Valentine’s Day. That dreaded specter looms again to haunt you, as it does every year!
It seems like all of your friends and co-workers are having the time of their life. Literally everybody is talking about their Valentine’s Day plans at that terrible restaurant with the cringeworthy double entendre name that you nevertheless desperately want someone to take you to.
“Oh, yeah, totally haha!” you say back when then ask you if you have plans, feigning that dead, fake smile, unwilling to admit that you won’t leave your pajamas from the moment you arrive home Friday night until Monday morning, staring at your phone willing it to text. It’s like everybody has found their soulmate… except you, and this cruel day was created to mock and torment you (and those cats you will eventually buy) for all eternity.
Bad news? That’s probably true.
Good news? It’s also eminently fixable!
1) Make It Happen
Hard truths: Ice cream and Netflix, while soothing and crack-like (seriously, Netflix, stop autoplaying videos, I can’t say no and you’re taking advantage of me) are not going to find you somebody to spoon on Valentine’s Day. If you want to find somebody, you need to meet people. People with a particular set of interests that make them attractive to people like you.
And that requires putting yourself out there. Is is awkward to google “places to meet up [insert interest here]” and then actually show up? Abso-freaking-lutely. But that awkwardness passes pretty quickly.
True story: one of the most fulfilling flings I have ever had I made on a study abroad. I googled “expat meetups” and went to a local meetup where everybody knew each other- but they welcomed me with open arms and that initial awkwardness quickly subsided when I met him.
Do it. Do it quickly. You have little time left.
2) Don’t Be Afraid Of Being Creepy (Also Totally Don’t Be Creepy, Though)
See a cute guy / girl at the bar? Walk over and say hi! Chances are people at a function or area designed to meet people aren’t going to be upset that you came over to them. Think about it: would you be upset if somebody came over to you? Definitely not. So why would they be? It’s not automatically creepy to approach somebody.
That said, don’t be oblivious either. If the other person clearly doesn’t want to talk to you or has their attention focused elsewhere, politely excuse yourself and move on. I guarantee that will be the exception rather than the rule, however!
3) You Don’t Have To Like Everybody
It’s true. Much like that person in the example above, if somebody’s talking to you and you’re just not feeling their vibe, that’s totally okay! If they’re not being oblivious, they’ll move on. If not, make your own polite excuse to mingle elsewhere!
4) Fake It ‘Til You Make It
Some people just inspire envy. Those people that have the realest smile plastered on their face as they wander through the room, easily making small talk and charming everyone within a ten foot radius of them. You’re charmed even as you totally hate them for being so effortlessly charismatic, and you can’t even manage saying 2 words to this guy you like.
The truth is, however, that behind that megawatt smile they’re probably sweating bullets- or they used to be. I know, because I was that person. During my first gig out of college as an event manager, I was a stuttering mess until my boss said to just pretend I wasn’t. And it totally worked, and now people tell me how jealous they are of my communication skills even though inside, to this day, I’m still insanely worried they’ll uncover me for the uncharismatic fraud I really am.
So if you’re not feeling confident, just pretend you’re confident. Believe me, nobody can tell the difference.
5) You’re Worth It, And Don’t Forget It
This kind of ties into the point above, but never, ever forget that you’re worth it. Just because you don’t have somebody, or you’re a virgin, or you have had a total of 1 kiss in your lifetime- none of that disqualifies you from the dating game or makes you undesirable.
Nope. Not true- not even remotely.
Nobody cares about that- people care about who you are and what you like. Nobody dates Dave because he had 100 kisses before he was 20, and nobody disqualifies Mary because she hasn’t. You’re good at something. Everybody’s good at something. Maybe you’re smart, or loyal, or funny, or whatever. Everybody- yes, everybody- has great qualities, and if you bring those to the forefront instead of thinking you don’t have them you’ll find that it’s not so hard to find somebody at the end of the day.
Now get out there and make it happen!