Valentine's Day for Singletons: Tips on How to Cope
Updated: Feb 11
Valentine’s Day is associated with the day of love and the opportunity to express this more explicitly with your romantic partner. Whilst it can be a day to be celebrated and enjoyed by those in loving relationships, for those not in relationships, or even for those in fractious relationships, the day can bring up difficult feelings and is not a day that is looked forward to.
For those not in relationships, there can be better days when being single is not fretted about as much, or at all, but on other days they are more troubled by the drawbacks of being single and have an increased longing to be in a loving relationship. Some may find that they face more of these bad days than better days. No matter how much or little someone is generally troubled by a single relationship status, Valentine’s Day can point the spotlight on this which, for some, can elicit feelings of sadness, frustration and loneliness. The thoughts that some may be troubled by which lead to such feelings are:
-Is there something wrong with me and that’s why I’m single?
-I haven’t had a successful relationship so far so any attempts of dating in the future are likely to fail
-It’s not fair that others can be in loving relationships and I’m struggling to find someone
-There’s little hope of finding someone
-Others are probably judging me for being single
As a result of these difficult feelings and associated thoughts, on Valentine’s Day the brain naturally hones in on those around them that they see who are in seemingly loving and happy relationships whether that be when walking from A to B or on social media. Seeing so many couples can then further trigger thoughts; “everyone else can seem to find a partner but not me” which escalates feelings of sadness, frustration and loneliness.
Tips to Cope
· Normalise and Sit With It. It is not pleasant to have such feelings but it is normal to feel this way. You are allowed to feel these emotions, particularly on Valentine’s Day, many other people do too. Even if other things in your life are great, don’t feel that you should be grateful and not struggle with not being where you want to be with regards to romantic relationships. As you do not have full control over such feelings and you are entitled to have them, try not to fight them, let yourself feel sad, upset or frustrated.
· Social Media. Take a break from social media on Valentine’s Day. It is easy to see posts of others in seemingly happy relationships which will only make you compare yourself to them and lower how you feel.
· Challenge Thoughts. Try to identify what thoughts you are having around your relationship status and prospect of finding a partner in the future. Are you being overly self-critical? Do you have strong fears that may not be fully based on reality? If so, remind yourself that our minds love to be negative like this but thoughts are just thoughts. What would you say to a friend who was in the same situation and having the same thoughts? Try to be just as compassionate to yourself than you would towards others. Are these thoughts helping you or hindering you from taking steps in the direction you would like to go in with regards to finding a partner? If away, you do not need to let such thoughts dictate what you do. For example, you can have a thought that “there is no point dating, I’ll never find someone who I’m compatible with” and still be open to meeting people/go on dates.
· Self-Care. Particularly on Valentine’s Day ensure you commit time to self-care i.e. do nice, relaxing, enjoyable and soothing things for yourself. Do whatever works for you e.g. cook yourself your favourite meal, make a nice drink, listen to uplifting music, have a nice relaxing bath, watch your favourite t.v. programme
· Connect with others. You may feel the urge to want to hide-away and be on your own on Valentine’s Day. This may be your preferred option and it may be good to do so whilst upping your self-care. However, to offset some feelings of loneliness it can be good to connect socially with others whether in person or by phone. This will hopefully remind you that you are loved, valued, important and not alone in the world.
If you experience any difficulties in this area/would like to receive counselling for difficulties around relationships please reach out by contacting me via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or kindly complete the webform below. I offer therapy in-person in St Albans/Hertfordshire and online.