February 14th is known as the day to celebrate love. Countless couples exchange gifts such as flowers, cards, candy, jewelry and dinners with feelings of affection and love for each other. For many singles; however, being alone on Valentine’s Day can evoke feelings of loneliness, self-doubt, unworthiness and even depression.

People are either single by choice or because they haven’t found the right partner yet. Others are single due to a break up or death of a partner. Additionally, there are many people in unhappy relationships who often feel isolated and alone even though they are “coupled”.

If you are feeling disconnected or lonely; how can you take care of yourself and feel good on a day set aside for love?

Here are some tips and suggestions:

1). Recognize the illusory nature of the holiday. Remember that Valentine’s Day is a commercial holiday. It is not so much about love and relationships as it is about selling flowers, candy, cards and jewelry.

2). Your self-worth is not dependent upon your current relationship status. A relationship does not define you. Remember that love is for all - not just couples. You have many relationships and people who love you.

3). If you recently experienced a loss and are grieving over your loved one, allow this to be a day of mourning. Acknowledge that this is a hard day and seek out support from others.

4). Plan in advance to do something that will prevent you from having to watch couples fawning over each other. Get together with people you love - family members and friends or plan something fun to do on your own.

As much of a cliché as it seems, we need to be reminded of it again and again - the most important person to learn to love is yourself. You want to create the most loving and joyful relationship with yourself. You are the only person you will ever be with on a constant basis. Other people can leave you but you will never leave yourself. So find ways to love and nurture yourself. Do things that make you happy. Be gentle and kind to yourself – always. Your relationships with others will grow out of the loving relationship and sense of appreciation you have for yourself. The people who come into contact with you will be greatly touched by your presence and will respond to the love emanating from within you.

Author's Bio: 

Paul Novello, LCSW is a licensed Therapist and Life Coach who has been practicing in New York City and Long Island for over fifteen years.

Paul has always been passionate about personal growth and development, and he loves to explore the possibilities! He enjoys inspiring others to discover their true selves, reach for their goals and dreams and live the life they truly desire. Paul created and developed Life Solutions for Gay Men as a resource to support gay men in the achievement of their personal and professional success. Additionally, Paul has an extensive background in the performing arts and has studied and applied various techniques throughout the years including Meditation, Progressive Relaxation, Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) and the Alexander Technique.