Ever since launching my first website The Breakup Chronicles in 2005, I’ve been on a mission to educate inspire, and galvanize single men and women everywhere to look at the upside of a broken heart. No longer stuck in a so-so relationship with the wrong person (even if that wrong person is someone you’ve placed on a pedestal and worshiping above yourself in this moment), you are now free to reinvent, reignite, and redesign yourself and your life. You’re free to rediscover your Fabulous Factor. And to let go of your bad love habits while getting ready to fall in love again – with yourself, your life and eventually someone new.

And then Valentine’s Day rolls around. All that amazing momentum you’ve created for yourself AFTER the breakup? All your badassery of breaking free and breaking through can go out the window because – God forbid – you’re minus a Plus One on the one day a year that society tells us we NEED to be partnered up.

Even the strongest, most well-intentioned human being can fall prey to the marketing hype and media obsession with perfect love that happens between New Years Day and Valentine’s Day.

Before you tie yourself to the train tracks or line up a societal firing squad because you’re single today, STOP. Take a beat. And follow these Dos and Don’ts…

Do: Give thanks for the ones who got away

Back in the day, I dubbed February 14th “Breakup Celebration Day.” Why? Because in addition to celebrating the love in your life, ya gotta give thanks for the ones who are no longer here. Remember that cheating heart you once thought was the love of your life? What about the nice guy who just didn’t “get” you? Or the lovable pothead/musician/slacker who couldn’t get his act together? Now’s the time to give thanks that they’re gone. Because even if you haven’t yet met the love of your life, in letting go of those old relationships you have given yourself permission to be your most fabulous self. And in doing so, you’re bound to meet someone who’s better suited for you.

Don’t: Feel sorry for yourself if you don’t have an S.O.

Pity parties are SO last year. This is the year of you, Fabulous You! And if you happen to be single, celebrate. Remember – even though it may sometimes feel like it, being single is not terminal. It’s freeing and fabulous! But it’s up to you to make the most of it. And you do that by being your most authentic and amazing self. And being open to the endless possibilities.

Do: Celebrate the love in your life

Whether it’s romantic love, true friendships, that unshakable bond between you and your pets, or the love you have for your family, today’s the day to take a look around and realize just how lucky you are. Maybe Mr. or Ms. Right hasn’t found you yet. But you know what? You are loved. When you celebrate that, it shows. (And you never know who might be watching and falling in love with you!)

Don’t: Buy generic candy or flowers

Paying too much for an overpriced standard menu dinner at a fancy restaurant is SO last millennium. So is buying that box of chocolates or flowers. Want to do something special? Be imaginative! A picnic for one on the living room floor by candle light. A night of disco bowling with friends. Stream your favorite movie and watch it in your pajamas while eating takeout from Eat24.

Do: Flirt with strangers

Just like every other day of the year, flirting is a must! You never know what can happen. An innocent flirtation can boost your ego, brighten your day, and/or possibly turn into a coffee date that may lead to a budding romance. Come on – take a chance on that cutie behind you in the 15 items or less line at the grocery store.

Don’t: Spend your night online

Step away from the computer, People. You have 364 other perfectly acceptable days and nights to find a date or chat with other lonely hearts or troll for internet porn (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Take the night off. Trust that if there’s somebody out there in cyberspace for you, they’ll be there on February 15th. And 16th. And so on. We get so comfortable with our cyber security blanket that we sometimes lose sight of the fact that there are perfectly lovely people just outside our front door. Where? At the coffee house down the street. Or the cocktail lounge with the groovy music around the corner. Or at the singles mixer our girlfriends told us about. The art of the in-person meet and greet is not dead. So put down the smart phone and put yourself out there!

Do: Give to charity

Instead of buying meaningless gifts for friends or loved ones this Valentine’s Day, why not give the gift of charity? Find a cause close to your heart. Doing something good for others will take the focus off of the Hallmark holiday and boost your single spirit for sure!

Don’t: Put too much stock in one day

And one last tip. Remember that Valentine’s Day is but once a year. It does not define you as an individual or serve as a gauge for your entire flesh and blood relationship. Just because you’re single doesn’t mean you’ll never find love or have a successful relationship (it only takes one!). Today more than ever, it’s important to maintain perspective.

What are you doing to celebrate the love in your life this Valentine’s Day? Comment here or share on social media.

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