Tips with Trish: Valentine’s Day

Dear Trish,

It’s baaack. The dreaded Valentine’s Day is here, and I am, yet again, single and alone.  I try to tell myself it doesn’t matter, that I’m young and that not having a significant other doesn’t mean I will never have one. The truth is, it sucks being single on the most romantic day of the year.  Will I ever find my soul mate and be the lucky recipient of chocolates, dinner and a romantic movie paid for by someone other than myself?

Thanks, Single and Alone

Trish says,

Well, the good news is that you’re not alone in being alone. A recent article in Huffington’s Post said that more than 100 million unmarried people in America are having more trouble than ever finding love this Valentine’s Day. Here are some things to think about that might be getting in the way of you having a healthy and intimate relationship with another person.

First, watch your expectations and consider leaving the rose-colored glasses at home. The Cinderella story is not realistic, so stop expecting or comparing love to this and other fairytales.  Not waiting for your prince does not mean that you can’t find love that is extraordinary, however. Create your own definition, and don’t compare it to the definition of others. It’s okay to get some help from the movies. Just remember that many of those movie stars are in dysfunctional relationships themselves. It is easier for all of us to play the part than actually live in the real world.

Second, take an honest hard look at yourself. What is the baggage that you may bring into a relationship? Who were your role models growing up that taught you what a healthy relationship looks like. I don’t mean the ones where they never fight, have all the same interests and are constantly professing their love for one another either in person or on social media. I mean the ones where they do disagree but agree to be partners no matter what and find solutions that work for both of them. Ones where they are free to be independent and have their own friends and unique interests but still enjoy each other’s company more than anyone else. The ones where they communicate about the things that don’t work or hurt in their relationship and make a commitment to do better. Those are the real ones. Have you seen any or know of any? If not, this is a good place to start. Find some and associate with people who can teach you how to love.

Lastly, love yourself. Work to improve what you don’t love about yourself  before expecting that a relationship will work. Whether it’s looks or personality or purpose, make a plan to change what needs to be changed and work towards it. Stop complaining and spending your time vying over the love that others share. Remember what we all learned years ago. If you don’t love yourself, how are others supposed to love you? It’s the truth.

Signed, Trish

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