Alone on Valentine’s Day? 5 Ways to Survive Valentine’s Day Single
As most of us know, February 14th – Valentine’s Day – is around the corner. Those of you who think the tradition was invented by Hallmark and Godiva might be interested to know that it harks all the way back to Chaucer’s England in the middle ages. Since the 18th century, lovers have used the occasion to give flowers, confectionery, and Valentine cards.
You might also be interested to know that the eponymous Saint Valentine was reportedly imprisoned in Roman times for performing weddings on soldiers who were forbidden to marry. Sounds familiar doesn’t it?
But I digress. For those of us with a beloved our options are limited only by the imagination – though they often involve chocolate, red roses, valentine cards, a fancy dinner and, if you’re lucky . . . . . . . you get the picture.
But what about those of us who, for whatever reason, don’t have a beloved? Maybe we had one last Valentine’s Day but sadly something changed since then. We broke up, grew apart, or maybe lost a loved one through some sad twist of fate. What about those of us who haven’t had a loved one for a long time? What should we do when Valentine’s Day rolls along? Here is some advice from a psychiatrist who has seen hundreds of people who have loved and lost . . . and loved again.
5 Ways to Survive Valentine’s Day Single
1. Don’t Give Up on Love
What this means first and foremost is don’t give up on yourself. The importance of loving oneself has become something of a cliché, but like many clichés it happens to be true. If you don’t feel good about yourself, it is hard to love someone else. So, cherish what is good about you. That will put you in the best position to reach out and connect with someone else. This leads logically to the next suggestion.
2. Take Care of Yourself
Valentine’s Day is as good a time as any to ask yourself, “What can I do to be my best self?” That could mean becoming fitter, working on your body and your image, and enriching your mind. These are good things to do in and of themselves – and as a side benefit, they will make you more appealing to others as well.
3. Find Someone New
Remember, there are millions of other people who don’t have a partner for Valentine’s Day.
Consider trying to find one of them – and remember, you only need one unless your tastes run to the exotic, which goes beyond the scope of this blog. Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to find someone suitable, given the Internet. And I’m not just referring to Internet dating, which is all the rage, but also to Meetups – groups where people with like interests can easily meet one another in congenial non-threatening surroundings.
4. Love Without Romance
There are lots of forms of love that don’t involve romance. Consider spending Valentine’s Day with a dear friend or family member. Some people have chosen to live without romance but experience and express love every day of their lives in word and in deed.
5. Take A Break From Love
Give yourself permission to take a vacation. Remember, it’s okay not to pursue love. If you don’t feel like it, take a break from love. Do something else – something you enjoy just for itself. And remember, when people are having fun, they are at their most attractive. Love may sneak up on you when you least expect it. And if it doesn’t do so by Valentine’s Day, then the days that follow will bring new opportunities for romance.
So, with no disrespect to St. Valentine and many good memories of Valentine Days past, let me remind you: (1) That it is just a day on the calendar; (2) It is not a sign that you’re a loser if you don’t have a date; and (3) It is not an urgent call to action. Let Valentine’s Day simply be a reminder that love exists, that it is good to find, and sad to lose, and that we humans need it – but not like oxygen. We can survive very well without it for a long while and certainly get through Valentine’s Day quite nicely, thank you very much.
Wishing you Light and Transcendence,