A New Look at Valentine’s Day

he finally did it right

When you’re single Valentine’s Day can be a glaring reminder that you’re not part of a couple. It can make you feel like your life is somehow incomplete. In truth, it’s just another day – except that you can spend ten times more on flowers and twice as much at any restaurant.

Love and romance come into our lives in different ways, at different times. I prefer to look at Valentine’s Day as a reminder to be thankful for the love we already have in our lives – romantic or otherwise. I also look at it as a chance to do things differently.

I’ve spent many Valentine’s Days with girlfriends, celebrating our sisterhood and complaining about men. One Valentine’s Day in particular stands out. A large group of us – about twelve women – decided to meet at a romantic, intimate Italian restaurant. We reserved a large table and pre-ordered lots of champagne. We were determined to put those romantic couples to shame with our loud laughter and revelry. We were on a mission to dismiss the notion that any of us wanted a man in our lives. Hell, who needed ‘em? We would have a great time without them.

As it turns out, I walked into the restaurant looking for our table, and found that the restaurant was full of tables like ours – large groups of women celebrating together. In fact, I only saw a few couples. The rest of the patrons had the same idea we did – we weren’t so unique and rebellious after all.

While I’d love to say this made me feel great, it had the opposite effect. I’d never felt so obviously single and alone. And there were plenty of women like me out there. I left feeling defeated, swearing that I wouldn’t spend another Valentine’s Day complaining about my love life. I wanted a relationship – not another bitch session.

What I really needed was a new approach. I needed to recharge my love life by having a different kind of Valentine’s Day. This is what I decided to do – and what I encourage you to do if you’re feeling weary as it gets closer:

  • Be grateful. Make a list of all the people you love – friends, family, your pet. It doesn’t matter. Remind yourself that you have love in your life, and Valentine’s Day celebrates it.
  • Do something you enjoy. If you like horseback riding, hiking, wine tasting, or getting a massage – make plans to treat yourself on Valentine’s Day.
  • Meet men. Instead of hanging out with your girlfriends, what if you tried to meet new men? I know what you’re thinking. Where? Would they even go out on Valentine’s Day? I recommend grabbing a girlfriend and going to a local sports bar where you know the men are single. If they had wives or girlfriends, chances are they’d be taking them out somewhere without flat screens. Seat yourself at the bar, and start a conversation (with the guy sitting by himself, not the one with his girlfriend). The point is not to look for instant connection, but to engage and practice flirting. Have a good time and don’t take it so seriously.

If you look forward to a Valentine’s Day spent getting together with girlfriends and dishing on men, go for it. If you prefer to celebrate in your home by eating chocolate, drinking champagne, and watching a marathon of chick flicks, be my guest.

But you could try a different approach. Why not meet a man? Romance is all around you anyway.


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