“Valentine’s Day is the most romantic holiday of the year. Many women dredge through all of the previous holidays of the year beforehand, just waiting for this holiday to roll around. Lovers celebrate with champagne or expensive wines, dinners out at beautiful restaurants, gifts of jewelry, and God knows, chocolate and even more chocolate. But, for all the single ladies out there who are not in a relationship or who have nobody, this can also be one of the most depressing, lonely times of the year. How does one make it through Lover’s Day?”
~ Dr. Gayle Joplin Hall
Have you ever been alone on Valentine’s Day? I am here to tell you that I have been alone on Valentine’s Day and even worse than that, I have been in relationships in the past, where I was not alone, but I was so lonely that I wanted to be ALONE. Being with someone who does not love and adore you is far worse than being alone. In either scenario, you are left feeling rather loveless. This is a really crappy, deserted feeling.
What compounds feeling loveless and lonely? Let’s face it. From the moment all of the Christmas things are removed from the retail shelves, Valentine racks are put up and displayed in retail shops. Just walking past Victoria’s Secret Retail Boutique is a killer. The lingerie is so darn sexy. It is saying, “Put this on your body. Your man will be smitten and not be able to resist you.” If you go into the shop and start flipping through the racks, a sales associate will approach you and begin her dialogue with something akin to, “That little corset with a pair of thigh-highs is sure to turn him on.” The Victoria Secret Sales Associate never thinks about the fact that you may be single or without a partner. Burn…sizzle…zing…one more flame to the pain of not having a true love on Valentine’s Day. It never dawns on her that you may want to dress yourself to feel sexy.
Every Hallmark store, every Walgreen or other drug stores, all of the Target stores across the nation and in other countries, are filled with cards made for lovers on Valentine’s Day. As I select cards with the perfect sentiments for my parents, I am left feeling dull and lifeless. What about those of us with no lover, no man or partner to buy a card for, and even worse, we know that we will not be receiving a card from a lover? To top off this feeling of solitude, we know that during the Valentine week at work, our friends and colleagues will be receiving gifts from their lovers to brightly display on their desks. When the front desk clerk brings back that beautiful flower arrangement or box of chocolates, it will not be for us. This just adds more agony to the open wound. So, what can we do during Lover’s Week if we have no lover or intimate partner to share the big day with?
Here are Three Burning Flashes of Smitten Kitten Ways to Fall in Love:
• Forget about a man already and fall in love with things you have been taking for granted. Take a look around…no, I don’t mean just glance around the room you are in as you are reading this. I mean to really take a strong, defined look at every object, every person in your life, and your world as it is today. What do you have that you can and should be thankful for? Do you have a roof over your head and a warm home to live in? Do you have food to eat every night? Do you have healthy children? Are you able to keep steady employment? Can you pay your bills on time, even if it means juggling them from month-to-month? Do you have a good friend? I have just named six things that most of us have every single day, yet we take these for granted. Really study your life and then make a list of what you have to be grateful for. Promise yourself that you will read your list each morning or night. You will discover that you can fall in love with your life just the way it is right now, once you realize this is part of the “plan.”
• Decide that it is okay to be alone on Valentine’s Day, or any other day of the year. Hundreds of thousands of women do not have partners. You are not the only woman who is without a man on Valentine’s Day. If you try to force a relationship or love, it never works out. Never. I am here to tell you that living alone or being alone is one thousand times better than being in a relationship and feeling lonely. So, you must be asking what I am talking about. There have been times in the past, where I was in a relationship with a man, yet I was not listened to, not complimented, not ever brought gifts, and not even acknowledged. During meals, my husband would read, instead of talking with me. As I look back now on some of my past relationships and the mistakes I made, I know why I did what I did. I was afraid to be alone by myself. Shamefully, I admit this to all of you who are reading this right now. I was so fearful of not having a man in my life that I would “settle” for a less-than-the-best man for me. Oh how I wasted so many years of my life on unworthy men. Please do not make these same mistakes.
• Become a “Smitten Kitten” and fall madly in love with yourself. Go all out on Valentine’s Day and do whatever you can afford to make it an enjoyable day for yourself. I am dead serious. If you are low on funds, here are a couple of ideas to brighten your day. Carry flowers (that you purchased the night before from your local grocery store and arranged in a pretty vase that you had on hand at home) in with you when you go to work. When someone asks you where they came from, proudly announce, “These are a gift I gave myself!” Dig out a vintage scarf or one you haven’t worn for a while and tie it on your handbag, wear a different color of lip gloss than you normally do, or instead of purchasing your beloved brand of heels, try buying a less expensive pair and wear those on Valentine’s Day just so you will have a new delight. For those who can afford to spend a little more money, indulge yourself at the perfume counter and purchase that new fragrance you have wanted to try, buy the new Louis Vuitton handbag, go out for dinner at an upscale Sushi Bar, and have drinks at a Wine Bar after that. Be brazen enough to go alone or stay at home and enjoy your solitude.
This is not a syndrome or feeling that is isolated just for women. Once you have learned to love yourself fully, then you are ready for meeting and mingling with men. Remember that men are also alone and lonely. You simply must put yourself out there. Even if you try online dating (which I did for five years) you still must be willing to take chances if you want to find love.
Please do not forget your girlfriends on Valentine’s Day. If you have single girlfriends and you know they have a difficult time on that day, send them a card in the mail. This simple gesture means so much and it just does not take that much effort. One little act of love can go so far and mean the world to a friend.
Curl up with a good book, watch a movie you have been wanting to see, drink a cup of hot cocoa or make a Cosmopolitan, talk on the phone with a friend, or do whatever makes your heart sing on Valentine’s Day if you are alone. Whatever it takes, do not be lonely, just because you are alone. Become that “Smitten Kitten” and fall in love with yourself over and over again, you beautiful goddess.