Dump the Valentine’s Day Dumps

Has Cupid got you down? Don’t despair—give these 5 tips a spin, and watch your luck turn around!

By Margot Carmichael Lester

ingle on Valentine’s Day? There are worse fates, though it may not feel like it. Still, you wouldn’t be reading this (much less feeling the way you feel) if you weren’t interested in stepping up your search for the love of your life. Here’s how you can do just that.

1. Be proactive.
“Why save all resolutions for New Year’s Eve? How about a Valentine’s resolution to actually take control of your single situation by committing to doing something proactive to
Host a party for your single friends.
meet new and exciting people,” suggests Carole Brody Fleet, author of Widows Wear Stilettos. “Online dating is an excellent place to start, so study the readily available tips on how to write a fantastic profile, have someone take one or two knockout pictures of you — absolutely essential if you want to get any responses — select a reputable dating site and get going.”

2. Keep the outcome in mind.
What are you looking for? Are you more interested in fun and adventure or romance and deep, meaningful conversation? “It’s crucial that you keep your mind on the things you want and off the things you don’t want,” counsels Mark Webb, a licensed marriage counselor and the author of How to Be a Great Partner. “The mind is wired to draw you near the primary thought you hold. If you believe you will never find the perfect mate, or any mate for that matter, you will be drawn toward people and experiences that will make that come true. On the other hand, if you firmly hold a belief that the right person for you is out there, you will attract them.”

3. Enlist the help of others.
Plan a Valentine’s Day party for other singles. After a period of mixing and mingling, ask guests to “go around the room and tell one another the fabulous qualities each person has that would make them a desirable mate. This will boost their confidence and make them more attractive,” notes Carole Lieberman,
Think of all the love you currently have in your life.
psychiatrist and author of Bad Boys: Why We Love Them, How to Live with Them and When to Leave Them. Then ask each person to share what they can do to accelerate their chances for love before next Valentine’s Day. “This will bust those who hide in their houses and wonder why they never have a date.”

4. Focus positively on love.
“Remind yourself that you are worthy of love and that you inspire it,” suggests Paulette Kouffman Sherman, a psychologist and the author of Dating from the Inside Out: How to Use the Law of Attraction in Matters of the Heart. “Think about all the love you currently have in your life and how your friends, family and coworkers appreciate you. Next, consider all the ways that you give love to others and were generous last year and about how that will make you attractive as a life mate.” Write these down to go back to when you’re feeling low.

5. Have some fun.
Back when she was single, April Whitney of San Francisco hosted a Valentine’s Day party for her single friends. “I made broken-heart sugar cookies and had a nice food spread, and we watched Fatal Attraction,” she recalls. “I also made up a quiz called ‘Are You a Loser in Love?’ It had silly questions about dumb things we all have done in past relationships, like drive-bys and ditching friends to hang out with a crush, etc. It was a fun, lighthearted event that kept us all from sitting at home and feeling sorry for ourselves. And it was great way to meet other single folks. My current boyfriend was one of the attendees. I highly recommend it!”

So take heart and get going: There are plenty of ways to kick up your quest for love. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself or being bitter this Valentine’s Day, step out of your routine and try a new move or two. And who knows—maybe you’ll be singing Cupid’s praises this time next year!

Margot Carmichael Lester is a freelance writer based in North Carolina. Her work also appears in Hemispheres, Go and the L.A. Business Journal.
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