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Going solo on Valentine’s day – Advice for singles

The stores are decorated in candy hearts, flowers and bears. Every TV or radio commercial reminds you that it’s time to remember your sweetheart on this special day for lovers. Your feelings range from sadness, to revulsion to anger. What’s a single person to do? The following suggestions are designed to both answer that question and to help you have a good day after all, while working to make it your last solo one.

1. Celebrate the day by planning an activity that is meaningful and enjoyable to you

Choose something that provides you with a special treat. Go to a day spa for “the works”, plan an intimate dinner for 3 or 4, go ice-skating or to the movies with a fun friend, or go out to dinner and a movie with a group of other singles. Focus on what you enjoy and make a conscious decision about how to mark the day. Un-Valentines Day parties are very popular and can be a lot of silly fun. You can attend one or throw one of your own.

2. Design a relationship-building plan for 2003

Let the holiday provide you with the motivation to take risks, try new ideas and gain the knowledge that will enable you to find and create a lasting, intimate relationship.

  • Sit down at the computer or with pen and paper in hand and get your plan written down.
  • Begin by making a list of resources that can be used to help you meet available singles. These can include: on-line dating sites, singles groups, volunteer activities, or participation in sports or other activities that you enjoy.
  • Decide when and how often you will participate in any activity you have chosen. *Make a budget for both time and available funds for this purpose.
  • Do your homework and research each resource so the information will be available when you need it.

3. Review those resolutions you made, or make some if you haven’t yet

Think about what is really important to you. Remind yourself that implementing and sticking to these will help ensure that you are really ready for that special relationship. Being the kind of person you want to be with is the first step. Begin with concrete goals. For example: stick with a healthy diet, exercise three times a week, plan one organizational task per week, etc. Taking care of yourself and living well, will optimize your chances for relationship success. Start today.

4. Work to eliminate negative thinking

When a negative thought comes into your mind, take a moment to think about what is beneath it. Then, tell yourself that thinking this way is not good for you. Make a decision to drop the thought and try to think of something (anything) that is positive. It can be as simple as focusing on what a beautiful day it is outside, to feeling grateful that you survived the current wave of lay-offs in your company. Use this technique for situations as well. Ask yourself how you can view the situation differently. Try to find one positive angle or outcome that could result from an otherwise bad situation. For example, you are being laid off from your job. You have been unhappy for a long time, but could not motivate yourself to do anything about it. Now, you have the motivation to look for a new job, or perhaps change careers. Think of all the possibilities that could open up for you.

Negative thinking is a downward spiral that leads to negative behavior and possibly depression. Consciously choose to challenge these thoughts, and empower yourself with a more positive outlook and approach to life.

Hopefully these tips will assist you in having a better “solo” Valentine’s Day than you might have been headed for. Enjoy the day by doing something fun. Then focus on your relationship plan and empower yourself to build the healthy, lasting relationship of your dreams.

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Toni Coleman

Toni Coleman

Toni Coleman, MSW is a licensed psychotherapist and relationship coach with over 20 years of experience helping singles and couples achieve their relationship goals. As a recognized expert, Toni has been quoted in many local and national publications including: The Chicago Tribune and The Orlando Sentinel newspapers and Family Circle, Woman's Day, Cosmo Style, Star, and Nirvana magazines. She has been featured on ABC News (abcnews.com); Discovery Health Channel (discovery.com); AOL Online (aolnews.com); Global Internet radio (planetearthradio.com); and (The Larry Elder show) (larryelder.warnerbros.com.) As a weekly contributing commentator on the KTRS Radio Morning Show, (St. Louis, MO), Toni offers dating tips and relationship advice in response to listener feedback.

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