Ok. You’re single. Whether by choice or not. Maybe you like being single. Maybe you enjoy your solitude. Maybe you’re a surly cow who is completely unlovable. Maybe you have a hump. It is what it is. Get over it.
Is being in a relationship better than being single? No. Hell no. Relationships are hard work and sometimes it would be a lot easier to be footloose and fancy free, not having to ask anyone if it’s ok to have your buddies over to watch the game.
Ok, ‘your buddies’ is a metaphor for your best friend who you affectionately refer to as ‘bitch’ and ‘the game’ is a metaphor for a Designing Women marathon on the Series Channel. But let’s move on.
Regardless of whatever the reason you’re alone, Valentine’s is a holiday designed for people who come in pairs. There’s no getting around that fact.
But just because you’re a ‘table for one’ doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy that special day of the year that is made just for ‘deux’. Here’s a few tips on how to make it through the day, and if you’re so inclined, maybe not spend V-Day ’06 alone.
Do (for) Yourself: Before your mind rises to the gutter, this isn’t what you think.
Brad Gooch, a former model-turned writer, wrote a booked called Finding the Boyfriend Within: A Practical Guide for Tapping Into Your Own Source of Love, Happiness, and Respect.
It’s a wonderful book with a very simple message: You need to be able to treat yourself the way you want to be treated, before you can truly find happiness with another person. It’s a great read, and has some simple ‘homework’ exercises to help you along the way.
On V-Day, create the perfect date for yourself, and take yourself on it. If it’s making a romantic home cooked meal and curling up with a good book, fantastic. If it’s dinner out at your favourite restaurant and a movie that you’ve been dying to see, all the better. Do something for yourself. And if they look at you funny when you ask for a table for one, tell them they’re bitter, ugly and will die alone. It’ll make you feel better.
But make sure it’s the perfect date for you. Don’t reheat leftovers and eat on a TV table, and don’t go to McDonalds. It’s not about what’s easy. It’s about what’s special. Make it special. Set the table. Buy flowers. Light candles. Play music. Have a glass of wine. Do whatever you would like to do for a totally romantic evening with someone else – but just scratch the someone else.
The point is, take care of yourself. Valentine’s is about love. So love yourself. And if you’re looking for a new book to read on your perfect date, try Finding The Boyfriend Within.
Don’t Go On The Hunt: It’s like grocery shopping when you’re hungry: you’ll end up with crap you don’t really want, and can never get rid of.
The last thing you should do when you’re feeling melancholic because everywhere you turn is another reminder that you’re alone, is go looking for love. It won’t work. You won’t find it. And what’s worse, you’ll wake up the next day feeling frustrated, or beside someone that you’d actually consider chewing your arm off to get away from.
If you’re serious about finding someone, V-Day is not the time to do it. Yes, there are cases of people who meet and fall in love on Valentine’s. But they are few and far between. And who wants their anniversary to be Valentine’s Day. It’s like having a birthday on Christmas. It sucks. Spread the days out – it means more gifts.
Do Spend Time With Friends: Getting together with friends, especially single people, or couples that won’t rub it in your face, is a perfect way to spend V-Day.
Why not have a party? And before you think it, don’t do one of those ‘anti-valentine’s day’ parties. That suggests there’s something wrong with being in love. It’s the bitter person’s way of dealing with their loneliness. It’s a defence mechanism and it’s just tacky. I mean, what do you wear to an anti-valentine’s party?
Why not get a group of your nearest and dearest together and have a pot luck and watch a great TV show. Everyone contributes, and you can have a great time with the people you love.
Isn’t that the whole point of Valentine’s? To be loved?
Don’t Call Your Mother: If you’ve got one of those mothers that always says, ‘I just wish you could find someone special to spend your life with’ or ‘I keep praying that you’ll meet someone nice’ or ‘Maybe you’re single because you’re fat and ugly’ or anything along those lines – DON’T CALL YOUR MOTHER ON VALENTINE’S DAY.
Parents are generally well intentioned. They don’t mean to add to the pressure you already feel about being single. But they can’t help it. It’s part of the ‘How to be a loving parent, and destroy your children’s mental stability’ handbook. They all get a copy.
They’ve had you for this many years; this is one day you can let their call go to voice mail.
Don’t Go Surfing On An Empty Heart: I’ll say it once. Put the mouse down and step away from the keyboard.
The internet is a great thing. It’s made the world much smaller. It’s brought us all closer together.
It’s also made it that much easier to find love in all the wrong places. Gaydar and the like, while great services, are not the best place to find romance. Chat rooms foster an environment of hook-ups, not dates. Yes, a lot of people have success stories about finding love on dating sites – myself included – but that is the exception, not the rule.
If you do find someone cruising some chat room, and it does turn in to something more than ‘an encounter’, chances are it won’t be the healthiest relationship.
Just remember to keep a level head about things. Don’t rush. Valentine’s is a time when emotions run particularly high. You need to be careful not to completely screw up your life.
FINDING LOVE IN ALL THE RIGHT PLACES
If you are interested in meeting someone special (after Valentine’s Day of course), here are a few simple suggestions.
Get Out Of The Damn House: You’re not going to meet someone new standing in your living room. (If you do, call the police.)
Go out to places that you’ll meet new people. A lot of clubs now-a-days are offering specific nights, and events for singles. Check with your local queer establishment to see what they’ve got going on. If they don’t have anything, help them organise one. It’s not hard, and even better, as the organiser, you get to check out all the guys first.
Also something to look into is Speed Dating. As 20/20 as that may seem, it is a way to meet people who are interested in ‘dating’. And no, you don’t always have to marathon dates. After the first one, it slows down.
Just Do Something: Most cities have different queer social, sports, and community groups. It’s pretty much guaranteed that there’s one for you.
Start by finding the group that works for you. Now there is no central source for community groups on the net that I could find, the information is out there. Go to your local LGBT website (do a search if you don’t know what it is). More often than not, you will find lists of community groups. From there, pick your type of interest and get going.
And if a group doesn’t exist, chances are you aren’t the only person who would be interested in being involved. Why not start a group of your very own. Yes it’s work, but the alternative is sitting at home and chewing on your feet. Questions?
Tell Two Friends: Your best resource for meeting people who are in the same mind-set as you, that being open to a committed relatio