spot. And the surrounding neighborhood is beautiful to wander around in if you feel the need for a walk-and-talk.




Lux Central

4400 North Central Avenue
Best for: Making up




Lux is the anti-Copper Star: loud, busy, and pretty much a local fashion show. You can grab an oat milk latte and a salted chocolate chip cookie, and talk out your feelings without feeling like someone’s listening in. Trust me, everyone is too worried about how they’re presenting themselves to listen in on your spill sesh.

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Chaparral Park has a 10-acre lake, but don't make out underwater.
Ofelia Montelongo



Chaparral Park

5401 North Hayden Road, Scottsdale
Best for: Making out




It’s a sweet, big park. The weather’s beautiful right now. Need I say more? Check it out, my friends.




SRP Arizona Falls at G.R. Herberger Park

5802 East Indian School Road
Best for: Making out / Further mistake-making




We first praised the make-out potential of the Arizona Falls in our 2016 Best of Phoenix issue, and we stand by that assessment. Both secluded and loud, this is a place where nobody is going to bother you, which also makes it an ideal setting to open up some old emotional wounds. You and your ex might not even hear each other, and that might be for the best.



Phoenix Bat Cave

3694 East Colter Street
Best for: Further mistake-making





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Are you really going to hold hands with your ex with this little shit flying around?
Doug Bowman/Flickr Creative Commons
Picture this: You invite your ex to bat watch, hoping they'll eventually offer you their sweater when you conveniently get chilly. Then you'll hold hands when you get startled by the bats. Soon, you'll have fallen in love anew. Guess what: That’s not going to happen! A more likely outcome is that you realize you have planned a day around an ex that is not as compassionate as you remember, and also now you are surrounded by bats. Some lessons are learned the hard way.

Make good choices this Valentine’s Day.
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Bri Arreguin-Malloy is Phoenix New Times' social media editor. As a Tucson native, she's been exiled from the city after attending Arizona State University. She enjoys going to grocery stores, scrounging the depths of Instagram for memes, and talking about her cat.