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Jul 22, 2008

What, no Valentine? Relationships not restricted to romance

It's that time, again. Heart-shaped candy, assorted bouquets and sentimental cards are plentiful, but not a source of happiness for everyone.

"The emphasis is on romance, rather than relationships," said Charlotte Shoup Olsen, Kansas State University Research and Extension family systems specialist. "If your love life hasn't lived up to your expectations, you needn�t have a dismal day, though."

"If you would like a romantic relationship, the fact that it hasn't happened yet doesn�t mean that it will never happen," Olsen said.

"Dwelling on what you don't have isn't likely to make it happen. The chance of meeting someone and building a friendship that evolves into a romantic relationship can be more likely to happen to people who focus on the positive."

"Think about it, would you rather approach a person with a smile or pleasant expression? Or someone who's unhappy?" said Olsen, who offered tips for celebrating Valentine's Day:

  • Don't dwell on one day. Valentine's Day is just a day, with 24 hours - like all the rest.

  • Think about your life and what you most like about it. Do you have good friends?

    Loving parents? A favorite aunt, uncle or neighbor? Book group? Exercise buddy?

    Enjoy your home? Admire a master gardener who�s helping you learn about flowers? Have a great job or a career interest that nurtures your creativity?

  • Make a list of the positives AND the special people in your life. Now, think about making (or buying) them a valentine.

  • If you like flowers or candy, treat yourself to a bouquet or favorite sweet.

  • If you like to eat out, call a friend and eat out together, or organize a potluck and game or movie night for friends who also are alone on a holiday. Enjoy the company - and the fun.

    "Relationships are precious, but the value of our relationships with others isn't restricted to romance," Olsen. "For a happy Valentine�s Day, celebrate all of your relationships."

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