National Louis University Psychology Professor Shares 10 Tips to Cope with Being Single on Valentine’s Day

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Singles don't have to feel lonely on Valentine's Day

Singles outnumber married people today, making up 50.2 percent of Americans over age 16, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s the highest it has ever been, but many singles still dread the onslaught of Cupids and red hearts that appear every time they walk into a store during February.

National Louis University’s Claudia Pitts, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology, says singles don’t have to feel lonely on Valentine’s Day, or hold the misconception that “everyone else” enjoys adoring, problem-free relationships.

“A lot of adults’ feelings about Valentine’s Day trace back to when they were in elementary school and they didn’t receive a Valentine,” Pitts said. “Know that it’s your expectations about Valentine’s Day that get you, and you can change your expectations.”

She offered Valentine’s Day ideas for singles to help change their expectations about the day.

1.     Singles can celebrate Singles Awareness Day, which some observe on Feb. 14, but others observe on Feb. 15 in order to differentiate it, and also take advantage of 50 percent discounts on Valentine’s candy. It’s meant to be a humorous, light-hearted holiday in which singles brush off pressure to get married. Many attend singles’ events in order to affirm their singleness, and/or meet other singles. Type "singles" into Meetup.com to find local events.
2.     Cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Focus on all the good things singles do have in their lives, such as good friends, family members, the pursuit of interests you enjoy, pets, your home, travel, etc. Gratitude relieves depression, Pitts says.
3.     Love doesn’t have to be limited to romantic love. Singles can focus instead on reaching out in a loving fashion to volunteer, donate or help the less fortunate. Volunteering to walk dogs at a rescue shelter, staffing a hotline or donating your time to a worthy cause can be ways of spreading love on Feb. 14 or any day.
4.     People who anticipate Feb. 14 might be a tough day can gather a group of single friends for an anti-Valentine’s Day party. Participants can orchestrate a gift swap, similar to a Secret Santa, in which everyone draws names and gets their recipient some chocolates, flowers or wine.
5.     Feeling a little mischievous? Singles can send flowers to themselves at work, with a blank card, leaving everyone to speculate about who sent them. Or, send anonymous flowers to a single friend.
6.     Those who have recently been through a breakup, or are constantly fielding questions as to why they are not married, will need to do some solid planning to make it through to Feb. 15. They can gather supportive people and do something completely un-romantic, like go to a comedy or horror film, help at a homeless shelter or work out at a health club. Typing “anti-Valentine’s” into Pinterest will also provide ideas.

More tips can be found on http://www.nl.edu/ValentineSingle.

Claudia Pitts is available for media interviews or appearances.

About National Louis University

Founded in 1886, National Louis is a nonprofit, non-denominational University offering bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in fields of education, management, human services, counseling, public policy, and others concerned with human and community development. From its inception, National Louis has provided educational access to adult, immigrant and minority populations – a mission it sustains today. National Louis is well-known for an exceptional history in teacher preparation, and continues t​o ​be a leader in educating future teachers and community leaders to succeed in urban environments. For more information, visit http://www.nl.edu.

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Kellie Kennedy
The Harbinger Group
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