Single on Valentine’s Day
Some people would say it’s never easy being single, but being single on what has been officially designated the Most Romantic Day of the Year can really seem like a trial. The whole world has been decked out in pink and red, for crying out loud. Sugary hearts and chocolates are all over the place – along with greeting cards – and if you don’t have someone to give ‘em to, you may feel like bingeing on the junk instead.
Take a deep breath, Single Guy. Just Say No to commercial pressure or social expectations that you’ve got to be hooked up to be happy. That’s not romance – it’s codependence. (I saw an ad in a personals column once that said, “I’ll be codependent if you want me to be.” Don’t be this person.)
If your inclination is to feel incomplete unless you’re joined at the hip to someone, this is a great time to realize that human beings don’t come with missing parts supplied by some perfect lover. You’re already complete – so why not start acting like it? Defining yourself by your relationship status is for characters in 70’s TV sitcoms.
February 14 may be the perfect day to declare your independence from the tyranny of enforced couplehood. In the words of Oscar Wilde, “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.”
Not being half of a couple doesn’t have to mean being alone. Love makes a family; chances are good that you’ve got a “family of choice” that may mean at least as much to you as your biological family. Recognize that you’re part of many relationships with people who value you. Good friends mean the world. Valentine’s Day may be the perfect day to let your friends know just how much they mean to you. And if you have several single friends, think about throwing a party for yourselves.
Consider doing something you could only do because you’re single. For many people singleness is a choice, not a temporary condition. You’ve got more freedom to be spontaneous; when was the last time you took advantage of that independence? Do you know how much men in couples sometimes envy your ability to decide what you want to do and when you want to do it, all by yourself?
If you think Valentine’s Day is going to be rough for you (if you’ve ended a relationship, for instance), take extra good care of yourself. That’s especially true if the loss is recent. Let yourself grieve if you need to, but don’t stop there. Consider pampering yourself with a day at a spa, or cooking yourself a good meal, or indulging in a little gift for yourself. Buy yourself flowers and put them somewhere you’ll appreciate looking at them.
Don’t let being sentimental turn into a depressive episode full of self-doubt.
What if you’re a single guy who has just started dating someone? Valentine’s Day can feel like a lot of premature pressure to proclaim someone is the love of your life. You may be wondering if you need to dazzle your new guy with your enormous capacity to be romantic.
Beware the urge to prove something or to get ahead of yourself. Dating unfolds with it’s own pace, and that pace isn’t always in sync with holidays. Getting love right is more important than getting love right now.
I have been licensed by the State of Georgia as a professional counselor for more than 25 years. My areas of specialty are relationships, intimacy, sexuality, anxiety and depression. My passion is helping people build happier lives and stronger relationships.
I know it isn’t always easy to talk about problems. My approach to counseling is nonjudgmental and compassionate. If you have questions, I welcome the opportunity to talk with you about working together.
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