Thanks to heart-shaped chocolates, stuffed pink teddy bears, silly boxers and gushy Facebook posts, it's hard to ignore the fact that Valentine's Day is just around the corner.
For the unattached, especially anyone newly separated or divorced, all the hype can be a painful reminder of being alone in a couples world. Even for those who treasure being single, the holiday's focus on couples dredges up feelings of sadness, loneliness and anger. It's even led singles to create an Anti-Valentines Day movement complete with cards and get-togethers.
Given the challenges, how can you rescue yourself from going down a tearful path? The key is knowing you don't have to follow the Hallmark notion that romantic, fairytale love is the only kind of love worth celebrating on Valentine's Day.
You have the power to shift yourself out of the blues by flipping the script and turning February 14 into a day to celebrate all that you love -- your kids, your friends, your dog, activities and most important -- YOU! Buy yourself the chocolates you love, treat yourself to a makeover or splurge on a get-a-way to refresh yourself.
It's also important to realize you have the power to stop negative thoughts that drag you down. For example, you hear yourself thinking: "I'm not special because I don't have a significant other, and I doubt I ever will again." Stop yourself. Examine the truth behind your thought. Do you honestly think someone's not special just because she/he is alone on Valentine's Day?
Despite all the hype (or because of it), the reality is Valentines Day is challenging even for married folks. According to Ashley Madison, an online service promoting affairs for married people (link purposely not provided), February 15 is its busiest day. Why? The CEO says it's because clients are disappointed that Valentine's Day with their spouse didn't meet expectations. It just wasn't as romantic as they thought it should be... leading clients to buy into the site's tagline, "Life is short. Have an affair." Really?
Still struggling? Repeat as often as needed:
"I've been single for awhile and I have to say, it's going very well. Like... it's working out. I think I'm the one." - Ellen Heller
February 15 is for Singles
Finally, know you are not alone in your singleness and your new status entitles you to a special day. In honor of surviving Valentine's Day, singles (be it by choice -- or not) have claimed February 15 as their holiday. Called Singles Awareness Day (SAD), it was originally held on February 14. However, concerned it was being seen as a self-pity party and just too depressing, the organizers moved it to the day after Valentine's Day.
SAD's tagline says it all: "Don't feel sad and blue -- celebrate you." Singles are encouraged to tell the world about the joys of being single and to celebrate their own worth with self-gifting, traveling, volunteering and mixing with other singles at special events. The holiday even has a tongue-in-cheek Public Service Announcement (video) produced by the Niche Players comedy group.
In closing, I leave you with one of my favorite Valentine quotes:
"Valentine's Day is when a lot of married men (and women) are reminded what a poor shot Cupid really is." - Author Unknown
Wishing you the happiness you deserve.