How do you get through Valentine’s Day when you’re single?

For many singles, Valentine's Day can be really tough. Maybe you’re thinking “I’ve been on my own for a long, long time, will I EVER meet someone?” Or perhaps you’ve recently gone through a divorce, breakup or loss of a loved one. Whatever your situation is I suggest a simple three-step process to enjoy a great Valentine’s Day.

The three simple steps are accepting love, expressing love, and celebrating. Start with gratitude and accepting. Make a list of at least 20 people who you’re grateful for. Your list can include friends, children, grandparents, parents, a school teacher, a coach, business associates, anyone who’s had a special impact or meaning in your life.

In addition to this, start thinking about accepting love in every way it is shown to you. It can be little things such as recognizing that someone values you as a human being because they bought you a cup of coffee or how a total stranger opening a door for you and allowing you to go in first is an offering of respect and love. Look for the evidence of love all around you: from your family, from your friends, from pets, from your children.

You will begin to see that you have an incredible amount of love in your life. Examine the time in your life when you did feel incredibly loved, even if it was with your former partner. Think about that feeling, feel comfortable with it, recognize the feeling and understand that it is yours and the feeling can’t ever be taken from you. Accept the love that has been, and is being expressed to you in all kinds of ways.

The second step is to express love. I recommend spending Valentine’s Day looking for ways in which you can express love to as many people as possible. This could be telling your children how much you love them and giving them a special chocolate heart. It could be an email to several people whom you work with letting them know how much you really appreciate something they did, or a special quality, skill or talent they have.

You can challenge yourself to make eye contact and say “Happy Valentine’s Day” to at least five total strangers. Maybe you want to leave a voicemail message for several of your closest friends letting them know why they’re so special to you. Or you can send Valentine’s Day cards to family members who you wouldn’t normally think about on this day, just to let them know that you love and appreciate them.

Another wonderful idea is to send silent blessings of love, joy, happiness and harmony to every person you come in contact with. You’ll be amazed how great you feel when you’re genuinely expressing love and giving from your heart.

The last step in the process is to celebrate! There are lots of ways to celebrate. If you are the type of person that really enjoys being with people then take the initiative. Get a great group of friends together for a potluck dinner or go out and celebrate that you are a fantastic person who is full of energy and full of life. Have an evening of chocolate decadence with friends indulging in a variety of wonderful chocolate desserts. Rent your favorite romantic comedies and hold a marathon movie and popcorn night with your girlfriends. Guys can rent your favorite action movies, go to a sporting event, or get a group of friends together to shoot some pool. Maybe your idea of indulgence is a quiet night alone, at home, cuddling up with a good novel, taking a hot bath by candlelight, or pampering yourself with a day at the spa. Know what is going to be best for you, then plan ahead and do it.

The important thing is to take care of and cherish yourself. You might not have a “significant other” in your life right now, but you are always in the most important relationship, the relationship with you! Cherish and nurture this most precious relationship.

Make this Valentine’s Day a time to really appreciate your life and yourself. Be grateful and open to accepting love in any way it comes to you. Step outside your comfort zone to express love to as many people as possible. And celebrate, celebrate, celebrate!

Author's Bio: 

Gloria MacDonald is a matchmaker, relationship expert and the Founder of Perfect Partners, the Personal Relationship Executive Search Firm and Worldwide Associated Matchmakers. Since 2003 she has earned her guru status by working with hundreds and hundreds of 40+ single men and women and has introduced over 2500 couples. She has appeared on numerous TV shows, is often quoted in the press, and is well-known as an expert in her field.

MacDonald co-authored the book, Laws of the Jungle: Dating for Women Over 40. She also created a variety of other workbooks and CD/DVD programs including Flirting Made Easy, The 7 Attitudes of Highly Successful Daters, The Mini-Mind Management System, and The 90-Day Relationship Attraction Conditioning Program and is co-founder of The Relationship Summit.

With a Bachelor's degree from Boston University, a Master's degree from Lesley College in Boston, and 15 years experience building highly effective teams and partnerships in the corporate world, MacDonald has now turned her finely honed business skills to assisting professionals in the 40+ market in meeting, and partnering, with their ideal mate.

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