If you’re single on Valentine’s Day, you’re not alone. But that’s small consolation when everyone else seems to be getting flowers, teddy bears and candy and the whole world seems to be coupled off – except you. But here’s the thing. Valentine’s Day is all about love and you don’t need anyone else to help you find love within yourself. As you’ve heard by now – and it’s true – you can’t find a healthy love relationship without first loving yourself. Here are some things to do on Valentine’s Day to cherish the most important person in your life – you.

PAMPER YOURSELF
On Valentine’s Day, spas are full of women whose beloveds have gotten them gift certificates to get pampered. You don’t have to wait on anyone for that. Go get your hair done, or get a mani/pedi on V-Day. Or, if you don’t have time for any of those things, then find a babysitter or ask a trusted family member to take the kids for a few hours. Take a nice, long, hot bubble bath. Play some music that makes you feel empowered and remember that taking time for yourself, especially if you have children, is essential for you and your family’s well-being.

SEND YOURSELF FLOWERS
If you work in the kind of office where everyone is married or coupled and every V-Day it looks like a florist shop, join in. Yes, send yourself some flowers. No one has to know that you did and you can even include a lovely note to yourself proclaiming how much you love you. Buy the kind of flower arrangement you’d love to receive. Look surprised when you receive the flowers and when your coworkers ask who sent them, smile and say “I must have a secret admirer.” You do, girl, and it’s you.

SPEND TIME WITH THOSE YOU LOVE
A Valentine doesn’t have to be a man. It could be your kids or your favorite niece or your mom or dad. It could even been you and your single girlfriends hanging out. You can always have a nice family dinner on Valentine’s Day and show love to the people who show love to you. Dress up like you would for a date and let folks know how much you care. That will have you feeling as good or better than any date could.

THROW A PARTY
Sometimes, single people struggle to find love in a way that is comfortable for them. If that’s the case with your friends, throw a dinner or Game Night and ask all your single friends to come. Even if you just all hang out and have fun, it’s a great way to spend V-Day. And putting all those single folks together in an easygoing environment might just spark some love connections.

DANCE
Throw yourself a party. Put on your high heels, turn up the music and dance. Change outfits. Put on lipstick. Make faces in the mirror. Try on a few wigs. Play music that makes you feel good – anthems like Jill Scott’s “Golden,” Amel Larrieux’ s “All I Got” and Ledisi’s “Pieces of Me” are always good choices. The key is to celebrate and have fun with yourself regardless of your dating status. Divorced, single, never married or dating, it doesn’t matter. Your worth is not defined by whether there’s a ring on your fourth finger, left hand.

GO TO A SINGLES EVENT
Single and looking? Go to a V-Day dating event. Most cities offer a wide array of events for single folks and some of them are casual, low- pressure type deals. Some churches have a singles ministry and host Valentine’s Day events for their members. (Speed dating is not recommended, who wants to get their face cracked on V-Day?). Plan a bowling night with friends if nothing seems enticing in your town. The idea is to go out and have a good time that is not based around finding someone but just having fun.

AVOID ENVY
That super couple you know that looks so in love? They were on the brink of divorce five years ago. Your neighbors that have been together 20 years? They stayed together for the kids and are secretly miserable. That perfect, gorgeous young couple you saw holding hands at the mall? That’s not his wife. The thing is, yes, there are people who are genuinely happy and in love. Just like there are people who are miserable together who put up a good front. Good relationships don’t happen without pressures, challenges and work. When you’re single, it’s easy to think that love is perfect for other people. Even the best couples have their issues or have worked through some tough times. Instead of envying them, find a couple to be your role model, whether they know it or not. Want a partnership like the Obamas? Follow their model of education and service. You can only attract what you are, so improving yourself is a good way to find the relationship you desire.

GET READY FOR LOVE
India.Arie’s beautiful song “Ready For Love” is the way a lot of single women feel. They are looking for love that seems so elusive. But in order to find love you have to be ready. If you’re angry, if you’re still hurt by past loves, if you’re busy raising kids and working AND going to school, it’s going to be much more challenging to find healthy, lasting love. It sounds like a cliché, but love starts with you. You want to be healthy, happy and receptive (very important!) to love before it can show up in your life. One good way to prepare yourself is to read – Iyanla Vanzant’s “In the Meantime” is a great tool to help yourself get ready.

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