"Will I be alone forever?" "I hate being single." "Why can't I find love?" "All men are jerks." "Women are all gold-diggers."
It's February and as such, it's hard to not hear the types of comments above from friends, overhear them at cafes, and discussed on talk shows. As long as there's a holiday celebrating love and romance, there will be people who will feel sad, lonely, and depressed. There's no question about it: being alone can evoke such feelings, even though they're based in part on the illusion that all coupled people are gloriously happy and blissfully in love. This is hardly the case.
Follow these tips to conquer your Valentine's Day blues:
1. Know that being alone doesn't mean you're unlovable or un-datable.
Although February 14th might magnify the feeling that you're alone, it is only one day out of 365 days and should not define you or your ability to love or be loved.
2. Examine your thinking.
People often make gross generalizations and false statements based on how they feel at the moment. Thinking "I'll be alone forever" is not based on fact, but rather fiction. It's based on feeling alone right now and is then generalized to the rest of your life. Not only is it unhealthy and inaccurate, but it will instill that belief in you and erode your confidence and ability to present yourself in an appealing manner to potential dates.
3. Don't compare yourself to others.
No one is pointing you out just because you're single nor are you wearing a badge suggesting so. We're often our own worst enemy and biggest offender of magnifying any slight perceived faults or shortcomings. Rather than seeing your relationship status as a problem, see it as you being in a place of opportunity -- opportunity to meet new people and potentially develop a relationship.
4. Don't define yourself by your relationship status.
You're a whole lot more than a single person. You're a friend, a son or daughter, a valued employee, and someone's future love.
5. Know your strengths and qualities.
Would you date yourself if you weren't you? How do you think people who potentially would date you see you? What changes can you implement to make yourself more desirable? What do other people like about you? What are some recent compliments you've heard from others? Are you funny? Kind? Smart? Reminding yourself of your positive traits is a good reminder of just how likable you are, even though you might be single right now.
6. Anticipate that Valentine's Day may be a difficult day and plan accordingly.
Pamper yourself. Go to the spa, treat yourself to a favorite dinner, or hang out with your single friends. Recognize that single-hood isn't a curse, a disease, or even a problem. It's not something that needs to be cured. It's just where you are in your life at the moment. Gather your friends and host a Singles-Only party.
7. Use Valentine's Day to reflect on how you can increase your chances of meeting someone with whom you're compatible.
Know the type of person you ideally would want in your life. What characteristics, qualities, and interests would this person have? Think of creative ways to meet such people. There's online dating, taking fun classes, volunteering, and socializing with friends which could lead to meeting new friends.
8. Don't buy into consumerism.
Forget the expensive and fancy dinners that cater to couples. Recognize the huge role that consumerism and commercialization play in Valentine's Day and celebrate ALL love, even that which is often overlooked: friends, family, and colleagues.