Alone and Lonely on Valentine’s Day? Try Contributing

alone on Valentine's DayI once got a bouquet of flowers from my landlord on Valentine’s day.  It wasn’t a romantic gift, but one of appreciation.  I often walked her dog for her and she chose to acknowledge it on Valentine’s day.

I have to admit that that year I was feeling a bit forlorn, surrounded by people who were all a part of a couple.  But the flowers lifted my spirits and since then I’ve taken a different view of Valentine’s day.

Some say that Valentine’s Day is a commercial holiday.  Nevertheless, for those who aren’t romantically involved it’s a reminder of their solitary status.  Even if you’re ok with being single, the constant reminders and the tributes to coupledom that surround the holiday can be depressing.

But, have you ever viewed the holiday as an opportunity to express your gratitude and contribute to others?  In DBT the distress tolerance skills teach us that contributing to others can make us feel better about ourselves and can help us survive crisis.  I think that same strategy can be applied surviving Valentine’s day on your own.

Contributing is about doing for other in large or small ways.  Consider how you would feel receiving chocolate as a token of appreciation from your neighbor or a homemade card saying how much she cares from a friend’s child.  How about if you got a note from a high school friend expressing their appreciation for your years of friendship?

Rather than focusing on what you don’t have this year, try focusing on contributing to others.  What can you do to add a little something to someone else’s day?  Small and thoughtful gestures can make others feel good and have the pleasant side effect of improving your mood as well.

Have you ever been the recipient of an unexpected thoughtful act?  How did it make you feel?  What have you done to improve someone else’s day?

Use the comments section below to answer any of those questions or suggest ways to contribute to others this Valentine’s day.

Photo by el nino sincero, available under a Creative Commons attribution license.

6 Replies to “Alone and Lonely on Valentine’s Day? Try Contributing”

  1. Hi, I realize that it is February and Valentine’s Day is coming soon! The best thing that works for me is keeping busy! I have just gone through a tough divorce so I am a little lonely, but since going through the “skills” of DBT, I can cope with things much better! Thanks for posting!

  2. Do you do things for your dad on Mother’s Day? Do you give gifts to everyone on Secretaries Day? Why not just keep the holidays meant for the purpose that they are for, and be nice to people anytime you feel like it? Why increase consumerism even more? Why do you assume that other singles are depressed on Valentine’s Day and that you need to remind them that they are alone and you feel sorry for them? Are they then expected to buy gifts for you on Valentine’s Day? If you find a partner, or they do, then what do you do, keep sending flowers? Since your landlady wanted to acknowledge you anyway, she just happened to pick VDay, that’s different from what you’re suggesting. If it’s not “your” holiday, just ignore it or go out to dinner with a friend or online date to avoid loneliness. Or call someone but realize it is for YOU not just for them. If you really want to bring cheer to singles, then lobby for a Singles Day.

    1. I suppose that’s one way to look at it. I prefer to see Valentine’s day as a holiday about expressing love, caring, appreciation and affection. In my mind those emotions don’t have to be limited to romantic relationships.

  3. What a great time to add a little love to the world on a day when people are bound to feel a little unloved and unappreciated. I found myself wondering who I could thank in this way!

  4. One Valentine I took roses to all the residents in a long term care facility. I took Easter baskets the same year. Shortly there after I had an epiphany I could be alone and not lonely if I focused on helping others. not only did I help others I helped myself look at life through new glasses. Positive. Look up and around you are surrounded by others you can help.

  5. I met the owners of the Bells Hotel in Woolloomooloo last week…what a lovely family of brothers, sister and sister in law.
    Danny was the perfect host, mingling with patrons and I happened to find out that he would love to meet his perfect match – the love of his life, his soulmate. I would like to make this happen for him so what perfect timing…so this Sunday 13th Feb 4pm -10pm could as many ladies make their way down to the Bells Hotel corner Bourke St and Cowper Wharf Roadway Woolloomooloo and enjoy an afternoon of live music, delicious new menu, good value drinks, great company and to meet Danny our host. If you are not single, come down anyway and join in on the fun..see you there!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *