5 reasons why singles are unlikely to find a partner this Valentine’s Day, and the bright side of what to do instead.
The season of love… right?
The second month of the year has always been dubbed a time to connect with old flames, start new flings and reignite existing ones. But is it all it’s cracked up to be?
Turns out, Valentine’s Day for single people isn’t all conversation hearts and red roses. While it may seem to offer a world of opportunity to meet someone new, the flow-on effects from Breakup Season says otherwise.
Over the Christmas and New Year period, many loved up couples reevaluate their futures, resulting in more breakups than any other time of year. Following this, Pickup Season kicks off, where existing and newly single people look to couple up before February 14. With a whole lot of competition, festive spirit, and New Year’s motivation in tow, they begin their hunt for the perfect partner.
But before you join them, consider these five reasons why it may not be the best time to find one…
Tips for being single on Valentine’s day
5 Great reasons you shouldn’t look for love on Valentine’s Day
- Too much pressure
“Where’s your partner?”
“When are you going to settle down?”
“You’re such a catch – why haven’t you found someone yet?”
So you’ve just spent 2020 (thanks Coronavirus), Christmas and New Year alone, being grilled by every relative as to why you’ve shown up single once again. When the festive season is over, it’s time to prove them all wrong by getting out there and being a serial dater desperate for validation. Maybe it works and you meet someone you’re absolutely head over heels for. Maybe you have a few quick flings here and there. But then again, maybe it doesn’t.
Soon enough, your self-esteem has crashed once again, impacting all facets of your life. This yo-yo behaviour can be detrimental to your mental health, leading to emotional exhaustion, anxiety, and even depression. Instead of placing pressure on yourself to ‘prove them wrong’ or find someone by the Valentine’s deadline, preserve your sanity.
- Scammers are out to play
While it may be the most romantic time of year, Valentine’s Day is a favourite for scammers targeting vulnerable singles. When you’ve just spent the holiday season presumably surrounded by loved-up friends and family, awareness of what you’re without is heightened. When you’re more aware of your singlehood, you’re more willing to try anything to remedy it. Online dating. Apps. Blind dates. But research has revealed those remedies are costly when they go wrong, with up to 4000 dating and romance scams circulating last year, and losses of over $28 million in Australia alone.
Even more concerningly, Valentine’s dating scams aren’t limited to the elderly or wealthy. No matter your age, income, gender, or culture, it’s your emotional state these people target. Therefore, you need to remain on high alert and if it seems too good to be true, it usually is (and if someone you’ve never met asks for money – don’t send it).
- You’re limiting your chances
When you’re focusing on the quick rebound, the new flame, and the latest match, you’re limiting your overall chance to connect with the right person. Good things take time and rushing into a relationship that’s not right for you means you’re settling for the sake of your self-esteem.
Relationships are a massive investment of time, emotion, and commitment. Wasting time enjoying the attention of someone you know you don’t want a future with means you’re missing out on building the one you do want with the right person. Instead of rushing in and settling, take your time and trust in the process.
- Unrealistic expectations
You can’t control fate. Setting yourself a deadline to find the right person is logistically uncontrollable (just listen to those suffering the 30’s dating crisis). Motivated by the fear of missing out and pressured by the clock, you’ll end up settling or disappointed. (just listen to those suffering the 30’s dating crisis). Motivated by the fear of missing out and pressured by the clock, you’ll end up settling or disappointed.
Additionally, if you do find the right person and are in a rush to make it official before the big day, you’re rushing the process and likely to scare them off. Rather, focus on nurturing your connection, letting go of comparing yourself to other couples, and leaving questions of exclusivity until it feels right. This gives the relationship the best chance at succeeding well beyond February 14.
- More competition
From Christmas leading up to Valentine’s Day, online dating sites and apps see a surge in users as the newly single flock to find their fling. It’s even been revealed dating apps see up to 18% increase in online dating activity in the weeks leading up to February 14. It all adds up to more competition and fewer quality matches.
Instead of joining the rush and getting on every app under the sun, focusing on getting out with friends, spending time with family, and investing time in a few, quality matches is a far more successful approach. Consider: are meaningless chocolates and flowers really worth the hassle of competing with thousands for the attention of someone you barely know?
What to do when you’re single on Valentine’s Day
Perhaps you’ve resigned yourself to the fact Valentine’s Day may not be your lucky day to find love. So, what can you do instead to actually enjoy the lead up to February 14, regardless of your relationship status?
- Stay off social media
On Valentine’s Day, and even in the lead-up, your feed is likely to be filled with two things:
- People complaining about being single, or
- People bragging about being loved up
Indulging in their content or agonising over the fact you have nothing to post won’t change your reality. Instead, get offline, get outside and do the things you enjoy!
- Just ‘be’
Be intentional about how you spend your time. Acknowledge your emotions, but promise yourself not to seek or avoid, but be grateful for where you are on your journey to find love. Practising gratitude and thankfulness for all you have can help you view your singlehood in a more positive light, simultaneously opening you up to eventually finding the love you deserve (whenever that may be).
- Give to others
If you can’t receive love, why not give it? As much of it as possible. When you give to others, whether it’s kind words, time, or gifts, you promote connection and boost happy chemicals in your brain. Share the love around this Valentine’s Day – and remember it’s not just a chance for couples to express their appreciation, but for friends and family too.
- Consider your ‘happy’
Often, we think external motivations and material possessions are the secrets to happiness. But often, all we need to be happy is within ourselves. Consider what would make you truly content. Is it a new job? More money? Better health? Chances are, you are all you need to achieve these things. No person will ever be able to change your circumstances better than you can, and the best way to find inner peace and is to work on it yourself.
- Optimism over pessimism
Think about what’s possible for you and again, trust in the process. Listen to any of your friends and family talk about their love story and you’ll find the same thing – they all had an incubation period. They’ve also all been where you are now. Maybe they also questioned if it was possible for them, too. But the reality is, they found what you’ve been looking for. So enjoy being single while you can, and trust that you will find it too.
Conversation hearts. Roses. Giant teddy bears.
Valentine’s Day can be a fairytale for the loved up, and a nightmare for the single. Scams, timelines and competition can make it difficult for men and women facing the prospect of being alone on February 14, but it doesn’t have to be. By focusing on the positives, prioritising your mental health and staying away from socials, you can head into the season of love in the best shape of your life (and ready to meet the right person for you, whenever that may be).
To contribute to more discussions about Valentine’s Day 2021, join the She Said He Said Facebook group!