I know someone who claims to hibernate during the winter because all of the couples she sees snuggling up and keeping each other warm make her want to crawl back into bed. Valentine's Day is one of the lowlights of the season, she reports, and inspires her to hide out until March. She feels that the holiday hijacks the (albeit short) month of February.
While it's true that some of us consume too many heart shaped candies now, shower others with extravagant plans and presents and feel pressure to celebrate with the loves of our lives; perhaps it's time we returned to the basics of the holiday. Valentine's Day is simply an opportunity to connect with people we care about - and to take a moment to appreciate them.
Here are 4 simple ways to capture the spirit of Valentine's Day this year...and enjoy it!
1) Reconnect with a good friend
With busy schedules, many of us have fallen out of touch with people we consider to be close friends. (Catching up on Facebook is fun, but rarely replaces a live chat or meeting). When we connect with a friend and laugh together or share our problems with him/her, our cortisol levels decrease, making us feel less stressed and happier as a result.
In Finland, Valentine's Day is called Ystävänpäivä (I'm not going to pretend I know how to pronounce that); which translates to 'Friends' Day'! Remember in grade school we shared Valentines with friends?
Make a point this Valentine's season to reach out to a friend you love and miss.
2) Get Over an Ex
Valentine's Day causes some people to reminisce about a lost love and romanticize a relationship that did not work out.
Instead of idealizing an ex, this Valentine's Day write out all of the reasons that that person was not a match and did not bring out the best in you. If you can't remember, enroll a good friend or family member to help you make the list!
Sometimes we have to take the focus off finding Mr. or Ms. Right and concentrate, instead, on losing Mr. or Ms. Wrong.
3) Make Love a Priority
Many say they want a relationship but don't have time to date - which begs the question: How will they have time for a relationship if they don't even have time to date?!
If finding a mate is a priority, consider: What do you have to say 'no' to, to say 'yes' to your goal of finding a relationship? You may have to say 'no' to working every weekend or the perspective that it's not worth the time and effort to get out there again.
If you want to be in a relationship, clear time and space in your schedule to make love a priority again.
4) Love YOUR life
The best thing you can do for your lovelife is to love your life! For one thing, you are more likely to attract people since there's nothing sexier than someone who is passionate and engaged in life. More importantly, though, your life will be more fun and meaningful if you focus on outlets that bring you pleasure.
Reconnect with your passions this season and indulge in activities that make you happy. Think about what you would be doing if time and money weren't an issue, and incorporate some of those activities into your everyday life.
Don't wait for someone else to make you happy before you get happy yourself. You complete you!
Andrea Syrtash is a dating and relationship expert, advice columnist and author of, "He's Just Not Your Type (And that's a good thing)" Her next book, about marriage, will be out in the fall of 2011. Andrea has made Google 'hot trends’, ranking in the top 100 things googled on particular days between 2007-2009. She has no idea how that happened, but appreciates the (very postmodern) honor. For more, visit www.andreasyrtash.com