It is easy to lose focus of what’s important when the stores are filled with Valentine’s Day cards, gifts, and chocolates. We worry about being single, breaking up, and how to celebrate in a new relationship.
Instead of focusing on your relationship status or the perfect Valentine’s date, remember the following tips. They’ll keep you focused on the important things in life, on Valentine’s Day and every day.
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1. Have realistic expectations. Your date may have to work late. Your gift may not be what you expected. The singles party may be totally lame. If you choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day, expect that it won’t be perfect. Be flexible, and be open to enjoying whatever comes your way.
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2. Be grateful. Whatever your relationship status, there are always reasons to be thankful. Recent breakup? Find the lessons, and appreciate them. Married? Be grateful for the companionship and security. Single? Appreciate your freedoms. You get the idea.
It’s also important to show gratitude for whatever gifts, cards, or attention you may receive. Perhaps you were hoping for fancy chocolates, and instead were offered a well planned dinner in. Put away your ideals, and be grateful for what you receive.
3. Give. There is no better feeling than to give to another person. Whether it’s a significant present for your significant other, a small gift for a friend, or your time and energy to help someone, you’ll feel great about giving.
If you’re single, why not offer to babysit for a married friend, work late for a colleague, or visit with an elderly neighbor? Instead of focusing on your single status, you’ll be brightening someone else’s day.
If you have Valentine’s Day plans, you can still offer a token of appreciation to the people you care about. An unexpected gift, however small, is sure to make the recipient smile.
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4. Connect. If you’ll be celebrating with a friend or a date, be sure to listen to what that person says. Focus less on the hoopla of the holiday, and more on connecting with your companion. Ask thoughtful questions, and pay attention to the answers.
If you’re spending the evening alone, take the opportunity to connect with yourself. Set aside some quiet time to journal or reflect on what’s going on in your life. Think about life, love, or whatever makes you happy.
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However you choose to spend it, keep these tips in mind and you’ll have a very happy Valentine’s Day!
Rebecca A. Marquis is the author of How to Be a Good Boyfriend: 34 ways to keep her from getting annoying, jealous, or crazy.