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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Date & Relate > Love Yourself on Valentine's Day

Date & Relate
by Sara Hodon

Love Yourself This Valentine's Day

Welcome to the first installment of Date and Relate.  The purpose of the column is to help people answer the eternal question  “Where do you go to meet a nice guy/girl?”  

With a few exceptions, the bar scene doesn’t have the most stellar track record when it comes to successful relationships.  But if not a bar, where else can you go to meet people?  

I’ll be offering ideas and tips for ways to meet that “special someone”, and giving out some moral support, too!

Love Yourself This Valentine's Day

No, not like that, necessarily.  Let’s face it — Valentine’s Day is cursed by singles everywhere.  You have every right to feel down about it, or you can refuse to let yourself dwell on your solo status.  Give yourself permission to skip the dating scene for one day.  Below are a few ways to make February 14 a little more bearable:

Pamper yourself.  
Valentine’s Day is on a Saturday in 2009, so do what Saturdays are made for—sleeping in!  Lounge in your pj’s, splurge on something for yourself like a massage, a manicure or pedicure, or do some shopping.  Buy that item you’ve been looking at for months, but needed an excuse to purchase.  Do something cultural, or something you enjoy but haven’t done in awhile.   This is how I plan to spend my day.  Sappy romantic movies, a good supply of ice cream, maybe a little “me time” at the mall—bring it on!  Declare Valentine’s Day your day and do your favorite things.   You might meet someone worth getting to know better.  And even if you don’t, you spent some time broadening your horizons and giving yourself a much-needed recharge. 

Have a night out with friends. 
Or a night in with friends, depending on your budgets.  Plan a movie or game night.  I have friends who are nice enough to invite me to their game nights, and they are always a great time.  It’s an easy way to expand my social circle and meet some new people.  Or get a group and make reservations at a favorite restaurant.  One of my favorite Valentine’s Day memories is the Lonely Hearts dinner that a bunch of my theater friends and I decided to organize when we were in college.  We went to a nice restaurant, didn’t have to worry about having anything in our teeth or making a good impression, and had a blast!  These types of get-togethers are usually much more relaxed and fun than trying to win over a stranger you may never see again.  I know mine was—I have better memories of the Lonely Hearts dinner than of some “romantic” Valentine’s Days with boyfriends!  Another option, especially if you’re trying to save some money, is to have the gang over for dinner or ask a friend to host.  Who knows?  You may meet someone who could turn out to be The One.  What better way to spend an evening than being surrounded by those who make you laugh and feel good about yourself?  That’s better than any heart-shaped box of candy!

Get organized. 
Tackle those junk-filled drawers or closets and make a donation to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army.  Fire up your shredder and go through the stack of bills you’ve been holding onto since 2001.  Weed through the books you didn’t like or don’t want anymore and take them to your local library.  If de-cluttering has been a challenge for you, make the commitment to spend part of the day clearing out so you can feel less overwhelmed.  Make your place presentable for the next date you bring home. 

Call your family. 
Love comes in many forms, so don’t forget to call those who first loved you—Mom, Dad, Grandma, and the rest of the clan.  They’ll be touched by your thoughtfulness.  If you live close enough and want to go a step further, make plans with the family.  Go out with Mom and Sis for the day, or stop by and visit Grandma. 

So maybe Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be all about you—it can be about helping others, too.  Local organizations are always looking for volunteers.  Getting involved in a community project is guaranteed to give you a sense of pride and accomplishment.  You don’t have to spend your whole day doing something that will make you miserable.  Use your skills or interests to do something nice for someone else.  Donate an hour to the local library and help them shelve books.  Get a group of friends together and do a walk or run for a local charity.  Helping others never fails to put your own life into perspective.   And again, you just might meet your future spouse sometime during the day.

Give blood. 
After all, February 14 is all about doing things from the heart—why not do something good for the heart of someone else?  The American Red Cross and local area blood centers are always looking for new donors.   If you can’t find a blood drive in your area, call one of the organizations and schedule an appointment.  As long as you are over 17 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds, and have no chronic conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure, you are an eligible donor.  It only takes a few minutes, and you can donate again in eight weeks.    

Think positive. 
No dinner reservations to make, no date to dress up for.  And honestly, isn’t having a whole day to spend your way much more rewarding than sitting through another terrible date?



Date & Relate is published every Thursday by Online Dating Magazine columnist Sara Hodon.

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