Single on Valentine’s Day?

It’s that day again. You know the one: smug women clutch distinctive brown Roses Only boxes as they strut down the street, restaurants are filled with hand holding couples whispering sweet words over candlelight and men stress out over their partner’s expectations and what gift would be appropriate in her eyes.

Whether you believe in celebrating this tradition or not, Valentine’s Day is hard on single girls (particularly if the last time you celebrated Valentine’s Day is a distant memory). Each year you see women who are less attractive, not as intelligent or far less interesting meeting men, settling down and getting married. ‘What’s wrong with me?’ you ask yourself.

According to the experts, if you’re going to ask this question, you need to be prepared to really look for and deal with the answer. That doesn’t mean that there’s something essentially wrong with you as a person, it just means there might be a problem with the way you present yourself to others.

After re-entering the dating game, teacher and author Karen Moloney realised many women and men had these problems. She noticed that many intelligent, interesting and attractive people seemed to lack the necessary dating skills that are needed to meet a partner. As a result, she wrote the handbook “Skills with Dating” and then set up seven week courses in Sydney to help people learn these necessary tools.

“The courses are not a dating service, they provide people with the necessary skills to date appropriately and confidently.” According to Karen, the problem tends to be that people never receive honest feedback from their dates, so they never find out what they’re doing wrong. “Instead of saying why they don’t want to date someone again, people generally take the easy option and say they’re not ready for a relationship or they simply don’t call. By creating a safe place for people to get feedback and practice giving it, we teach how to communicate and be honest.”

Our favourite TV Psychologist Dr Phil has also recognised there is a problem with the dating game and has recently written ‘Love Smart – Find the one you want, fix the one you’ve got’.

He believes part of the problem is that women get desperate about finding a bloke. “If you’re telling yourself you’re ‘desperate’ and you ‘must’ have a man, you will ‘reek’ of fear, weakness and desperation. I’ve never heard of a guy who has those three qualities on his list of major turn-ons.”

Sometimes more than just attitude confuses men. “Women think they’re great communicators but often they’re very poor at it. They drop hints, play games and men really don’t have a clue what they’re going on about”. She believes the best way to deal with dating is honesty. “If you can be honest in the dating process then the relationship follows.

When you’re dating in a certain way, you’re creating the pattern for the relationship. The number one rule is ‘don’t lie’ – if you lie about small things, how can you be honest about bigger things.” It’s agreed that the best way to act on a date is to ooze self confidence. As Dr Phil says, “If you wouldn’t date you, who would?”

Author of Relationships that Rock: The smart girls guide to meeting and keeping a partner, Sue Ostler, says that state of mind is really important. “You have to love what you’re putting out there despite your flaws.” Karen agrees, saying being open, friendly and confident is attractive to men: “Men notice energy and vitality. My favourite pick up line is simply: ‘Hello’.”

Finally, Dr Phil believes it’s best to completely enjoy the dating process. “Selecting a life partner and making the decision to walk the aisle is a decision of gravity and deserves the utmost in contemplation, prayer and consideration. But, the process that gets you there is a game and a game that has to be played loose and fun if you want to win.”