NORFOLK, Va. -- Valentine's Day can spark lonely feelings for those who have no one to spend it with. Pair that with being single during the pandemic, and you have a potential double whammy.
News 3 spoke to Gary Rotfus, a therapist who says the problem is the idealization that the day is all about love and has to be spent with a significant other.
But he also says it may not be the holiday itself causing those feelings - it may just be this time of the season.
"It's six to eight weeks after the holidays; there's a letdown for that,” Rotfus explained. “We're right in the middle of the coldest months of the years, the days are starting to get longer, but people tend to be more depressed in the middle of winter."
He also pointed to the coronavirus pandemic that has led to increased depression and anxiety among people.
People also tend to compare their personal life to others who may have significant others. That's a habit, Rotfus said, people should try to break out of.
"An individual who's lonely and is feeling bad that they don't have a significant other, perhaps on Valentine's Day, sees the rest of the world as happy,” Rotfus said. “That's an idealization; the whole world isn't happy. There are all kinds of gray areas and nuisances in terms of how well people are doing in their relations."
If you are feeling this way, Rotfus said you can ignore the day completely and just treat it like any other day.
You can try to do activities that you would normally do. Rotfus added you could opt to anticipate that Valentine’s Day will be a difficult day and try to work around that.