It's that time of year again. You survived resolution time only to fall into Valentine's season, the time of year when you count what you don't have: A husband, a lover, a significant other, a date or an adoring other to tell you you're beautiful, perfect and a dynamo in bed. What you do have are flashbacks to Junior High School when the popular girl next to you had a pile of Valentines on her desk while you only had one miserable one from your mother and another from your best friend, with whom you agreed to exchange cards so you wouldn't look completely pathetic.
As the author of The Matchmaker Series, I get questions all the time about finding love. Full disclosure: Yes, I'm single, but as the saying goes: the cobbler's children go without shoes, and these days, yes, I go without a soul mate. But I can tell you why you're single. There are seven reasons. Yours is somewhere in there, or maybe you can claim all of them.
- You're Ugly: What are you wearing right this second? Yoga pants? Pajamas? Flip-flops? Do you smell like peaches and cream, or has your cream coddled? Whatever it is, you've looked better. You've let yourself slide. Hey, I'm right there with you. Tired. Stressed. And we just want to be comfortable. But it's time to dress the part. Look your best, act your best. Play to the bleachers. Do you really think you will find your true love while you look more homeless than on the market? Sometimes, people need help in seeing the beauty in another. Sure, lipstick should not be the deal breaker in a relationship. Sure, the perfect man should be able to see the unique and exquisite beauty that is you without any artifice, but sometimes, you need to hold up a sign to let them know that you are hot, breathtaking and desirable. Help them along. Brush your hair.
- You're Old: You're not what you used to be. Your breasts, butt and neck are not where they used to be. You have roots, receding gum lines, indigestion. You're aging. Who will want you if you're not 22? I have news for you, everyone will. In fact, I don't know any 20-somethings in committed, loving relationships. Slipping into a cliché here, I'll tell you: Age is in the mind. Act old, be old. Act young, be young. I'm not advocating buying a skateboard, but breathe life into your days and your attitude, and others will pick up on it. Stop dying and start living.
- You're Stupid: You pick the wrong men. Yes, I know... most men are the wrong men! But you do it repeatedly, saying yes when you should say no and no when you should say yes. By the way, it's alright to say no, no matter how desperate you are not to be single. Sometimes it saves a lot of time to put a few no's out there. Keep your antennae up. If a man makes you feel miserable more often than he makes you feel good, it's time to move on.
- You're Lost: You don't know which way to go because most likely you've lost yourself somewhere along the way. Who is the woman staring back at you in the mirror each morning? Is she really you or just someone you've become, beaten down by life? You don't need to Eat, Pray, Love for a year, but maybe it's time for a moment of self-reflection. Take a moment, breathe, and get your bearings.
- You're Broken: Here's a riddle... How many men does it take to break your heart so badly that you can't work up to a healthy relationship again? One. Broken hearts can heal, but like most women, your heart is probably scarred. Here's a secret: even a broken heart can beat normally. Even a broken heart can be open. So, let your heart stay open, even if you fear the pain of it getting broken again. Wonderful things happen to women with open hearts. Eventually.
- You're Confused: Do you even know what you want? Maybe single is great! Maybe now's not the time to find a man, to be part of a couple. Maybe you don't want what you think you want. Think about it a moment: sex is fabulous, but eventually you'll be doing his laundry.
- You're looking for love in all the wrong places: Stop! You can't look for love! Love just happens. You can't go searching for it. Sure, search for a date. Search for a companion. But let love happen when and where it decides to happen. Everybody is going organic these days, but they are trying to manufacture love. There's nothing more organic than love, nothing more natural. In the matters of the heart, go green.
And here's a last one. I didn't give it a number because it's more important than the rest. You're happy just as you are. Sometimes the singles have it all over the couples. Sometimes our happiness, our beauty, our youth and our love can be found within ourselves. No need to add a man. And just your luck, the minute you realize that, he will come knocking at your door.