Valentine's Day Is Over, Time To Face The Facts: Why You're Single

A Cosmo chick wouldn't wallow in self-pity over not having a date on V-Day. She'll try to figure out how to get back on track. So, here's how to avoid four mistakes you may be making.

Single may equal "being ready to mingle" on 364 (or 365) days of the year, but come February 14, even the most sworn-to-singlehood sistah will still feel a twinge... Take Anna, 28, a dentist, for example. "When the Valentine's Day fever breaks out in February, I feel utterly lonely. But it's not my fault, is it, that I don't have a date on February 14?" she says.

However, Adriana Giles, author of Finding Love, offers a different take on Anna's dilemma: "Many of us blame fate/destiny/kismet for not bumping into our soulmates. While that may be true to a certain extent, it's also a certainty that some of us simply repel love by not being conscious of what we really want. All it takes is for you to be aware and ready--love will find you."

Does that description fit your love-jinxed past? If yes, then you're a victim of the Valentine voodoo! Cosmo helps you identify where you're taking the wrong turn on the love path, and how you can find your way back. Our promise: You won't have to spend the next V-Day suffering through the nth rerun of Sex And The City; rather, you'll be zooming into the sunset with The One.

Mistake #1: You're not going out too often.

Unfortunately, make-believe Prince Charmings don't just jump out of the blue. You've got to put yourself out there for Mr. Right to come along because searching for real-life love involves a lot of work. According to Jane Balmer, co-author of Make Your Luck Shine, you have to assist fate. "Being lucky in love can be interpreted in many different ways. You have to make a concerted effort to assist your love destiny...Park yourself in the right party circuit, make more friends, and network like crazy!"

This is what Dina, 25, designer, has realized. "Since I always saw myself as 'not so attractive,' I'd be so dyahe to go out and meet people. All my friends would try and convince me to go on a gimik, but I just wasn't confident enough to do so. Then, one day, I tagged along with a friend to her office party. A really hot colleague of hers walked up to me and asked for my number. That's when I realized that isolating myself was a huge mistake. I was entirely responsible for my lonesome state," she shares.

Back-On-Track Tip: It's easy to say, "Go out and meet people," but how can a working gal like you squeeze time out of your busy sched? You need to work around these problems. You may just meet the right person on the job. Some of us decide never to mix our professional with our personal lives. But if your work hours don't allow for much social time, it's wise to look around when at work. "Would you believe, I've actually met most guys and my current boyfriend through work?" says Sasha, 30, journalist.

Also, it's imperative to always be prepared because you never know when or where you'll meet someone. Wear clothes that make you feel attractive and plan ahead for an interesting conversation. You should likewise keep a set of business cards with your contact details, just in case you want to hand one over to a hunky stranger you bump into at a party. It's better than scribbling it hurriedly. You may also need to change your routine--instead of working out at home on your own treadmill, sign up at the gym at the mall...a fellow gym member may just turn out to be someone special.

Mistake #2: You don't know what you want.

"We don't realize [it] but a trail of failed relationships behind us can give us a fair idea about our relationship fallings. Observe the pattern. Are you always ending up with the wrong guy? Even if you can't do anything about that 'fatal' attraction, at least you'll know what drives you close to a guy. Awareness is the key," says relationship counselor Abhilasha Khaitan.

Back-On-Track Tip: A survey conducted by an international matchmaking agency showed that about 72 percent of relationships fail because people don't really know what they're looking for. The same survey found that almost 68 percent of people have compromised on their image of an "ideal partner" to make their duo work.

So, decide on what you want. Then, compromise. On a priority pile of top 10 things, if a guy's money is of utmost importance to you, compromise on his looks. "There's no perfect guy out there. Even if you get seven out of 10 ideal traits in a guy, you've hit jackpot. In my list, a guy's temperament and sense of humor was of utmost importance, so I didn't care much for his financial status," says Jane, 30, writer.

Go to the next page to read two more common mistakes single girls make.
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Mistake #3: You come on too strong.

Are you the type who shows her neediness to be with someone? "It's perfectly all right to be forthright, but don't push it. If you like a guy, give him your number but don't call him yourself. Dating needs guerilla tactics and you need to perfect those," says Khaitan. For Rissa, 29, a freelance producer, it was always tough to continue in a relationship. "I always wanted to be in charge and know what was happening to my guy 24/7. That was attractive to some guys in the beginning, but later, they'd get pissed with my control-freak tendencies."

According to Delhi-based psychiatrist Dr. Sulajja Kirodi, the desire to be all-too-powerful in a relationship stems from insecurity. "Just like being clingy originates from a lack of self-confidence, so does the constant craving to be the powerful one," she explains.

Back-On-Track Tip: During the first few months of dating, learn to refuse a couple of evenings with him on the pretext of meeting friends. Not only will that let him know that you're a busy gal with a life of your own, but it will also leave him with a pang of desire. As for the self-esteem bit, you just need to give out more positive, sunshine-y vibes to get some of those flowing in your direction. So, give yourself a pep talk. Yes, at the risk of sounding like a retard, we'd rather you chatted yourself up a bit.

"All of us have a monologue constantly running in our heads, whether we realize it or not. Everything we see, hear, or touch sparks off immediate dialogues in our thoughts. This monologue can be filled with many negative messages. It's scientifically proven that negative thoughts literally deplete our mind and body of energy, and block the flow of self-confidence and self-esteem in our lives. Talk to yourself in a positive manner...your relationship will reap the benefits of your positivity," says George Parkinson, author of You Can Make it Happen.

A surprising way to make things look up in your love life is to fix your posture. "To be more attractive to a man, it is important to carry yourself perfectly. Keep your back straight, keep your hands occupied, and stand with your head tilted slightly to the right. Your body can send irresistible signals to the object of your affection," says Amanda Moons, PhD, author of Body Lingo Bingo.

Mistake #4: You lug baggage.

If every new relationship gets weighed down by the bulky emotional baggage from your past relationships, it's time to unpack! Getting out of a bad relationship takes time, but, as Emily, 25, marketing manager, puts it, "Relationship hangovers have their own expiry date. If these continue beyond a certain given period, it's vital to hit the panic button. The more you allow emotional baggage to stack up, the harder it is to shed it." Mirabelle, 32, a documentary filmmaker, says, "My ex made me feel guilty about being more successful than him. His mind games really scarred me."

Back-On-Track Tip: Speak with a parent or a friend about what's bothering you to get an alternative perspective. The real deal is that you're acknowledging the emotional black spots that have been weighing you down. Be wary of this absolute no-no: Do not speak to a prospective lover about your ex. If your ex was fabulous, he'll feel that he can't--and won't ever--measure up. But if you bash your ex mercilessly, this guy may think, "Whoops, she might be talking about me that way in a few months!"

Break down your fears into simpler terms to thwart emotional load. "Say, your last boyfriend drummed it into your head that you're fat, you should now stop worrying about your figure and focus on looking good the way you are," says Khaitan. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, "Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent."

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