A few weeks ago, Anxiety.org took a poll on their Facebook page, asking readers to share their thoughts on why Valentine's Day is stressful. Of those who responded, 50% reported "I'm single" as their leading cause for stress. While I can't say that all single people are on Valentine's Day, these results do illustrate that for a significant amount of Anxiety.org readers simply being single can cause stress. If you're of the 50% who reported that being single was your main reason for stress on Valentine's Day, here are a few thoughts to consider.
Consider Healthy Dating Patterns
I've come across many single people who are stressed out about their current relationship status in my practice, and I always like to remind them about the importance of healthy dating patterns. For example, do you ever stop and consider the pace at which your relationships tend to move in terms of both emotional and physical intimacy, whether or not your expectations for your partner are realistic, and whether your dates tend to get along well with your friends and family? Being intentionally aware of these factors can help form healthy dating patterns. Sometimes, people can get stuck in unhealthy dating habits which make success in a relationship unlikely unless some changes are made.
Have a Proactive Mindset
Some people are happy being single and that's great. However, other singles know that they want to be in a committed relationship. If finding the right partner is your goal, be proactive about meeting people. Depression arises when we feel helpless, so I really encourage nervous singles to make themselves open, available, and proactive. You can take control of your dating life by being brave enough to put yourself out there emotionally, joining dating websites, and attending singles events. You will feel encouraged and empowered knowing that you are actively working toward something that is important to you.
Remember: You Are Not Alone
You are not strange for being single. Remember that any insecurity you may have about your love life is normal. Many single people are worried because they view all of their relationships as having "failed." However, each relationship that ends is an opportunity for people to grow and learn more about what they need from a partner in order for a relationship to work. I remind single clients that all single people have not yet found "the one," which means they are not alone—all singles are in the same situation! If you're single and your goal is to find a partner, think about how your mindset might be holding you back and consider what you can do to be more partnership-minded.
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Date of original publication: March 11, 2015
Updated: March 23, 2016