Single on Valentine’s Day?
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By Kas Naidoo
Feature - IT’S February – the month of love. Are you seeing happy couples everywhere and feeling blue about being single on Valentine’s Day?
What’s your signature style around this time? Do you hide and pray fervently that the perfect person for you will show up at your doorstep? Or do you throw yourself into work and point blank ignore the shiny heart-shaped balloons, red roses and chocolates?
Perhaps it’s time for change; a change that shifts your focus from the societal pressure of being attached to the joy of being single.
Now hear me out before you bite my head off. I understand that loneliness can be soul shattering. I’m not saying that you should remain single forever. I’m saying that you should enjoy and make full use of the time you have, before your next relationship.
This can be a special time if you switch your perspective. Get to know yourself like a new person would. Get curious.
When you’re living your best life, you become attractive to a potential partner. Think about it this way – would you rather meet someone who is passionate about their work, hobbies and life in general, or someone that is depressed and desperately wanting to be in a relationship? I think the answer is obvious.
How do you become the person that gets the attention of a high quality partner?
* Use this time to get to know yourself. What makes you fall in love with life? Try a few new things until you find something that you can get excited about.
Let’s say you have always wanted to try painting or yoga but never had the time to do it before. Join an art class, or a yoga class. If you’re having fun, get good at it. Be the best you can be and then stretch yourself a little more. With yoga, that would be quite literal. The chances are you will meet people with a common interest.
* Use this time to be more spontaneous. Being single means you can accept invitations on the spot. There’s no one to check in with first. Start saying “yes” more often; whether it’s an invitation to watch a movie from a high school friend; a colleague’s birthday party, or to help out at a shelter. These activities not only give you the opportunity to practise your social skills, it also gives you a chance to meet new people.
Better still, be the one who sends out the invitations. If you like the movies or theatre or live music; find out what’s on and invite a few friends. During the lockdown you could even organise a group video call with your single friends. Be in charge of your own social life. It beats sitting on the couch hoping for the phone to ring.
* Focus on your health and wellbeing. Are you at your peak or could you learn to deal with emotional eating and perhaps tone those tummy muscles? Looking your best always boosts your confidence.
Your body language speaks volumes. Observe your stride. Are you walking around, dragging your feet, looking at the ground with a frown on your face? Try looking up, making eye contact and smiling more often. It raises your energy and sends a message to people that you are approachable.
* Connect with your vision for your life; both personal and professional. Become clear about what you want to create for yourself. Once you have a clear picture of the future you want to create, take steps to create that future.
A person with purpose and a plan is attractive. You stand firm in your authenticity and understand that the partner who comes into your life must be able to add value to your life because you can add value to theirs.
* Appreciate who you are, not just who you’re with. When you feel good within yourself; when you know who you are; what you have to offer and what you want from life; you will identify the partner that is right for you when you meet them.
You set the standard for the type of relationship you want and how you choose to be treated. When you stand in your power, the new person realises that you want them in your life but you are not coming from a place of neediness and desperation.
Becoming the best version of yourself, while you’re single, makes you feel good about yourself. You realise how incredible you are. It is from this space that you will attract a partner that is deserving of you.
Finding love can be a fun and exciting journey!
Tips for remote dating:
The pandemic has made dating a new person somewhat challenging. Here are ideas to getting around any challenges – like being able to date face-to-face:
* Video calls are great, but it can get a lot more adventurous than just chatting.
* You could take the person on a video tour around your home.
* Do a cooking demonstration of your favourite meal.
* You could keep the video on and watch the same movie. Make popcorn or other snacks that you would normally have if you were in the same room.
* You could both take the Love Languages quiz online and share your results.
* How about teaching each other a new skill like making biltong, planting a herb garden, or baking a cake – think up fun ideas together. What’s your super-skill?
* Play 20 questions. Where you get to ask 10 questions each – but the twist is that you have to both answer all 20 questions and be honest.
* Dress up and have a dinner date like you would if you were in an actual restaurant – except you have to serve the food yourself.
* How about keeping each other accountable to reach a goal. For example, if one partner wants to lose 10kg the other can check in daily to see what they have eaten and if they completed the exercise they committed to. Celebrate the wins together.
* Get creative and come up with novel ideas to make remote dating an adventure.
* Naidoo is a relationship coach and matchmaker. She helps singles, people in relationships and people who are divorced to create meaningful relationships. More information at www.nextlevelup.co.za