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Mindful tips for couples & singles on Valentine’s Day

The experts give advice for mental health and healthy mindsets before the heart-shaped holiday
Published: Feb. 11, 2021 at 10:45 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Whether you’re picking up flowers and chocolates for someone special this Valentine’s Day, or treating yourself, experts in mental health say the holiday is an opportunity for singles and couples to be intentional with their feelings.

For those who are single, Chicago writer and podcaster Case Kenny’s message from his workbook is that single is your superpower.

“Being single, there are so many opportunities to find freedom and passion and curiosity and most important, to fall in love with yourself in a sense,” explains Kenny. “It’s just a helpful framing for people to not think that they’re alone for one when they’re single but to not put themselves in a corner when they’re single.”

The single 30-something gained podcast popularity for his show New Mindset, Who Dis?, which he started three years ago about mindfulness and living a purpose-driven life. He soon found that practicing mindfulness could be particularly helpful in dating and relationships.

Specifically, he preaches “catching feelings” for yourself, and understanding why you’re dating and what you’re looking for in a partner.

“When you have that why in your mind when you’re dating, you can spot red flags easier, you can understand who fits that mold, and the ultimate is you can hone in on their why and return the favor,” says Kenny. “It’s more purpose-driven, it’s more intentional”

Kenny is also a fan of dating apps, especially given the difficulties meeting new people and the inability to go on typical dates during the pandemic.

“I think we need to drop the connotation that dating apps are for quitters or something like that. Of all the times to lean into a dating app, now would be it!”

He also expresses the value to be seen in virtual communication, especially before committing to more dates in person.

“You can practice exchanges where you’re asking questions that are important to you, you can get a lot of experience quickly as opposed to traditional dating where it can be really dragged out over a period of time.”

Meanwhile, The Willow Center has seen an influx of couples coming in for counseling.

“The pandemic has shed light on areas that need attention,” says Leann Beach, LPC, MA.

The biggest issue across the board with couples? Communication.

Especially about finances, given the added strain that job losses of shifts in careers due to COVID can add to a relationship.

Beach also applauds the act of seeking help with your partner when needed.

“Growth is a big thing to find hope in, encouragement in, strength in, both individually and as a couple,” says Beach.

As for to celebrate or not to celebrate Valentine’s Day, Beach tells 13abc it’s less about buying gifts that day and more about the intention to make your partner feel loved.

“If it’s the only time you’re being intentional and the other 364 days of the year you’re not being intentional, that could be problematic,” explains Beach, who also warns against having expectations that might not be in align with your partner’s “Love Languages,” or the way they’re expressing their feelings for you. “Really being able to recognize this is one day, yes, it’s an opportunity to connect and be intentional, but maybe taking the opportunity of saying okay how in the next month how would I like to continue to be intentional in my relationship, in the next three months, what are some things I can do?”

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