How to sur­vive be­ing sin­gle on Valen­tine’s Day

The Witness - - INSIGHT - MARCIA SIROTA • Marcia Sirota is an au­thor, speaker, coach and MD.

THE other day, my hair­dresser men­tioned to me that he doesn’t like Fe­bru­ary. The rea­son was that as Valen­tine’s Day ap­proaches, many of his sin­gle fe­male cus­tomers are, in his words, “to­tally freak­ing out” about not hav­ing a date for the night.

My hair­dresser works in a nice salon. Most of his clients are at­trac­tive, suc­cess­ful women. A lot of the sin­gle ones, it seems, are hav­ing a hard time cop­ing with be­ing un­at­tached on the one day of the year de­voted to love.

It re­minds me a bit of New Year’s Eve, dur­ing which many of us put a huge amount of pres­sure on our­selves to have the most ex­cit­ing cel­e­bra­tions with the largest group of friends. In both cases, I think that we’re try­ing too hard to prove some­thing to our­selves or to the other peo­ple in our lives, and that can never end well.

A re­cent study by Se­bas­tian Deri, a Cor­nell Uni­ver­sity psy­chol­ogy PhD can­di­date, demon­strated that although we usu­ally con­sider our­selves su­pe­rior in most cat­e­gories, when it comes to our re­la­tion­ships, we as­sume that we’re less suc­cess­ful than the other peo­ple in our lives.

This ten­dency to com­pare our­selves neg­a­tively can have a ma­jor im­pact on our self­es­teem when hol­i­days come around, es­pe­cially on Valen­tine’s Day.

We imag­ine that ev­ery­one else is in a lov­ing, com­mit­ted re­la­tion­ship, or at least that they’re out there, hav­ing a ton of fun dat­ing, while we’re alone in front of the TV in our fuzzy slip­pers plough­ing through a tub of Haa­gen Dazs ice cream.

The sin­gle women at my hair­dresser’s must be mor­ti­fied that they’re the “only one” in their so­cial cir­cle who’s “a fail­ure” at find­ing a mate. But that’s not re­ally the case.

Sure, it’s great to meet that spe­cial some­one and have their love and sup­port day in and day out, but that isn’t al­ways pos­si­ble, es­pe­cially in this age of in­creas­ing iso­la­tion and alien­ation.

These days, a lot of us might be spend­ing more of our time un­at­tached than in a com­mit­ted re­la­tion­ship, and for those peo­ple who find them­selves alone on Valen­tine’s Day, I of­fer up a few sug­ges­tions.

BE­ING SIN­GLE IS NOT A DIS­EASE

It doesn’t help if you put your­self down for not hav­ing a date on this night. You’re not a “loser” or a “fail­ure” if you haven’t found love.

You’re not sin­gle be­cause of any in­ad­e­qua­cies or short­com­ings within you.

Of­ten, find­ing that spe­cial some­one is just the luck of the draw. In­stead of beat­ing your­self up for be­ing un­at­tached, try to put things in per­spec­tive. Think about all the good things you have in your life and be grate­ful for those.

THERE’S NO SUB­STI­TUTE FOR SELF­LOVE

When you nur­ture your­self, you feel ful­filled. Sure, you might still want a part­ner, but at least you won’t feel like you des­per­ately need one.

And when you’re filled with self­love, you’ll be walk­ing around feel­ing com­plete.

With self­love, you won’t feel the burn­ing need for some­one else to com­pen­sate for the lack of love in your life. If you do meet some­one, your re­la­tion­ship will be based on car­ing and shar­ing, rather than need­ing the other per­son to fill a void in­side you.

BE­ING DES­PER­ATE AL­WAYS BACKFIRES

Des­per­a­tion makes you jump at the first per­son you see, rather than wait for the right per­son to come along. Love, even a real con­nec­tion, isn’t some­thing you can force.

You may or may not some­day find the love of your life, but it won’t hap­pen by try­ing too hard. Live your best life and be your best self, and if the per­son of your dreams is out there, he or she may very well find you.

SAY NO TO SELF­PITY, YES TO BE­ING PROAC­TIVE

You don’t have to be des­per­ate, but you can make your­self more avail­able. Get out there and be so­cia­ble. Join a club, take a class or con­nect with a so­cial group.

Par­tic­i­pate in sports or com­mu­nity ac­tiv­i­ties. Get in­volved with things that you feel pas­sion­ate about, and over time, you’re likely to make some new friends, and maybe even meet some­one nice. MEAN­WHILE, FEED YOUR SOUL Get out into na­ture and com­mu­ni­cate with the uni­verse. Take part in spir­i­tual or re­li­gious ser­vices. Med­i­tate, do yoga, prac­tise mind­ful­ness. Any of these will help you to feel happy and ful­filled, whether or not you find love by Valen­tine’s Day.

REDISCOVER THE ARTIST WITHIN YOU

We were all cre­ative as kids; it’s just that some of us for­got how great it is to cre­ate. Do­ing art of any type is in­cred­i­bly uplift­ing and mean­ing­ful. Art is some­thing that you can do just for your­self.

Be­ing cre­ative is em­pow­er­ing be­cause do­ing art makes you happy. And if you gain some mas­tery, other peo­ple will likely want to write, dance or play mu­sic with you. Cre­ative col­lab­o­ra­tions may or may not lead to love, but they’re fan­tas­ti­cally fun.

VALUE YOUR FRIENDS AND FAM­ILY

You have peo­ple in your life, right now, who love and ac­cept you un­con­di­tion­ally, and who’ll be there for you when­ever you need them.

You may not have a ro­man­tic part­ner, but you do have love in your life. Be grate­ful for these re­la­tion­ships and put en­ergy into keep­ing them strong, and you’ll feel a lot less lonely on Valen­tine’s Day.

GIV­ING LOVE FILLS YOU WITH LOVE

Be­ing a kind, car­ing and gen­er­ous per­son will bring you ful­fil­ment and a deeper sense of con­nec­tion with oth­ers. Al­tru­ism is ex­tremely re­ward­ing.

Stud­ies have shown how the hap­pi­est peo­ple are the ones who are the most gen­er­ous. You may or may not find your soul­mate while you’re out there giv­ing to oth­ers, but your life will be rich and filled with joy and mean­ing.

Valen­tine’s Day comes once a year. Whether or not you have a date tonight, you can have plenty of love, fun and ful­fil­ment through­out the year. Fol­low the above sug­ges­tions and you’ll never have to worry about Valen­tine’s Day again. — Huf­fPost SA.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

Love, even a real con­nec­tion, isn’t some­thing you can force. Live your best life and be your best self, and if the per­son of your dreams is out there, he or she may very well find you.

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