Don't get sucked into the Valentine's Day hype.
From the time we are children, we are taught that Valentine's Day is the most romantic day of the year. School halls, decorated with pink and red hearts, are full of children thinking about whether they should finally reveal their secret crushes. Teenagers use their allowances or after school job money to make their first purchase for a significant other.
As adults, we pressure ourselves to live up to the romantic Valentine's Day hype that we've been fed since grade school, leaving many single adults feeling unnecessarily lonely or let down on February 14th.
As a matchmaker, many would expect for Valentine's Day to be one of my favorite holidays. Yet, as surprising as it may seem, I find the whole holiday to be a bit overrated. Good luck getting a great table at your favorite restaurant. If you do, the organic intimacy felt on previous dates is now nearly unreachable with the restaurants current ambiance of forced romance and unattainable expectations.
Everything is supposed to somehow be more special due to the calendar date. Yet, as much as we all wish we could decide when and where things will happen, life does not work that way. Love is organic, relationships ebb and flow, and romance is often found in the smaller details. Neither love nor romance can be forced to fit a schedule.
If you happen to be with someone on Valentine's Day whom you love and adore, that's amazing … enjoy Valentine's Day, and use it as an opportunity to remind your partner of what you love and appreciate about them. In my opinion, that's what the day is for: reminders of what you have hopefully already shared or shown to your significant other. But what if you haven't met that special someone? Are you doomed to a night of wallowing in self-pity and chardonnay? Absolutely not!
Being single on Valentine's Day should not negatively affect your self-esteem or crush your hopes for loving again. Instead of thinking about what is lacking, shift your focus to all the new and exciting opportunities for romance that may lie ahead.
Embrace this day of love as a day to love yourself! As cliché as it may seem, one cannot truly love another before they learn to love themselves, and that begins with taking positive steps that manifest and create desired change in your own life. Put away your Kleenex and sappy movies and make a plan for how you can improve your quality of life with or without a partner.
Sign up for the class you've been interested in, finish that project you've been working on or plan the trip you've always wanted to take. Invest in yourself and the things that you love. And don't be surprised if this attracts the kind of person you have been seeking! Confident, happy and dynamic people seek out the same in others.
Over the past 20 years as a professional matchmaker, I have seen singles make some of the same mistakes over and over again. One such mistake has been the ability to identify qualities they are seeking in others, but neglecting to do the necessary work on themselves. They want someone who is engaging, open minded, curious and interested in life, yet they find themselves static and stuck in their own routines.
I was once a divorced mother of 2 and skeptical of finding love again after having been single for 10 years. I was stuck in a rut … doing the same things and hoping for different results. I was a busy real estate professional, working 6-7 six days a week and spending the little free time I had either with my children or playing tennis at my club. Since I preferred not to date people from either work or the club, I found myself alone and losing hope in romance.
I knew I had to do something new and decided to join with a matchmaker. I had to be open to new possibilities if I wanted my life to move in a different direction. And that is how I met my wonderful husband, Bill. He was my first introduction and has been my Valentine ever since.
That experience is what led me to open my own matchmaking agency 20 years ago. I saw a need for singles like myself to find a way to meet other serious and commitment minded singles. After a certain age, it becomes harder to meet an abundance of quality singles.
Most prefer not to date via work and don't have as many social opportunities to find potential romance as many of our friends and acquaintances are coupled. That is why it's imperative to try new things and be open to new possibilities. This may be uncomfortable in the beginning, but the end results are well worth the initial discomfort.