It’s Valentine’s Day today, and as I sit here writing this article, I glance over at the beautiful bouquet of flowers, sent by my loving husband with a sweet card attached. I had a slow morning so I indulged myself by watching Good Morning America and The View. On GMT, an adorable young couple got engaged on the air – he visiting her first grade classroom secretly, she surprised and teary eyed, then thrilled, they so obviously in love. On The View, Sherri Shepherd’s husband of only a few months surprised her with his rendition of “My Girl” and a huge bouquet of red roses. It’s a wonderful, heartfelt excuse of a day to celebrate love. But what if you’re not happily in love today?
For singles (and I’ve been there myself), Valentine’s Day is yet another reminder that you are without that special someone. You may wish you didn’t have to go to work and see all the other flower arrangements arriving all day for your happy co-workers. You definitely don’t want to see all the advertising centered on diamond engagement rings and other sparkly gifts of love. But don’t let it get you too far down. Instead, let this Valentine’s Day be a wake-up call for your life. The good news is: you CAN be happily in love next year at this time. But it won’t happen by accident. It may take a little intention and work on your part. Here are just a few tips to get started.
First, stop complaining, get active, and focus on the future. Passive and complaining is the sure-fire path to more Ben-and-Jerry’s nights watching reruns of You’ve Got Mail while you reminisce about the last two or three guys who got away. Focusing on losses while dwelling on the past actually creates more of that mind-set, according to brain research. Neural pathways hold memories, and it turns out that the more you re-live painful memories, the stronger the neural pathway. Any reminders and you automatically go down that pathway in your brain. Do that frequently enough and you can gradually lose the belief in a better future.
You create a new focus AND a new feeling when you envision a better future. The more you focus on a positive vision, the more you reinforce the belief that it will actually happen. Research shows that a positive future outlook leads to better brain chemistry overall. It's an upward spiral - create a vision, review it often, feel good, believe in a better future, attract others. Homework: write a vision statement of your future relationship, as detailed as possible, with lots of positive feeling words. Type it or write it in a beautiful font and post it on your bathroom mirror. Glance at it every day. Your brain automatically remembers every word of it and looking at it will deepen the belief that you are moving toward it.
Second, create a dating game plan, starting with going online. There are good ways to date online, and there are unworkable ways to go about it. The internet can be a powerful tool to help you jump start your love life, if you know how to use it wisely. The first step is to create a compelling profile complete with essays that convey something about you. The second step is to post great pictures. The third step is to widen your personal criteria as you do searches. What if there is a guy who is everything you have ever wanted, and he’s one year older than the range you selected? It’s better to cast a wide net and then narrow as you contact people than it is to have a narrow one.
The fourth step is to invest time in internet dating. While you’re sitting there watching American Idol, do a little surfing through your chosen online pool and send out a few messages. You never know what you can reel in! For in-depth coaching on how to date safely and strategically online, get my newest eBook, Internet Dating for the Savvy Single. It will be released by the end of March 2012. Look for it through my author page on Your Tango and on amazon.com.
This is just a starting point, but hopefully you can use some of these ideas to ditch the Valentine’s Day blues quickly and get back in the game. Active, intentional, and positive wins the day every time. All it takes is the first step in the right direction, and seeking support and encouragement along the way. Check out personal Singlescoaching for world class coaching to help you along the way.