“I hate Valentine’s Day.” “I’ll be single forever.” “Why can’t guys commit?” “Women are all gold-diggers.”
This is just a small sampling of the type of comments I hear in a given week from clients. Some believe they will be perpetually single while others believe they’re so unique that there’s not a soul in the world with whom they are compatible. While others have grown tired of their serial dating and are ready to just call it quits.
Of course, being February, and with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it’s normal to hear an uptick in this type of fatalistic thinking. As long as there’s a holiday celebrating love and romance, there will be people who will feel sad, lonely, and depressed. There’s no question about it: being alone can evoke such feelings, even though they’re based in part on the illusion that all coupled people are gloriously happy and blissfully in love. This is hardly the case.
To help conquer your Valentine’s Day blues, follow these tips:
1. Know that being alone doesn’t mean you’re unlovable or un-datable.
Although February 14th might magnify the feeling that you’re alone, it is only one day out of 365 days and should not define you or your ability to love or be loved. February 15th will be here soon enough and there are many more opportunities to find companionship or love than the last Bumble date that went poorly.
2. Examine your thinking.
So often people make gross generalizations and false statements based on how they feel in the moment, in that slice of time. For example, thinking, “I’ll be alone forever” is not based on fact, but rather, fiction. It’s based on feeling alone right now and is then generalized to the rest of your life. Not only is it unhealthy and inaccurate, but it will instill that belief in you and erode your confidence and ability to present yourself in an appealing manner to potential dates.
3. Nix the comparisons.
No one is pointing you out just because you’re single, nor are you wearing a badge suggesting so. We’re often our own worst enemy and biggest offender of magnifying even the slightest perceived faults or shortcomings. Rather than seeing your relationship status as a problem and something in need of fixing, see it as you being in a place of opportunity — opportunity to meet new people and potentially develop a healthy and fulfilling relationship.
4. Know your strengths and qualities.
Would you date yourself if you weren’t you? How do you think people who potentially would date you see you? What changes can you implement to make yourself more desirable? What do other people like about you? What are some recent compliments you’ve heard from others? Are you funny? Caring? Smart? Reminding yourself of your positive traits is a good way to remember just how likable you are, even though you might be single right now.
5. Don’t be defined by your relationship status.
You’re a whole lot more than a single person. You’re a friend, a son or daughter, a valued employee, and someone’s future love.
6. Don’t buy into consumerism.
Forget the expensive and fancy dinners that cater to couples. Recognize the huge role that consumerism and commercialization play in Valentine’s Day and celebrate ALL love, even that which is often overlooked: friends, family, and colleagues.
For more tips on living a healthy and stress-free life, check out my book Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days.
Jonathan Alpert, Psychotherapist, executive performance coach, and author of Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days. Twitter: @JonathanAlpert
Jonathan Alpert is a psychotherapist, columnist, performance coach and author in Manhattan.
As a psychotherapist, he has helped countless couples and individuals overcome a wide range of challenges and go on to achieve success. He discussed his results-oriented approach in his 2012 New York Times Opinion piece, “In Therapy Forever? Enough Already”, which continues to be debated and garner international attention.
Alpert is frequently interviewed by major TV, print and digital media outlets and has appeared on the Today Show, CNN, FOX, and Good Morning America discussing current events, mental health, hard news stories, celebrities/politicians, as well as lifestyle and hot-button issues. He appears in the 2010 Oscar-winning documentary, Inside Job commenting on the financial crisis.
With his unique insight into how people think and their motivations, Alpert helps clients develop and strengthen their brands. He has been a spokesperson for NutriBullet, Liberty Mutual insurance, and Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
Jonathan’s 2012 book BE FEARLESS: Change Your Life in 28 Days has been translated into six languages worldwide. Alpert continues to provide advice to the masses through his Inc.com, Huffington Post, and Thrive columns.