In the podcast ‘Unwaxed’, the two sisters – Sophia and Sistine are known for their unfiltered but light-hearted banter about all matters relevant to their lives. In episode 113, they tackled the thorny subject of Valentine’s Day. Sophia immediately labelled it a holiday worth celebrating provided you are in a relationship. [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XdnQbYIIfw&t=309s] This is the common presumption, and this is why Valentine’s Day is, for too many desperate souls, a depressing reminder that they have still not found ‘the love of their lives’. This Valentine’s day, so many singletons will be wishing and searching for love. You may feel lonely and dejected yet practically bereft of any desire for friendship. You may feel trapped between feeling the need to experience love and wondering why you should even bother. 

If you want something from someone, you must give it first – time, attention, a smile. The same goes for love, attention, gifts. You may not always receive in the same measure that you gave but this is not the point of giving. The mere act of giving brings immeasurable/invaluable rewards of self-gratification and self-respect. Too many people don’t get to where they are going because they fall off the bandwagon into never ending self-regret, self-pity, self-condemnation.

But, if like Sistine Stallone, you are “like a leopard looking for prey when it comes to dating”, please be aware that the best thing you can do is to self-invest – invest in yourself from the inside out. Try your best to resist the cultural tendency to fixate on outer attributes e.g. whether your bum looks big in this or that outfit (actually big bums are in), nips and tucks courtesy of the plastic surgeon or botox in the vain hope of acquiring the face of a teenager. You would be surprised at how many overweight people they are who are happy and in relationships, so don’t deceive yourself into thinking that if you could only lose 20 pounds, ‘Mr. Right’ would fall effortlessly into your arms.

We should not see relationships as achievements because so much of a relationship is beyond one’s control. There are a whole host of variables to deal with someone else’s culture, background, values, likes and dislikes and tolerance threshold. Hence, one never really fails at a relationship having done one’s best. Furthermore, if your relationship with yourself leaves a lot to be desired and is characterised by self-loathing, negative thought patterns, this is likely to continue whether you are in a relationship with someone or not. The first person you need to fall in love with is you!”

It’s easy to set yourself a date by which you want to have found Mr or Miss Right. This may be your end goal, but what steps will you need to take to reach it? For too many, they try to beat the odds by going on speed dating, thinking that the more dates they have, the mor likely they are to find a date with destiny. The more reliable approach would be to ask – how will I work on myself to carve myself into the type of person that that special someone will want to form a relationship with.

Is it reasonable to expect your true love to be “tall, dark and handsome” when you are short, boring and don’t attraction attention from the opposite gender? If you wish your perfect man to earn a six figure salary, have you considered what ‘capital’ you will bring to the table? For example, will it be social, experiential or intellectual? Experiential capital may be defined as “the knowledge you gain through a variety of firsthand experiences over the course of your life.” [https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/types-of-capitals, accessed 13 February, 2024]

The 2023 film ‘Mr Right’ concludes on a hopeful note for all those looking for love – “Mr Right is out there, you just have to give him a chance when he comes along. So keep looking, Mr. Right could be anyone.” In the case of Charlotte, the main character who was better at writing about love, than taking the risk of being let down in a relationship, it turns out that Mr. right was right under her nose, disguised as her best friend.

Carla Cornelius

Dr Carla seeks to bring a fresh and thought-provoking perspective to today's popular culture. With her Ph.D. in Biblical Counselling, she invites readers to see the relevance of the Bible in addressing the difficult and disturbing issues of our times.