Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Singles Awareness Day

"Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers."—Veronica A. Shoffstall

The V-Day curse conjures up a variety of emotions—anxiety, dread, sadness, disappointment, embarrassment, shame. The surge of lovey-dovey couples, red roses, expensive chocolates, and Valentine hearts serve as reminders that you are not on your "marry" way.

It's one of those days that the Romance Envy Ogre raises its ugly head. You want to flaunt flowers and chocolate in the faces of all your co-workers, friends, family, and shout, "See! Someone loves me."

This over commercialized holiday brings out other types of gremlins.

Grinch: Anti-V-Dayers who could care less. Valentines? Bleah!

Lovebird: Pro-V-Day lovers who love it. Chocolate? Check. Wine? Check. Roses? Check. Chick flick? Check. Dinner reservations? Let's go.

Love Forlorn: Those who say they don't care, but do. Prozac? Check. Check. Häagen-Dazs® chocolate chocolate chip ice cream, Bridget Jones's Diary, TV dinner, and pjs? Ready for another lonely "Let's Torture Singles Day."

Grouch: Others say they care, but don't. They endure the "I-love-you-isn't-cheap" price tag. Chocolate, roses, wine, and romantic dinner? Waiter, check, please. Ugh!

Make It Your Day of Smiles, Not Trials

Feelings of worthlessness, rejection, unimportance, or being overlooked emerge on Valentine's Day. From Hollywood to Hallmark, too many people promote unrealistic expectations regarding romance. Being special to someone doesn't define who you are or your value. Sure, spending time with a special person would be great. But can you enjoy spending it with people close to you?

Love yourself. Do you enjoy living life without an intimate partner? Rather than hyper focusing on finding a date or a mate, are you happy with yourself—and by yourself? Are you involved in a club, charity, hobby, or activities that you enjoy, just for you? Do you surround yourself with people who have your back? If so, you're less likely to be lonely, even if you're not in a relationship.

Make the Day Special for Your Children. Remember to make your children feel special and loved on Valentine's Day. Drop a trail of candy hearts from their beds to the breakfast table. Put together a Valentine's breakfast basket with a card and muffins. Include an "I love you" note in their backpack. Plan a treasure hunt. Leave notes with clues to find treats. Play games and watch a funny movie together. Shower them with hugs and kisses.

Try Shopping Therapy. Head to the grocery store on Valentine's Eve. Watch all the anxiety-stricken men running around fulfilling their romantic obligations, frantically buying last minute flowers and cards. That helps get over the "everyone else—but me—has somebody to love them" pity fest. While you're out, buy something to perk you up.

Rent Bad-breakup Movies. Laugh at the mayhem of The War of the Roses and The First Wives Club. If you experienced a bad breakup, laugh—lots—it's healing. Give thanks for this time in your life to restore your heart. Celebrate how far you've come.

Throw a Singles Appreciation Party. Cupid isn't invited, but your friends are. Organize a potluck. The only kisses welcome are Hershey's kisses. Devour all the better-than-sex-chocolate you can find.

Replace Your Chocolate Stash. The most redeeming quality of Valentine's Day is fifty percent off Dove's® silky smooth dark chocolates come February 15. Stock up. Cadbury's cream-filled Easter eggs are just around the corner.

Embrace Your Singleness. The Census Bureau confirms that unmarried households in the United States are the new majority. If you live past the age of 70, the average American will spend more years unmarried than married. It's okay to be single. February 14th provides the perfect excuse to plan an out of the ordinary celebration.

Don't feel like celebrating? Still feeling too hurt or rejected? Then don't. However, give yourself a special Valentine gift—love yourself and embrace how truly remarkable you are.

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