Ahhh Valentine’s Day…what’s not to love? Bouquets of flowers, sweet cards full of poetry and couples cosying up over a romantic meal for two. It can seem in the words of Prefab Sprout that indeed, ‘All the world loves lovers’ but what if you are one of the thousands of singles with no date on this, one of the most romantic days of the year?
Do we really need to feel sad if we’re alone on Valentines Day or is there another way to look at it to avoid that hollow pit of emptiness in our hearts as we survey the barren door mat bereft of any loving gesture save for one though it might just be your Mum trying to disguise her handwriting in an attempt to make you feel better?
I don’t know about you but as someone who has been married for 20yrs, I really can’t see the fuss over Valentines Day. It all feels a bit contrived for me. I can buy myself flowers every week if I want to, and if my better half started writing me cards with love poetry inside rather than his almost monosyllabic texts asking, ‘what’s for dinner’ or ‘can you call the vet?’ I’d seriously start to wonder what was up…
You see, I think Valentine’s Day is for kids in the first flush of young starry-eyed love. Not for us realists who have learned that hearts and flowers aren’t really about love at all rather the idealisation of it. This breathless, all consuming, almost obsessive passion wears off quickly and instead, it’s replaced by a deeper connection where we embrace our partners shortcomings and love them anyway.
However if you’re single at this time of year, it’s hard to be able to rationalise the wanton attempt to manipulate us in to spending our hard earned cash on flowers, chocolates and silly soft toys that seem to be de rigeur in February where under normal circumstances we’d avoid them like the plague. Even harder to avoid the throngs of happy couples that suddenly seem to be everywhere. Here’s a quick checklist of things to remember that might help you deal with the lack of cupids’ arrows being fired in your general direction
- You’re happy being single. For many people, being single is a conscious decision and one that people tend to embrace. However, it’s not unreasonable to feel a pang of longing when it seems there is a plethora of happy couples staring into one another’s eyes wherever you turn.
- It’s better to be single than unhappy. We know this is true, Valentines Day may be a challenge to this fact, but it doesn’t make it any less true.
- You don’t need a day a year to be romantic – so you’re not in a relationship when Feb 14 rolls around but who knows what will happen next week, next month or next year? You can be romantic on any day you wish. There are no time constraints on love
- Romantic love is not the be all and end all! Love of your family and friends is equally as important and special as that of a partner. Sometimes even more so. You could always get your single friends over for a movie, drinks and nibbles. There’s something instantly uplifting about being with treasured friends when you’re on your own. Remember…mates before dates!
- On a serious note however, if the single life is really getting you down and loneliness is affecting your mental health then there is plenty you can do to help yourself. Connecting with others through social outlets like clubs’ societies and groups can be extremely helpful. Volunteering is another way to address isolation whilst single and can often be incredibly rewarding and life affirming plus it’s always good to meet like minded people and who knows where that might lead!