• Those who are in loving relationships often enjoy Valentine’s Day, while single individuals pity themselves for, well, being single.
  • If you fall into the latter group, you can break this cycle of feeling sad and lonely on Valentine’s Day by learning to love your solitude and also working toward finding the love of your life.
  • First, you should change your perspective on Valentine’s Day—don’t put so much pressure on this holiday; it’s just another day.
  • Now, identify what you’re really looking for in a significant other; define the traits you value in a romantic partner, so that you aren’t blindly wandering around in the dating world.
  • Finally, ask yourself if the person you’ve defined would like you back; analyze what you have to offer a significant other and work on improving yourself.

Here it comes again… Valentine’s Day. The day that many dedicate to expressing their love for their significant other, while others wallow in their loneliness. If you’re reading this, then chances are you fall into the latter category and likely not for the first time. Fortunately for you, there are several ways to break the cycle. And while you can’t expect the love of your life to fly down from heaven and propose to you immediately after reading these steps, they will certainly make a positive difference for you within the year:

1. Change your perspective.

Valentine’s Day is just one day out of the whole entire year. True, it’s the one day where you can crash to the bottom of the loneliness pit (if that’s really what you want to do), but it’s still just one day. The sun will rise tomorrow. Still, without fail, Valentine’s Day does an amazing job of causing people to have short-term thinking. You may be thinking, “I have to have a date for Valentine’s Day!” or, “I won’t let myself be alone this year… again.” Now, here’s the danger in giving one day of the year so much of your focus: People who have no long-term vision usually end up making bad short-term decisions.

If you give this holiday the focus people usually give it, you’ll likely work on solving the wrong problem: “Can I find someone to spend Valentine’s Day with?!” If you don’t know what you want in a relationship long-term, you’ll likely end up bouncing around from person-to-person trying to find that special something that you’ve never taken the time to clearly define… that’s a recipe for disaster! If you’re reading this, you can probably relate! So, instead of trying to just get yourself a date for Valentine’s Day, focus on the next topic of conversation: tip #2.

2. Identify what (not who) you’re really after.

More than likely—if you’re honest with yourself—you want to find someone that you can spend the rest of your life with. Most people are longing to find the perfect guy or girl, but more often than not, they’ve taken no time to define what that person actually looks like… and I don’t mean just physically, but their character, personality, ambitions, life plans, etc. In fact, I’d recommend making a list of the characteristics you really want in your significant other. This isn’t nearly as easy as it sounds, as it takes time and effort to clearly define what it is you’re looking for.

This is a bit of a two-edged sword: once you define the picture-perfect person for you, you’ll have a hard time settling for anything less. Clearly defining what you want is an important piece of the puzzle, but it isn’t the solution to all of your relationship problems. In fact, it may end up shedding some light on a few more hurdles you’ll have to clear.

3. Ask yourself this: Would the person I’ve defined like me back?

Ouch. That’s a tough question to ask yourself. But it’s a necessary question if you really want to succeed in a relationship, rather than just land a Valentine’s Day date. Have you ever heard of the Law of Attraction? It’s not overly complicated in the least:

  • You attract what you are, not what you want. So, then it’s simple (but not necessarily easy): become the person that your ideal partner would be attracted to. It’s hard work to grow and change, it doesn’t just happen on its own. But, if you really want a relationship with the person you’ve described, then there’s no better way to accomplish that goal.
  • Get your hopes up! These points aren’t designed to say, “Get more realistic expectations.” In fact, I’m a huge advocate for getting your hopes up and setting goals that seem unrealistic. But here’s the catch: if you’re willing to get your hopes up and set unrealistic goals, you need to also be willing to actively and continually grow yourself to make those goals attainable.

This might be a tough pill to swallow, but if you really want to develop a relationship with a certain someone, then you have every opportunity to grow into the person you need to be in order to attract that person (and again, I don’t mean physically). Remember, if you’re not growing, you’re withering—there is no stagnation in life. Go out there and grow; you’ll be amazed at the opportunities and the people you’ll come across. Disagree? Give it a try.

*Dan Belcher is the owner of Thriveworks Counseling in Charlottesville, VA. If you are in the area and would like assistance of any kind, give them a call at 434-812-4009 or make an appointment online. And if you aren’t in the area, locate a Thriveworks nearest you by doing a quick search of our website. Remember: you can thrive, and we can help.