A 2014 study determined that more than a third of people in the UK were single or had never married.
That’s quite a large chunk of the population. Yet at this time of the year, single people often feel like they are very much on their own.
The reality is, Valentine’s Day is an inevitable sensory overload of media hype and unnecessary social pressure.
So here are a few things to keep in mind for those who won’t have a significant other this February 14…
Don’t Text Your Ex
Let’s be honest, many of you will get ‘the urge’. For one day out of the year your ex may seem like the answer to all your emotional woes, especially the ones who have left you with unresolved hurt.
The inundation of heart balloons, flowers and other love-related merchandise wherever you look can easily trick you into unearthing old feelings and memories that really should be left in the past.
Elaborate notions of being romantically reunited are often inevitable. But it’s an illusion, there’s a reason you are not with a former partner. Probably quite a few reasons, actually.
So switch off your mobile, log out of Facebook and restrict alcohol intake (the usual culprit). Your ex will still be the same person once you remove the blinkers.
Engaging with negative emotions too much will only result in more of the same…not to mention the crying into an empty ice cream tub with Adele songs on repeat. Why torture yourself?
If you’re feeling low, give yourself a Wallowing Allowance: twenty minutes max of wistful reminiscing or other similar activity.
After that, all talk of how depressing it is to be single on Valentine’s Day should be banned and substituted with the next point…
Celebrate Your Single-ness
There are so many potential relationship opportunities open to you as a single person, believe it or not, so embrace the solitude while you’re lucky enough to have it.
Embody self-compassion, become your own best friend, and you’ll soon realise that there are uncountable things to enjoy and develop in you as an individual.
Recognise That Relationships Are Never Perfect
A rose-tinted light will appear to shine on every couple you come across, of course. Facebook is the worst for making you feel like everyone is loved-up except you, so avoid it.
Remember that with every relationship you are only seeing one side of the coin. This is the outer layer, the one a couple chooses to show every body else.
Often behind the visual displays of affection are arguments, loneliness and heartbreak. In addition to the romantic dinners and Valentine’s proposals there will also be break-ups, infidelity and blazing rows. Relationships, and marriages maybe even more so, are not always easy.
So have a little compassion for those who might be stuck in a difficult relationship, they may need it more than you think.
Enjoy Your Loved Ones
Your friends, family, children, dog/cat/fish. Valentine’s Day isn’t just about romantic love. Be thankful for any one in your life that makes you feel like a better person.
Watch funny films together, listen to your favourite music, eat good food…just don’t overindulge. Covering up your feelings with ‘things’ is a slippery slope into wallowing (see above).
Friends can be a life-saver in many situations, especially the one’s who are brutally honest and can see the bigger picture. There are numerous sources of love right in front of you, it’s a matter of opening your eyes to them.
Stop Looking for Love
It might sound odd but seriously, stop. If you really do think you’re ready to be with someone, creating an energy of desperation will only push it further away.
It’s kind of like when you lose your keys. You search everywhere but to no avail, yet when you stop looking they suddenly appear. The most significant relationships usually arise when we aren’t expecting it.
So make the most of just being you. We already have everything we need in order to be happy, it sometimes just takes a shift in perspective to realise it.
Happy Single’s Day!