A Single Girl’s Guide to Being Happy this Valentine’s Day

It’s Valentine’s Day this weekend. Which means a weekend of enduring the sight of couples wearing cheesy coordinated outfits and men presenting stuffed teddy bears to girls, as well as the barrage of commemorative photos on social media. #truelove4eva

Funny how it’s been years since this occasion was first given so much commercial value, and people still buy into the whole fanfare.

Maybe I’m just a cynic, or I don’t understand what it’s like to be in love. But while I’m sure there’s much to appreciate about being in a committed relationship with someone, there’s also a lot to be thankful for as a twenty-something singleton.

As I navigate the dating minefield, I’ve also been collecting dating and relationship advice from well-meaning friends of mine (who have witnessed me at the height of an infatuation and suffered through my tales of unrequited interest, on my part and on the chaser’s).

Here are some that struck a chord in me, along with other lessons I’ve learned on my own:

 

1. Know Thy Worth

If you make someone your everything and he only treats you as his something, it’s going to end in tears. You expect too much. You want more. You start getting resentful. It’s only going to wear you out in the end. And you deserve more than that.

So remember what you are worth. If the guy isn’t putting in any effort at all, then he isn’t worthy of you.


2. Focus on Being You

Nobody likes a wallflower with the personality of a sock. Be happy in your own company. If you don’t even enjoy being with yourself, then you can’t expect someone else to. So fill up your life with the things that make you happy. Have goals. Strive to achieve them. Start creating a version of yourself that you will be proud of. When you’re so busy being you, you won’t need validation from anyone else but yourself. And that itself is a powerful thing.

 

3. Take Your Time

While my Facebook feed is choked with pictures of friends and acquaintances flaunting their engagement rings, anniversary photos and even (gasp) babies, there are also many who are single.

Sometimes, it can feel like this:

But I don’t see the point in going into a premature relationship and then half-assing it. “Trying out” with someone I’m not 100% into would eventually just wear out an INFJ like me. Like my friend Liz said, timing is important. If two people are at different stages of their lives where they are seeking different things, then it’s likely that they will run parallel to each other and never meet, even if they do like each other. Tragic, but true.

So I guess time takes time. Better a happy singledom than an unhappy relationship.

 

4. Be Open … But Have Some Standards

I’ve been told that my expectations are too high – a statement that I really don’t agree with, by the way – and that you could have someone who ticks all the right boxes in your checklist (if you have one) but it still wouldn’t feel right … as Glamour’s experiment below proved.

Girl Meets Her Perfect Match

That doesn’t mean you settle for anyone who shows the slightest bit of interest in you. Rather, it’s taking the time to know more people so that you understand what you’re really looking for so that you don’t end up rushing into a relationship.

 

5. Don’t Sweat It

A rejection isn’t the end of the world. A non-reply – or a curt, half-hearted one – may dent your dignity, but what doesn’t kill you does make you stronger. Sometimes, you can do everything right and things would still not work out the way you hope it would. What are you going to do, mope and cry?

Once you start placing less importance on one thing, you’re freeing yourself up to many other things. You’re giving yourself the space to pursue other things and saving yourself a whole lot of angst in doing so.

Besides, no one said you only had to go after one thing in life. And frankly, you have better stuff to worry about than why he blue-ticked you on WhatsApp.

 

6. But Don’t Ever Give Up on Love

This one came from my dad. Despite all the horror stories we’ve heard about relationships gone wrong and people being screwed over by love, he still believes there’s someone out there for me. And according to him, the worst thing you can do for yourself that would diminish your chances of ever falling in love is to become disillusioned by the notion of love.

So even if consecutive lacklustre dates and humiliating rejections may convince you that you’re better off alone after all, I guess the key is to have faith that someday someone will appreciate you for being you, and vice versa. In the meantime, stay awesome and get comfortable with solitude.

 

What other dating advice have you received that you think is worth imparting? Share them in the Comments section below! I’m all ears.

This article first appeared on ZALORA Community.

 

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Valentine’s Day lovelies

Too many links and pictures to share this Monday! But first, a recap of the weekend.*

*Which is probably just a nicer way of saying, “Here’s some photo-dumping and inane rambling.” But there you go.

Saturday was spent writing.

 

And writing.

 

And more writing.

 

By Sunday, I was ready to break out of the house. After our usual brunch, my dad and I went strolling around town and booked a trip to Taiwan in late March. Yay, travel!

I really believe that it doesn’t matter where you go or what you do that matters, but the company you keep. My dad and I don’t go to special places often, or eat or live extravagantly, but I always have a good time with him, even when we’re just rambling around town, taking photos.

Because the tour agency was in Chinatown, we ended up walking around the area. (Yes, again. It’s funny, but from architecture to shops to people, there seems to be endless things to discover no matter how many times we visit that place.)

 

 

 

 

 

And because I am irrationally obsessed with flowers, I went a little shutter-crazy here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So that’s that for the weekend. And now, link salad!

1. Being a writer is a lot more like sitting alone with your computer, ploughing through the suck of your own doing, sending out query letters and hoping and wishing and praying for someone to love your story. Sometimes, reality falls short of our expectations. But thank goodness for critique partners, awesome writers who write beautiful books, and green tea!

2. This infographic shows the million and one things you’re doing wrong with your script, which can also be applied to any story you’re writing.

3. By the way, I never realised how snarky Disney characters were until this post! For instance,

 

 photo sleepingbeauty_zps39601b7a.gif

 

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Check out the article for more!

 

3. And since it’s Valentine’s Day week, here’s a slew of Valentine’s Day-related stuff that made me laugh out loud.

 

Something for the LOTR fans:

 

And something for singles who have plans to avoid Valentine’s Day (and the obnoxiously lovey couple or ten that are bound to appear on every other street):

 

Some grumpiness to counter those overheard love confessions and sightings of couples in matching outfits?

 

Just so we’re clear, I’m not anti-Valentine’s Day. It’s just funny how so many snarky memes have sprung up because of some holiday that now means overpriced flowers and Valentine’s Day lingerie (because, of course, Valentine’s Day is important enough to have special lingerie dedicated to it) and couple’s dining promotions more than anything else.

Speaking of love, what do you love? I’m going to list 5 things I love, and I’d love to hear your list of 5 things you love! It’s too cliched – and not to mention maudlin – to write a post on the 5 people I love, so let’s keep it light, shall we? (Of course, if you want to mention the people you love, by all means confess away.)

Go like this:

I love:

1. Lovely prose

From Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor

 

From Lock and Key, by Sarah Dessen

 

From Wonder Show, by Hannah Barnaby



2. Happy babies

 

3. Pretty faces

 


4. Whimsical art

 

by Kathy Hare

 

The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry



5. Beautiful nooks and crannies in the world

Mykonos, Greece

 

Pretty lilac!

 

Atlantis Bookstore, Santorini, Greece

 

Tellaro, Italy

 

Do share your loves (and toss me a link to your list)! Pass it on, too, so more people can know about love-ly (geddit?) mood-lifters!

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to just be about people or, more specifically, your other half. It can also be about the FEELING of being in love with someone or something, being passionate about someone or something. The feeling, not the thing. Share the things you love, and EVERYONE can be in love every day of the year, not just on Valentine’s Day.

Wow. This has been too much sappiness for one post. Think I’ll stop now, before I start vomiting rainbows and unicorns.

Unicorn Vomiting a Rainbow by TheIckyMan on Deviant Art

 

Have a lovely week! (Okay, okay. I’ll stop with the love puns now.)