If you don’t have a date for Valentine’s Day, there’s no need to make yourself miserable over it.
Unfortunately, we’ve fallen into the trap of letting advertisers run our lives. As Valentine’s Day approaches, we’re bombarded with commercials, ads, and store displays that imply you’re normal only if you’re in a romantic relationship with someone.
The facts prove differently. Nearly 29 million Americans live alone, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That represents about 26 percent of the population. And close to 96 million Americans, or 43 percent of those age 15 and over, are single.
Let’s face it. There are billions of dollars to be made selling greeting cards, jewelry, candy, flowers, and other Valentine’s Day gifts. But single people need to get over the guilt that there’s something wrong with them if they don’t have a special someone on Valentine’s Day.
The single life is difficult enough, without artificial pressures. Holding down a job, running a household, saving for retirement, and other duties can be very stressful when you don’t have help. Instead of beating yourself up because you’ll be spending Valentine’s Day alone, congratulate yourself for meeting all the challenges that single life throws at you.
Here are some practical tips for singles to help survive a dateless Valentine’s Day:
1. See how far you’ve come.
Look back over the past year and celebrate your accomplishments. Focus on friends and family, rather than on a romantic relationship. Give yourself credit for being a strong, independent person who is growing, learning, and becoming more self-sufficient every day. What you’re doing is a major acccomplishment, and you need to recognize that.
2. See where you’re going.
If you want to be in a romantic relationship, use Valentine’s Day to motivate you to do something about it, like asking friends to play matchmaker or investigating online dating services. But do it because it’s something you want, not because you feel swayed by outside influences. And if you’re waiting for something to happen, don’t put your life on hold until it does.
3. See life honestly.
Being alone is infinitely better than being in an unhappy marriage or an abusive relationship. Lowering your morals to attract someone isn’t the answer either. See through the idealistic images in advertising, movies and TV, and the way to do that is by building a strong, positive self-image. The better you feel about yourself, the less artificial pressures will bother you.