It’s Valentine’s Day again.
You’re back here again. Wondering what’s wrong with you that you’re single or why your partner isn’t putting more effort into professing their love for you.
As a couple’s therapist, Valentine’s Day week never fails to be my busiest week of the year. Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a day that is filled with love, sex, and romance—but for so many, it’s not.
It is this expectation of romance that causes problems for couples (and singles). Couples come into my office upset at their partner yet again for failing to live up to up to their arbitrary expectations. Or, it serves to remind them they are spending another year in a loveless relationship.
For singles, Valentine’s Day is equally painful. It forces them to accept the reality that they are spending another Valentine’s Day alone. It can be a downhill spiral of negative self-talk, blocking love-filled friends on social media, and endless reminiscing about that ex from a few years ago.
You can choose to spend this Valentine’s Day the same way you spent the last one—lonely, sad, and disappointed. Or you can embrace it and use as an opportunity to enhance your love life.
This year, instead of just surviving Valentine’s Day, use it as an opportunity to thrive.
Here are some Valentine’s Day tips:
1. Change your story about Valentine’s Day. Most people see Valentine’s Day as a day wherein your significant other expresses their undying love for you. This is a setup for disappointment.
Instead, transform your definition of Valentine’s Day into an opportunity to give love freely to yourself and others.
2. Romance yourself. We have a tendency to think about romance as something that someone else does for us. But, in fact, romance is a feeling. This feeling begins with you.
If you want more of it in your life, allow it to flow through you. Spend time romancing yourself. This is true for singles and couples. How attractive is someone who is filled with love and romance?
3. Take a risk. Since Valentine’s Day forces you to reflect on the current status of your love life, use that information to make a change. If you are single, make a decision to be a more active dater (if that’s what you want); start an online dating profile, agree to a blind date, or spend more time in social activities. For couples, take a moment to make a list of all the things you love and appreciate about your partner and share it with them.
Let Valentine’s Day be a day where you express your satisfaction. If your relationship is in trouble, get help. But, wait a few days to bring it up.
Valentine’s Day is what you make it. Instead of being one of the many sad and lonely people waiting around to get struck by Cupid’s arrow, this year, take action. Make Valentine’s Day work for you. Remember love and romance are feelings, and they start with you.