I'm dreading Valentine's Day!

Dear Patricia Marie,

I dread this time of year with Valentine's Day fast approaching. It just reinforces my loneliness, and disappointment that I am facing yet another year of being single. The type of men I seem to meet are not worthy of me and have no future prospects.

Nevertheless, I have even lowered my standards due to lack of response. I seem to attract the useless, uncaring, selfish, non-committal man. I am starting to feel that I should be grateful for anyone who shows an interest in me. I wished I was prettier and slimmer, but in saying this, I’m not overweight, or ugly, but I do question what is wrong with me. 

About me; I am 30, my friends tell me I'm very attractive, interesting, fun and reliable. I hold a good position at work, where I am valued and appreciated. Why can't this extend to my personal life? It's so annoying seeing all the Valentine's merchandise on offer on what's supposed to be the most romantic day of the year. I want to have a boyfriend, have flowers sent to me, and to receive a card on Valentine's Day. Yet, I also feel like giving up trying.
Where am I going wrong? 

 Patricia Marie says...

You say most of the men you meet aren't living up to your expectations, and that you are considering giving up trying to find a partner. Yet, you also believe lowering your standards allows you more chance of success. You are clearly suffering from low self-esteem, which is why you are attracting the unfavourable type not worthy of you. These negative beliefs can arise from bad experiences, or not being valued or understood. In order to truly love someone, you must first be able to love and respect yourself. 

Being your true self is allowing colleagues to show you unconditional respect and acceptance, which gives you confidence within the work environment. This can be extended to your personal life if you can begin to see yourself in a positive light. 

Instead of dreading this year's Valentine's Day, make it special by promising yourself this is the year to address your chances of finding a suitable partner. Perhaps you could join a reputable dating site, or embark on some new hobbies or interests, which would enhance your social life and help improve your sense of self-worth. Being single doesn't mean you can't celebrate Valentine's Day. Plan to spend some time with your friends, although because of the current pandemic, this would have to be visually, which could turn out to be great fun. Just connecting with those closest to you would make you feel very much loved on this special day. You could cook your favourite meal, enjoy some fine wine, or have a ‘stay at home’ spa day. Treating yourself will remind you how much you deserve to be spoiled, even if it is you doing the pampering. Do remember, at this present time, yes, you may be without a partner, but there are plenty of Valentine's Days in a lifetime, and many possible people whom you could fall in love with.

Don't make the day about loneliness, make it about you - instead of admiring what's on offer to celebrate this day, go ahead and treat yourself to a gift that you would like to receive and very much worthy of.

Check out the Mind website (www.mind.org.co.uk) where you will find useful tips on increasing self-esteem.

Patricia Marie, our Agony Aunt, wants to hear your problems, dilemmas, and quarrels. Just email them to patricia.marie@lady.co.uk