• Coupling and Loneliness on Valentine’s

    One of my favorite television programs is the UK series Coupling. It tells the story of a group of friends living in London, and their struggles with finding love. In one of the early episodes, a joke is made about how one of the characters, Jane, led a workshop on ‘Loneliness’ that no one ever attended. ‘People thought she was an exhibit,’ chimed in her friend and former ex, Steve. Whilst it’s meant to be taken lightly, the fact is that a number of people, particularly as St. Valentine’s Day approaches, feel disconnected and discontented.

    You might find that others around you are expressing their love and devotion to their partners over social media, in conversation, and, indeed, just in their lack of availability to spend time with their friends. St Valentine’s Day is not always an easy day for people. It can be a day of mourning, a day of reflection, a day of sadness, or a day of pain. You may have lost your spouse or be struggling with their infidelity. You may simply be single and struggling to reconcile with the fact that you are not yet settled down. Whatever the case may be, as that ‘Day of Love’ approaches, roses begin to pop up everywhere, heart-shaped boxes of candy fill the aisles of your local Publix, and you begin to see those around you coupling up or being especially lovey-dovey, you may find that certain old feeling of loneliness starting to linger.

    It is an easy time of year to feel down. Even here in sunny south Florida, the weather can get dreary. You look around and see happy people doing happy things and begin to question why that can’t be you. In a recent blog, I discussed the power of self-compassion and self-forgiveness. It’s truly a remarkable thing. Oftentimes, we can get so down on ourselves that we blame ourselves for our misfortunes, which ‘being single’ can often feel like, particularly at this time of year.

    So, what’s the solution?

    There are a number of ways you can break free from the difficulties of being alone during this time of year. You might attend a gathering at your local church or organize an activity with others who are in a similar situation. The reality is that these are only band-aids to the larger struggle: learning to love yourself and accepting where you find yourself. We all have our ups and downs; we all have periods where we feel connected to others and times when we don’t.

    By embracing the true meaning of St. Valentine’s Day, that of self-giving selfless love, you can experience a whole new way of thinking about the Hallmark Holiday. After all, St. Valentine was a man who sacrificed himself for his people and shared with them his love through his persecution. Consider giving of yourself, perhaps volunteering at a shelter or local soup kitchen, on those days when you feel most alone. By acting in a giving manner, you will not only be able to be around others, but you’ll be helping those most in need and those who are the most alone in society.

    Whilst the above are some suggestions on how to overcome the feelings of loneliness you may be having, we at Cornerstone understand how difficult a struggle and burden loneliness can be. The fact is that you’re not alone! We are here for you and our trained therapists and clinicians will be your guide on your journey of growth, self-discovery, and self-love. If you need that extra bit of help, you can check out our team and schedule a consult with our intake coordinator today. We’re happy to help you along the way!

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