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6 phrases single people ignore on Valentine's Day
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Avoid the good-intentioned bulls-eye to your single friends. Because the only person who should be shooting arrows this Valentine's Day is Cupid. - photo by Heather Merrill
Red roses. High-end chocolate. Candlelit dinner. All status symbols of Valentines Day. But even before my divorce, Valentines Day rarely looked so ideal. Overcrowded restaurants, the stress of securing a babysitter and fizzled expectationsnot unlike those found on Christmas afternoonsencapsulated my 'day of love'.

But thats really what it is. Valentines Day is a day to show love. Valentines Day is a day to build up those you care about. And Valentines Day is a day to celebrate anyone who makes a difference in your life. Even your single friends.

So tap into your own vulnerability. Think about your time as one of the single folk, and keep your lips sealed before you say any of these 6 lame (but oh-so-common) phrases.

"Valentines Day must be hard."

Why its a lame thing to say: Assuming that Valentines Day will be hard for a single friend suggests the worst. It suggests that Valentines Day should be hard as a single person. And depending on your relationship with the person, its underlying tone says: What could a single person possibly be happy about on Valentines Day? Exuding pity toward your friend is not exactly the most loving vibe.

What to say instead: Nothing. Or depending on your relationship with your single friend you could say: I love you. Im glad to see you. Im so glad youre my friend.

"I could set you up."

Why its a lame thing to say: So much of life is about timing. If youre already friends with thus stated single person, then pick another day (other than Valentines Day) to inquire about his interest in being set up.

What to say instead: Nothing. If youre good enough friends, ask your single friend on any day other than Valentines Dayif she has any interest in meeting someone you know. Based on her response, drop it or expand more.

"Ive heard online dating works."

Why its a lame thing to say: Timing. Timing. Timing. The most loaded day for being in relationship is probably not the day to share your grapevine advice with someone. And this comment is laced with assumptions and pity.

What to say instead: Nothing.

"Youre lucky youre not in a relationship!"

Why its a lame thing to say: This statement is a back-handed complimentboth to your partner and your single friend. This comment also assumes the single person youre talking to wants to be in a relationshipand she is really the fortunate one to have an unencumbered life since your relationship-clad life is so hard and complicated. It also exudes a sense of pity and suggests your single friend is flawed because she is not in a relationship.

What to say instead: Nothing. Or a sincere "Im so happy I know you."

"But youre so pretty-handsome-nice-funny."

Why its a lame thing to say: This statement is intended to be a complimentbut the lingering unasked question is: "So, I dont understand how you could be single?" which places blame on your friend for not being in a relationship.

What to say instead: Nothing. Or if the moment warrants, tell her you love her sense of humor, the way she communicates, or say how glad you are that she is your friend.

"Youll find your special someone."

Why its a lame thing to say: Again, this commentwith spotlight precisiongives your friend the sense that you see him as incomplete. And really, since were not psychicswe dont actually know that our friend will find his special someoneor even if he wants a special someone right now.

What to say instead: Nothing. Or, depending on your relationship, express your feelings of gratitude for your single friend. Be specific. Be sincere. And dont frame your expressions of love in the context of a relationship.

And so we see that life really is about the simple nothings. Expressing your love or saying nothing. Especially to your single friends on Valentines Day.