Surviving the trauma of the full 24 hour love-fest and its’ trappings: We’re only over the horror of spending New Year’s Eve counting down to the dreaded turn of the year, hoping by some miracle of fate, to be snogged by prince/princess charming at the moment of truth. But alas, no – having given the best friends or the dog a big hug and a kiss at midnight, we thought it was all over for another year. But no, just when us singletons thought it was safe, Cupid’s holiday creeps up on us, rubbing his little hands together, peering at us just over the January hump. For those in relationships of course it’s a glorious time of lording it over our colleagues: the BIGGEST bunch of Grand Prix Roses arrives in all their pomp and glory to Reception – each attached female thinking that if these aren’t for her – he’ll pay when she gets home! It’s a time for restaurants to trim their menu down to a one-pager with a choice of just 3 items for each of the starter, main and dessert courses. It’s for couples racing around trying to think of something “special” to do to show their partner they’ve made some effort. And of course, a time for Hallmark to cash in on one of their very best creations – a day dedicated to lovers – so one simply MUST by a card!
Although this may seem a tad cynical coming for a specialist in matchmaking, but I’m a believer in showing your partner that you care for them every day – and not making an effort just one day in a year. I also object to the exclusive nature of a Valentines’ day – where you must have a partner or you can’t be included. It’s not fair!
So if you find that you are between relationships, here’s how to survive the festival of romance:
– DON’T: Go out on Valentines’ day. There is no point in defying the inevitable and braving the pubs in an attempt to laugh in the face of Cupid just because you’re an anarchist and won’t be told what to do. You won’t be fooling anyone but yourself. Couples feel a natural pressure to out-romance their neighbours on Valentine’s night so the PDA’s will be sickening. You’ll last an hour before being unable to suppress a tirade of “get a room” screams at various unsuspecting Olympic-snoggers around you.
– DO: Invite one or two single friends around to watch a Ryan Gosling movie (or something Megan Fox for the guys), treat yourself to a nice bottle of wine/six-pack, throw in a Chinese if you’re a comfort eater and just ignore it! It’s always nice to spend time with people that are feeling the same way as you but if, as many people do, you find yourself being the only singleton in a community of couples, then do the same as above but throw in a pint of Benand Gerry’s – you’re worth it.
– DO: Plan a HUGE Night out at the weekend or a weekend away. As above, the night itself is a minefield best left avoided but you should round up your friends and arrange a big blow out for the following weekend. You’ll have something to look forward to – a fun night with friends and also the possibility that you might meet someone! You’ve most likely been a good girl/boy for the month of January-off the booze and gyming it 4 nights a week so you’ll be feeling good about yourself and looking great. There’s never a better time to attract a partner (if that’s what you want) than when you’re feeling fit, slim, in control and confident so take advantage.
– DON’T: hibernate the entire week of Valentine’s – it’s just one night and once that’s over, get back out there. Wallowing in self-pity won’t get you anywhere but a one way ticket to Miseryland, so don’t let it get you down, grin and bear it for 24 hours and then it’s over. And don’t forget – you’re not the only one feeling this way so don’t let Valentines make you feel hopeless – it’s an ugly feeling so stay positive – you haven’t met the right person yet, but you will.
– DO: Take up some new activities. If you have found yourself in a position where you have no wingman and nights out are not so easily executed on your tod – then join some clubs. One third of single people join clubs/societies to try and meet someone so chances are your soul-mate could be jogging beside you at next Saturday’s Parkrun, or he/she might be the one that side-steps you to run in a Try at Wednesday’s Tag Rugby game. Get involved, there are hundreds of clubs and activities around crammed with people in the same boat as you – at the very least you’ll get fitter/learn a new skill/make some new friends and have some fun. Half the battle of beating loneliness is feeling like you’re doing things in your life that may lead to meeting someone nice – you won’t meet anyone sitting on the couch with the remote in your hand.
– DO: make a pact with yourself that if spending Valentine’s night alone doesn’t suit you – then don’t do it again. Spend the next 12 months proactively trying to meet someone.
Whether it’s contacting a matchmaking company like ours, or getting online, or making an effort to go out to pubs more, or joining some clubs, or bullying your friends into setting you up with their single mates/colleagues – or all of the above. Do yourself a favour and stop watching RomComs – in spite of my Ryan Gosling reference above, the characters he and Clooney play are the stuff of fairytale. Billionaires don’t hang out their limo sunroof to woo the love of their life – their favourite prostitute. Nor do buff dancing kings defy society and strut back in to take Baby out of that corner. These movies do nothing but fill us with a false sense of hope and great expectations that can never, ever be achieved. Poor regular chaps stand not a chance of stacking up to the six-pack brandishing, romantic, selfless and wonderfully thoughtful lovers that are dangled in front of us through the silver screen. Ditch the RomComs and take start filling your spare time devouring Horror movies – those guys are MEAN so the men we meet out and about in real life can only be an improvement. Most of them won’t want to chop you up. The bottom line is, if you put your mind to it, and you’re realistic about the type of person you want to meet, then you will find someone special and you won’t have to dodge Valentine’s like it’s the Black Death again in 2014.