Singles’ Guide to a Happy Valentine’s Day

dog-with-heartBeing single around Valentine’s Day can kind of feel like getting picked last in gym class. The kid who gets picked last in gym class really only lacks athletic ability. Yet, as name after name is called on the playground, the kid whose name has yet to be called feels worse and worse. By the time the team with the last pick finally has to take that last kid, he or she feels like a worthless loser. Certainly, this kid is not a worthless loser. He or she is just not a jock. Likewise, around Valentine’s Day, single people who see bouquet after bouquet of flowers being delivered may feel worse and worse about themselves, until they feel just like the kid who got picked last—a worthless loser. And just like the “last pick” kid really lacks only athletic gifts, the single person really lacks only a partner.

So, if you happen to find yourself without a mate around Valentine’s Day, remember, all it means is that you don’t currently have a partner. It says nothing about your worth as a person. Here are some tips for not only surviving the season of love, but maybe even enjoying it.

  • Celebrate the relationships you have
    You may not be coupled up, but that certainly does not mean that you don’t have meaningful relationships. Send valentines to your friends and family members and tell them how much they mean to you, or plan a dinner party for some of your closest friends. You may be surprised at just how gratifying these gestures can be.
  • Treat yourself
    Congratulations! As a single person, you are absolved of the pressure to spend money on a gift, flowers, or an expensive dinner, so take that savings and indulge yourself. Whether it’s a massage, a day at the spa, or kicking back with a favorite movie and a great meal, treat yourself to something special, and practice self-love.
  • Volunteer
    Making a positive contribution to society is always an uplifting and fulfilling experience. Select a cause you feel passionately about, identify an organization that works for this cause, and reach out to them to see how you can help. Animal lovers might walk dogs for a local shelter, humanitarians might serve a meal at a soup kitchen, and those with a knack for organization might help sort donations for a local food pantry. No matter what you do, you’ll walk away feeling good about the contribution you made.
  • Take a nature walk or a yoga class
    It’s Valentine’s Day after all, so give your heart a workout. Plus, exercise is always a great way to get those endorphins flowing and make you feel great.

The bottom line here is trying to find something productive to do that will make you feel good and focus on the positive things you do have in your life. However, if you do find yourself feeling lonely and blue, avoid the urge to beat up on yourself for feeling this way. Relationships are a critical part of the human experience. In fact, Carl Rogers’s person-centered approach to psychotherapy places such value on relationships that it views healing as coming directly from the therapeutic alliance that develops between a person and their therapist. With these new insights, you can work with your therapist to learn and practice new skills that will give you the confidence to be more content, in or out of relationships.

© Copyright 2011 by By Sarah Noel, MS, LMHC, therapist in Brooklyn, New York. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • LV

    LV

    February 14th, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    I’m just gonna go out with my other single friends and were gonna have a blast and let the world know that we are happy just the way we are! :)

  • eric s

    eric s

    February 15th, 2011 at 4:31 PM

    This does not have to be a time to feel sorry for yourself. Been there done that :) Instead this year I took this as a chance to celebrate me and having the chance to figure out what I want out of life and who I really am. last year was so awful as I was in a relationship that I knew needed to end but I just couldn’t. It had become a bad habit- you know, can’t live with him, can’t live without him. I did not make the decision to end things but now in hindsight it is the best thing that ever could have happened. Without breaking free I would have never learned to enjoy who I am and the things in life that I really love.

  • Sarah Noel, MS, LMHC

    Sarah Noel, MS, LMHC

    February 28th, 2011 at 12:07 PM

    Thanks for the comments. I’m glad to hear that you both spent Valentine’s Day embracing the positive things in your lives!

  • John K B Jr

    John K B Jr

    February 14th, 2015 at 2:14 AM

    Going to the Colorado Home and Garden Show tomorrow. Working with a good therapist at 59 for first time in my life. Improving in some areas, but had an ugly dragout fight with my Dad and wife 4 during Christmas. No Valentine card or best wishes for them. Beautiful words, but I really don’t believe in love.

  • JT

    JT

    February 14th, 2015 at 5:33 AM

    I hear what everyone is saying, but my hubby after 25 years left me 2 weeks ago, high and dry, never been on my own before, been with him more then 1/2 my life, im scared but strong willed as well, and as much as it hurts to admit probably this is a good thing, but what hurts the most is how he went about just leaving after all this time.

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