LOVE IS IN THE AIR Get ready for Valentine’s Day
LET’S face it; we have all been there. You are single and people are asking you when you will start dating or find a relationship; you are in a relationship and people are asking when you are going to get engaged or married.
With a wealth of dating sites including RSVP, eHarmony, Zoosk and Elite Singles professing to help singles find their ideal partner or long-term and meaningful relationship at the press of a button, the stress on singles is evident.
This pressure to be in a relationship can often be felt the most on February 14 each year as part of Valentine’s Day.
Although initially a liturgical celebration, it has seen many changes over the years from feast days to the celebration we know that started in the Middle Ages. Since the 19th century it has focused on flowers, confectionery and greeting cards.
In a society that seems to endorse coupledom, University of Southern Queensland School of Psychology, Counselling and Community lecturer Dr Michelle Adamson said sometimes those who are not in coupled bliss can feel left out or inadequate on Valentine’s Day, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
“Society endorses being in a couple over being single,” she said. “Look how hard we work to set single friends up on blind dates or include them in outings so they are not on their own. “This can send the message that it’s not okay to be single.” These messages are ever-present in the media too. Who could forget that famous line from Jerry Maguire “You complete me”?
Unfortunately the flipside of this is that without a partner you are seen as somehow incomplete. The hype around Valentine’s Day may only serve to exaggerate these feelings for some singles.
If you are feeling some anxiety towards Valentine’s Day, Dr Adamson said there were ways to quell it.
“Enjoy Valentine’s Day for what it is – a day to express our love to those close to us – romantic partners, friends or family.
“Be your own Valentine and treat yourself to a nice box of chocolates or get a massage. Remember that Valentine’s Day is just a day, and it doesn’t define you or your relationships.”