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Saturday 9 December 2023 Dublin: 8°C

Column Single on Valentine's Day? You're not alone.

When you’re single you often feel you are missing out on something, but the meaning of life is not to always be in a relationship, writes Tony Moore.

EVERY YEAR, ON the same date, St Valentine’s Day comes round presenting us with many conflicting and contradictory messages. Those of us, (and there are many), who find themselves without a partner on this day will feel left out, lonely and desolate.

I ask you all to take heart and have faith in yourselves. Please do not believe that everyone who is running around buying cards, chocolates and flowers is actually in love with the person on whom they are spending money. As a relationships counsellor with Relationships Ireland I can assure you this is true. All of us long to be in a relationship where we are loved and where we can give our love unconditionally. It’s one of the greatest things that can happen to us, to feel the real and genuine love from another person.

The past

For one reason or another sometimes we cannot give ourselves to another person. We have all had that experience at some time or another. Often this is due to a past experience where we have been hurt deeply and the trust we need to begin again has been lost. I ask you to remember a line from a poem when we feel so lonely:

I believe in love even when I cannot feel it.

At this time of year we feel a huge pressure to be seen to be in a relationship and to be a couple. This is similar to Christmas and the need to be part of a family. Those of us who are not in a relationship are made to feel like ‘losers’. There is absolutely no need to feel this way. You should not just accept anyone to please others and you should not accept being treated badly. I must confess I’m a bit of a romantic.

Maybe we are not in a relationship because we have no belief in ourselves. I want all of you to consider how many times a day you reinforce all the negatives you feel about yourself. I’m not asking you to be arrogant but I’m asking you to try and turn these so called negatives into positives. How often do we hear that personality is more important than looks? Yet the media is obsessed with looks. Constantly fretting over our looks doesn’t make us happy. So we need to be happy with whom we are.

Be positive

We need, therefore, to be more at ease with ourselves. Positive people attract positive people. Let’s be honest here; we can’t be positive all the time but we can do a lot better than we are currently doing. We can practice being positive and to smile more and take ourselves less seriously. We can hide away or we can say – ‘No, I’m worth seeing, I’m worth something and I’m not going to allow others to get to me’. The meaning of life is not to be always in a relationship.

As I said before, I’m a romantic. Maybe we both love the idea of being ‘in love’. We know that the reality of love can be smiles but also tears and heartbreak. Sometimes we don’t know what love is or feels like until it has gone. We didn’t know we were happy. It’s a complicated business. Love is never easy. There is no absolute definition of love. To be able to love and forget about ourselves is a great thing.

If you’re on your own today try give some ‘love’, for example doing something for someone else, make someone happy and ease their burden. You will feel better about yourself – guaranteed. So don’t be fooled into thinking that everyone you’ve seen today is blissfully happy, they are not, as they will soon find out tomorrow.

Have faith in yourself and others. Others are just as fearful – and long to give and receive love just like you.

Tony Moore is a counsellor for Relationships Ireland. Relationships Ireland provides affordable confidential counselling and support services that offer you the opportunity to understand and resolve difficulties in your relationship. For more information or to book a consultation you can contact 1890 380 380 or email

Read: 6 Valentine’s Day gifts that may alter your relationship forever>

PIC: The most romantic thing you’ll see all week>

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