Valentine’s Day seems to envelop us with hearts and flowers. It is a day that we anticipate with love, hope, stress, and mixed feelings. Singles who do not have a special someone in their lives often begin to feel blue. However, it does not have to be that way. According to research by Dr. Shirley Matile Ogletree, “For women and more feminine individuals, Valentine's Day may represent a time to show appreciation to friends and family for whom one cares.” (Ogletree, 2013).
The key issue with Valentine’s Day is really a question: Love is in the air, but does this make you feel loved or lonely? How you celebrate Valentine’s Day depends entirely upon you.
For singles without a partner, you can enjoy the day by starting now. Instead of looking at Valentine’s Day with the same anxiety as “Will I have a date on New Year’s Eve?” embrace it.
Sharing the day with friends or just being alone
Sharing Love as Couples
Couples will be pleased to hear that researchers tell us of the importance of Valentine’s Day. It is a time for celebration and re-kindling of feelings. As noted in Personality and Individual Differences:
“In Western cultures, the celebration of Valentine’s Day . . . might therefore remind couples of their initial love and affection, perhaps enhancing their perceptions of their relationship. In fact, relationship-enhancing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors have been shown to enhance perceptions of relationship functioning.” (Chopik, Wardecker, and Edelstein, 2014).
Share Love with Strangers
Why would you want to interact with a stranger on Valentine's Day? It will bring double blessings. Here are some thoughts that will keep you smiling and grateful for Valentine's Day.
As an incurable romantic, I have long wished to become the Valentine Fairy Godmother. With a wave of my magic wand I imagined transforming the way we think about loving and forgiving -- ourselves and others in a challenging way — unconditionally.
Copyright 2016 Rita Watson
Ogletree, S. M. (1993). “How do I love thee? Let me count the Valentines. Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal, Volume 21, (2), 129-134(6).
Chopik, W.J., Wardecker, B.M., Edelstein, R.S., (2014) Be Mine: Attachment avoidance predicts perceptions of relationship functioning on Valentine’s Day, Personality and Individual Differences (63) 47–52.
Wood, A., Rychlowska, M.,Korb, S., Niedenthal, P., (2016) Fashioning the Face: Sensorimotor Simulation Contributes to Facial Expression Recognition, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, On line Feb.11, 2016, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2015.12.010 (Corrected proof in press)
Watson, R., (2012) Gratitude as an Attitude Sparks Love | Psychology Today