Are you dreading Valentine’s Day this year? Does the approaching “holiday” remind you that you’re single, unattached, man-less? Are you already sick of the Hallmark and jewelry store commercials throwing ridiculously happy couples in your face? Does all the hoopla around the day make you feel lonely and depressed?
If any of this sounds like you, you’re not alone. Commercials and magazine ads would have you believe that everyone is “boo’d up”, and that single people are rare and miserable. Well, don’t believe the hype. In the U.S. alone, 43% of all adults are single, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. That’s almost half of all adults! In 1950, that number was only 22%.
Singlehood is a growing trend in the US and elsewhere, and it no longer carries the same stigma it did in the past. No one says the word “spinster” anymore. No one really questions why a woman is still unmarried at 25 years old, or 30 or even 40 like they used to. And when you factor race and ethnicity into the equation, women of color are even more likely to be single until much later in life.
So single ladies, rejoice! You’re no longer the pitied oddballs you used to be!
Don’t get me wrong, though. I know it’s real in these single streets. While some women choose to remain single for a variety of reasons, many still prefer to be in committed relationships. For the most part, everyone wants love and companionship. But not having love and companionship doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. It doesn’t mean your life is empty or incomplete. In fact, if it takes another person to make you feel complete, you’ve got bigger issues than being dateless on Valentine’s Day.
Remember that line from the 1996 romance movie, “Jerry Maguire”? The one where Tom Cruise stares longingly at Renee Zellweger and says, “You complete me”? While it made for great romance on the big screen, it kind of made me cringe, too. Because in real life, you really don’t want some piece of a man so pathetic that he needs you to “complete” him. Sure, you want to feel wanted and even needed, but to complete him? Uh uh. No, thank you. I’d rather have no man than an incomplete one.
And any man worth his salt feels the same way. A real man doesn’t want the responsibility of “completing” his woman. He wants to feel wanted and even needed, but he doesn’t want some little piece of a woman that he has to complete.
The truth is you need to be “complete” by yourself before you get involved in a relationship. Needing a man and wanting a man are two different things. And you don’t ever want to be someone who NEEDS a man. Don’t be one of those women who build their entire lives around their guy. They give up their friends, their interests and themselves to be whatever he wants at all times. They lose themselves in their men, becoming mere shells of who they used to be. And when those guys leave, as they inevitably will do, those women are left broken and barely able to survive on their own.
So, don’t look for someone else to make you feel whole. While you’re single, use your time wisely. Be the best version of yourself at all times. Find yourself. Get to know yourself. Improve yourself. And most importantly, learn how to enjoy yourself by yourself. Stop filling your days chasing after the perfect man. Instead, use your days to develop yourself into someone so wonderful, so fabulous, the good men will start chasing after you.
Embrace your singlehood as your opportunity to continue working on the masterpiece that is your life. Treat yourself well and focus on making yourself happy. Stop listing all the things that are wrong with you as the reasons you’re alone. Instead, work on making improvements in your life that will make you feel fulfilled.
For example, you’re not single because you’re overweight. Maybe you’re not happy with yourself because you’re overweight; and maybe your weight is affecting your self-confidence. If you work on losing weight in order to make yourself happier, then you’ll get a lift in your confidence. And that’s what will attract a man, not the weight loss itself.
Do you see the difference?
You don’t need a man or a relationship to make you happy and whole. You need to find a way to be happy and whole on your own, first. Yes, having a man can enhance your life, but he shouldn’t BE your life. He should be your dessert, not your main course.
If you haven’t found your Valentine yet, don’t despair. That just means you have more time to build your life around YOU before you meet HIM. Remember, you can’t properly love anyone else until you love yourself, first. And when you truly love yourself and learn to make yourself happy, you’ll attract the person you’re supposed to have in your life.
In the meantime, if you’re single, feel free to enjoy this Valentine’s Day with the best date ever: yourself. Treat yourself to some candy or flowers. Buy yourself something sexy to wear just because it makes you feel good. Treat yourself to dinner and spend some quality time celebrating yourself. The best love is self-love, and the best day to celebrate self-love is the day of love itself: Valentine’s Day.