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Alone on Valentine's Day

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Dear Raina;

I have dreaded Valentine's Day ever since my divorce 5 years ago. Even if I'm dating someone, the day never lives up to my expectations because although I've dated some pretty great guys, I have yet to find "the one". So whether I have a date or not, I find the holiday depressing. This year I don't have a date and my kids are going to be with their father. Do you have any suggestions on what I can do to keep from wallowing in self-pity?

- Alone on Valentine's Day

Dear Alone on Valentine's Day:

My first and most important suggestion is to stop dwelling on the fact that you haven't found "the one" yet. Chances are that if you stop looking so hard, he will show up when and where you least expect it. Instead of looking at this Valentine's Day as a depressing holiday, try to see it as an opportunity to nurture yourself and enjoy some much-needed alone time.

Here are a few suggestions to help you enjoy the time alone:

• Get a massage. There are numerous massage therapists in town, and coupons are often available for first-time customers. Tranquil Health Massage and Wellness Center, located in Fort Collins, goes a step further than most introductory offers, and allows you to take advantage of the discount not only the first time you visit their center, but the first time you use each of their massage therapists. They currently have five massage therapists, which means you can use the introductory offer once with each therapist - definitely an unbeatable deal. Another option is the Institute of Business & Medical Careers' (IBMC) massage clinic, also located in Fort Collins. Although all of the massage therapists are students at IBMC, I have always been completely satisfied with the massages I've gotten there.

• Take the opportunity to watch a chick-flick; if there was a significant other in the picture, chances are this wouldn't be possible. Some personal favorites:

  • Arthur
  • Bridget Jones' Diary
  • Dear John
  • Dirty Dancing
  • For Me and My Gal
  • Frankie and Johnny
  • Gone With the Wind
  • Hope Floats
  • Sex and the City (the HBO series, not the films)
  • Splendor in the Grass
  • The Lake House - even if you are not a Keanu Reeves fan, it's hard not to be taken in by this romantic film.
  • The Notebook
  • Titanic
  • Truly, Madly, Deeply - one of my favorite English films, it is actually very sad, but romantic and quirky at the same time.
  • Urban Cowboy
  • Walk the Line - it doesn't even matter that this film is about a famous couple, it's just a beautiful love story.

• Read a good book. The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller is a wonderful romantic book, and is short enough to be read in a few hours. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte is another option, but is quite a bit longer and a more difficult read. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen falls somewhere in between, but is also a great novel.
• Have a glass of wine/champagne/root beer float. Whatever makes you feel good.
• Light candles and listen to your favorite music.
• Call a friend or family member that you haven't spoken to for a long time.
• Order takeout.
• Take a bubble bath by candle light.
• Write a letter or email to someone you've lost contact with.
• Chat with friends online.

Whatever you choose to do, relax and enjoy yourself this Valentine's Day, and don't obsess about being alone. Always remember that it's better to be alone than with the wrong person!

Need relationship advice? Email Raina at raina_focoexaminer@comcast.net .

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Follow Raina’s blog at http://rainagranger.blogspot.com/ , or follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/rainagranger .

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