You may feel depressed and lonely on or around Valentine’s Day if you don’t have a Significant Other. The commercials and ads for fancy dinners, chocolates, and flowers may plunge you even further into despair. You may think you’re the only one who won’t go broke planning a night on the town with your partner.
All the romantic ads, movies and commercials are a figment of some writer’s imagination, created to sell a product. You are still loveable even if your life doesn’t match up to the photos and love songs used to advertise Valentine’s Day.
There’s Even an “I Hate Valentine’s Day” Movement
In recent years, many people – single and in relationships – have expressed their disdain for the commercialization of love that Valentine’s Day entails. Being alone on Valentine’s Day makes you feel like a loser, but if you’re in a relationship and you don’t buy the right gift or say the right thing, you’re in danger of becoming single. One writer staged an unofficial survey on Twitter and found women hated Valentine’s Day as much as men.
There was even a romantic comedy released in 2009 called I Hate Valentine’s Day. Some nightclubs offer anti-Valentine’s Day parties for singles (or people disgruntled with their relationships). Other venues even have storytelling events where people can share their stories of bad dates, loneliness, and bad relationships.
Take solace in the fact that you’re not alone in being single. In 2014, 124.6 million Americans 16 years old or older were unmarried. That’s half the U.S. population (You’ve got a lot of company on Valentine’s Day whether even though they may not be right there with you.) This Forbes article lists reasons why all sorts of people are miserable on Valentine’s Day. It may remind you that being in the wrong relationship, or trying to maintain the right one, can be more frustrating than being alone.
Make the Most of a Valentine’s Day Alone
Valentine’s Day can remind you of past relationships if you’re alone (or in a less than satisfying one) and lead to regret and even more depression. Seeing happy couples, Valentine’s Day cards, TV commercials about the holiday and full restaurants can make you feel unworthy and convince you that you’re undateable. But remember, this feeling and your solitude will pass, even if you’ve been single for a few years.
But if you’re single, how should you spend Valentine’s Day?
If you choose to stay home by yourself, watch funny videos, write, draw, play guitar or clean the house. Keep your mind engaged in something constructive.
Prepare yourself a fancy meal at home or order takeout and top it off with champagne or a fine wine.
Invite a few single friends over to watch movies or socialize. Don’t spend time commiserating about not having a partner, though – talk about what is right with your lives and what you want for the future.
January and the first two weeks of February are the most active times for online dating sites. Fill out a profile and flirt, if you want, but be judicious about whom you contact, and don’t be desperate. People can sense desperation, even online, and may avoid you. Chat with several different prospects at a time online. Be friendly, but don’t reveal too much information right away. Simply chatting with a few different men (or women) will cheer you up and give you hope, that yes, there is a dating life after a lonely Valentine’s Day
Volunteering or doing charity work will get your mind off what you’re “missing” and put the focus on other people. You’ll feel better when you help others and you may even make some new friends. Spend time with an elderly neighbor or family member who needs companionship.
Regardless of your age or why you’re alone, you can spend quality time with your pet or volunteer at an animal shelter. Adorable puppies and kittens will get your mind off your single state pretty quick.
Start a gratitude journal to remind yourself of all the good things you have going for you. It’s so easy to put romantic love on a pedestal and think that life has no meaning without it. Once you write down all the things you’re grateful for, you’ll realize you have a rich, full life even when you’re single. Friends, family, work, hobbies, travel – you don’t need a Significant Other to have those things.
Pamper yourself - get a massage, a manicure, and a haircut. Splurge on a marked down designer outfit or shoes.
Don’t date someone for the sake of dating to avoid being alone on Valentine’s Day. Unless you really click with a person, you’ll be better off alone or with friends. A boring or miserable date can make you feel much worse than spending the night on a Netflix binge.
Loneliness can compel you to make poor relationship choices, and many times the failed relationships are with the same type of person. It’s much better to spend time working on yourself – your interests, your career, your family and friendships, than to desperately seek a perfect partner
Analyzing Why You’re Alone and What to Do About It
You may want to explore why you’re feeling lonely so the pattern doesn’t’ repeat itself next year. Here are a few reasons you may attract the wrong people (or have trouble attracting anyone).
You may be subconsciously avoiding emotional intimacy. Individuals who do this keep emotions hidden and stay neutral when meeting people. For many people who act this way, showing emotions makes them feel vulnerable. Rather than risk being hurt, they play it safe and often end up alone.
If you fear depending on someone, it’s counter-dependence. Seeking or feeling love is a sign of weakness to you. This fear of depending on someone else may lead to isolation.
You may not want someone to know who you really are. It’s easy to “hide” your authentic self from neighbors, causal friends, or co-workers, but you can’t be in a true relationship without your partner seeing your real personality and character. You need to get over the feeling that you’re not good enough, or that people won’t like you when they find out who you really are. Open up and be your true self and you will attract the right partner.
You go to the wrong places to look for love – or don’t go out often. Love is like anything else – you have to put a bit of effort (but no too much) into it. Go out to clubs, coffee shops or other places where people congregate, or take an onsite class. Do things you like around like-minded people and you’ll eventually find someone to date.
Another way people isolate themselves is spending too much time on Facebook and other social media. When social media was new, it was fun and friendly, but so much of it has devolved to bickering and self-congratulatory posts. Use online communities dedicated to your interests or targeted dating sites (a site for pet lovers, for example) for better use of your time.
What Do You Need in a Relationship?
You’ve probably made a financial plan or career plan at some point. Why not make a relationship journal to pinpoint exactly what you need in your love life? Concentrate on what you need, not what you want. You might want an extremely good-looking partner, but is that really necessary to be happy? If you’re tired of deadbeats, and set your sights on a well-to-do partner, be aware that he/she should have other qualities like kindness, compassion, and creativity to make the relationship work. Money alone won’t do it.
Make a list of the qualities that are non-negotiable – considerate, resourceful, easy to talk to – and nice to have, like athletic, good-looking. Then set out to find people with those qualities. Remember, you may end up clicking with someone who doesn’t fit your ideal. But that’s okay. If a date or budding affair is working, run with it, but make sure you aren’t falling for the same type of person from previous failed relationships.
If you always seem to be attracted to the wrong type of person over and over again, you need to figure out why that’s happening and change your behavior. Maybe you have low self-esteem and don’t date the type of person you really deserve, so you always end up with losers. Ask a trusted friend to help critique your dating choices, or visit a therapist who specializes in relationships.
Don’t expect another person to give you self-worth or make you feel whole – that’s up to you. Get to know a date’s background and interests. Think about whether you like them. Don’t worry about whether or not they like you. Their intentions should be obvious after a few dates. If you feel comfortable, keep him/her around. If you don’t, you may want to reassess the relationship or end it. Intuition is usually right when it comes to romantic relationships.
The Different Types of Loneliness on Valentine’s Day
If you’ve just been dumped or divorced, the wound is much fresher and you may not even want to find someone new right away. Look at being alone as the beginning of a new adventure. You no longer have anyone or anything wrong for you to hold you down. Make plans for the future. Look forward to traveling, going back to school, looking for a new job, or dyeing your hair – doing something different will help you move beyond the heartbreak.
If you’re an older adult who lives alone, use the opportunity to reconnect with the activities you enjoyed from your past. Spend the night painting, sewing or engaging in other solitary activities you may have neglected, or call an old friend or family member to reconnect. There are also many volunteer positions geared toward seniors –even on Valentine’s Day – and they will give you a chance to meet people, many of them your own age.
Celebrate the fact that you’re single for the time being, and look at it as freedom. You don’t have to answer to, or worry about a romantic partner right now, so spend that extra time working on yourself. Think about it this way – there are many people in a relationship right now who wish they were in your shoes.
Once you start dating (or get in a serious relationship again), you’ll look back on your single days (and the freedom you had) fondly, even if you eventually end up with the partner of your dreams. Relationships can be nurturing, but so can “alone” time.
Stay Healthy for Better Relationships
Don’t worry about trendy clothing, cosmetics, or hairstyles. These items are nice if you have them or can afford them, but not necessary to attract the right person. Strive to be physically fit and mentally sharp. Eating well, exercising and getting enough sleep will help control your weight and give you more energy. You’ll look and feel better and become more appealing to everyone around you – friends, strangers, and potential partners.
Taking vitamins and supplements to maintain good health is important for most people. Everyone has slightly different nutritional needs. You may need more Vitamin A for clearer skin while a friend might be anemic and need more Vitamin B12, while another friend needs nutrients for more emotional balance.
Wheatgrass, one of the most nutritious foods you can buy, is filled with enzymes, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. It’s best consumed as a supplement pill, since ill-prepared wheatgrass juice can be contaminated. Wheatgrass Love offers several wheatgrass supplements, including Happy Girl, a mood boosting supplement that contains wheatgrass plus a proprietary blend of nutrients. Cayenne pepper, ginger and other proven happiness-enhancing ingredients give Happy Girl an extra blast of nutrition. Visit Wheatgrasslove.com to learn more.