How To Cope With Loneliness on Valentine’s Day

You are not alone.

A day filled with chocolates and rose petals can still leave hearts empty and aching. For many, Valentine’s Day can stir up feelings of loneliness and isolation. When your Insta feed is bombarded with cute couples sharing adorable gifts, it can start to feel like you’re the only single person on Valentine’s Day. If you’re struggling with feelings of isolation and loneliness this February 14, here’s some tips from an expert on how to overcome them.

Accept your feelings

The first thing you need to do is recognise how you’re feeling – and accept it.

CBT psychotherapist, Dr Clive Rooney says that: “To cope with loneliness on Valentine’s Day we first need to accept these feelings. People often struggle with a double bind; feeling bad about feeling bad. Instead of blaming ourselves for these feelings we need to acknowledge that loneliness is a universal feeling we all experience.

“There is no such thing as good or bad emotions, they all just stem from experiences and are temporary. Don’t try to get rid of these emotions, instead allow yourself to feel.”

If we don’t accept our feelings, how can we move on from them? Be kind to yourself and allow yourself to feel. Remember, loneliness is a universal emotion that everyone experiences at some stage in life. Feelings are temporary and it won’t last forever.

Evaluate your emotions

Dr Rooney recommends that to cope with feelings of anxiety and loneliness, we first need to evaluate where these feelings are coming from.

“Emotions are a window into our values and needs,” he says. “They reflect what is important to us in life at that very minute. Recognise this value and apply it to ongoing things in your life. If you are feeling sad about not being in a relationship, this shows us love and intimacy is something you value. Instead of feeling down, diversify this need into things like spending time with family and friends, even giving yourself the love you want.”

Emotions tell us a lot about ourselves, but they do not define you, just because you feel lonely does not mean you are actually alone. Instead, look at emotions as a way of telling us what matters to you. By realising our values we can start to pave a path towards the life we want to live.

If Valentine’s Day brings about feelings of jealousy, turn that envy into admiration for other people’s relationships.If a relationship is something you yearn, then clearly love and intimacy is something you value. Take this need for love and express it by giving it to others or even yourself.

Photo by Allekansa via

Don’t compare

Comparison is the biggest thief of happiness, so if you can, try not to compare yourself to others.

“Artificial happiness stems from external factors out of our control, like approval from others and status in life,” says Dr Rooney. “By allowing things like these to have control over our happiness we can leave ourselves in a vulnerable position. You cannot place happiness in the hands of others, true happiness comes only from within.”

Stop comparing yourself to these cringe worthy Insta couples; the reality is they probably argued right before they took that picture. No one has a perfect relationship and what you see on Instagram is only a snapshot of reality, not the whole picture.

Do what you love

By realising our values we apply this to our everyday lives. To combat feelings of isolation and angst, do something that you love. Whether it’s going for a run, binge watching your favourite show or simply ordering in a nice takeaway.

Use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to show yourself the same love that you would give others.

Practice gratitude

Rather than looking at what you don’t have, look at what you do have. Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love, and love is not just limited to romantic relationships. Use Valentine’s Day as a reason to show gratitude towards the ones you love, whether it be family or friends.

“Self worth is an abstract concept that cannot be measured,” says Dr Rooney. “Many people fail to feel gratitude for what they already have in their life, rather than what’s missing from it.”

Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to acknowledge all the good things you have in your life. Whether you write it down in a gratitude journal or even say it out loud, take five minutes out of your day to appreciate what you have.

Talk to someone

Photo by Alex Green via

If none of the above is helping, and you still feel like you’re struggling with loneliness, you can always consider talking to someone – professional or otherwise.

It’s time to erase the stigma surrounding therapy. Sometimes we all need a helping hand to give us the boost that we need and there’s no shame in that. If you are struggling this Valentines Day and our tips haven’t worked maybe look into booking a therapy session.

One Irish resource is IACP, a website that allows you to put in your area, along with your specific struggles and worries. They will then give you a list of suitable therapists, with their numbers, fee and address. Another option is consulting with your GP about the best path to take towards overcoming these feelings.

Remember, Valentine’s is only one day out of the whole year so don’t let it define you. Feel the love and appreciate life.

By Zana Zee Keough