A New Approach to Valentine’s Day

02 February 2022 | 4 mins

Valentine’s Day can emphasise loneliness for singles, but it is a good opportunity to reflect on how we can go about finding a partner.

When we think of February, we often think ‘Valentine’s Day’ – and if we don’t, social media, adverts, newsletters and shops remind us that it’s Valentine’s Day month. Usually we associate V-day with romance, intimacy, warmth and closeness between loved up couples, celebrated by the great Date Night along with symbolic gestures of love.

Singles may feel somewhat left out, perhaps even feeling pressured to have a date on that day. This blog is dedicated to singles so as not to feel left out and to remind you that there is more to a day highlighting romance than you might be inclined to think.

The Origins of Valentine’s Day

First, let me take you back to the alleged and somewhat unclear origins of Valentine’s Day. It is thought that in the 3rd century A.D. a man named Valentine was executed on 14th February for his religious beliefs and for secretly marrying persecuted Christians. He was later named a saint and the patron of love, marriage and engagements, and eventually even listed as a martyr thus establishing 14th February as St. Valentine’s Day.

This day coincided with a pagan festival of fertility whereby Roman priests would use blood-soaked hides of sacrificed goats and dogs to slap women on the streets as a fertility blessing. According to legend, single women would then put their names in an urn and get randomly selected to hook-up with unmarried men for the day and up to a year until the next festival, and seemingly many fell in love and later married. It is thought that Valentine’s Day was a Christian effort to replace the pagan fertility festival.

Is It Time to Reframe Valentine’s Day?

In light of this story, perhaps we could reframe Valentine’s Day as the day that prompts us to think about whether we want a romantic partner and if yes, then use this day to think about how we might go about it or reflect on how we are going about it. A little like how we are inclined to think about any resolutions we want to take as we approach New Year’s Day.

Use Valentine’s Day to reflect on your current efforts. What are you doing now that is helping you achieve your goal of finding a partner? Online dating? Matchmaking? Leaving it to serendipity? Think about what is getting in the way of achieving that goal. What internal blocks and fears do you need to overcome? Put your name in that metaphorical urn and allow yourself to get selected!! This step requires action. You need to get yourself ‘out there’ as they say.

From Online Dating to Matchmaking

Online dating has become the most mainstream way of meeting a life partner however if anecdotes, coaching experience and the survey we ran a few months ago are anything to go by, there is a lot of frustration with online dating. I appreciate that you might feel you are doing everything already to find a partner, but you will be surprised at how much more you can actually do. Consider signing up and if you are already ‘on’, consider revamping your profile. If you haven’t already, think about optimizing the photos and adding meaningful bios and content. All too often I find there are either missed opportunities to showcase oneself or the profiles are created in a way to try and attract as many people as possible. The trick really is to get the attention of a select relevant few. Needless to say I can help with that sort of thing!

If you have the means, do consider matchmaking, not only to outsource some of the search, but also to gain valuable feedback on how you go about dating and to have a personal matchmaker to confide in.

Our tendency to write off good people

One thing to note with the above story is the point about randomly selected partners falling in love and marrying. You can make relationships work with a wide variety of people if your values align along with having a common outlook on life; you can fall in love and commit to many people (obviously I don’t mean all at once). My point is, I think in reality there are fewer barriers to getting into good relationships than you think. From my experience in date coaching and relationship counselling, I think we have a tendency to write off good people far too quickly, and I think fear has a lot to do with this tendency.

Sometimes we can be stuck in our own heads

Fear of commitment, fear of rejection, fear of not being good enough, fear of coming across as needy and desperate, fear of picking the wrong person, fear of getting it wrong, fear of fearing the natural fear in dating. And sometimes it’s rooted in a belief of not being good enough, attractive enough or worthy and deserving of. To that end, I will say to you, you are good enough, attractive enough and certainly deserving and worthy of love.

If you find yourself wanting to re-evaluate your outlook in a dating context and think you might need some advice on how to put your best foot forward, get in touch today and book in a complimentary consultation with me.

Madeleine

About the Author

Madeleine Mason Roantree

Madeleine has over 15 years of experience in psychology, where she is trained in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Applied Positive Psychology. She is currently undertaking a PhD in Counselling Psychology, and is member of the British Psychological Society, the International Positive Psychology Association & Dating Industry Professionals Network.

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