On the one hand, it’s easy to argue that Valentine’s Day is just another box on the calendar. On the other hand, it can a cold reminder that your love life isn’t what you’d like it to be. Every day has the opportunity to be worthwhile, even a Valentine ’s Day spent alone. Since love is in the air, it might be the perfect opportunity to enhance your love life.

Try these strategies:

  1. Make a list of every partner you’ve ever had. Include those that you only dated for a short period of time. Go all the way back to high school. Take your time and make a complete list.
  2. Make a list of the positive attributes you’d like to see in your next partner. You can do this by reviewing the list you just made and asking yourself what you liked about that particular person. Was it his sense of humor and his blue eyes? Or was it her sense of morality and the fact that she liked to watch football?
  • Be thorough. Pour yourself a glass of wine and give this step the attention it deserves. You might have 30 attributes or more.
  1. Consider the qualities you don’t want in your next partner. Avoiding the negative is just as important as acquiring the positive. Go back through your list in step one. Did he always put his career first and didn’t have enough time for you? Did she spend too much time with her mother? Did he or she have their friends over every day? Was he a slob? Was she unstable?
  2. Make a best of the best list. So you know you would like a guy that has a great sense of humor. Of all the men you know, who has the best sense of humor? It could even be a character from TV, the movies, or a book. Define for yourself what the perfect sense of humor is with a concrete example.
  • Do this for all the positive qualities you listed in the first step.
  1. Make a plan to find this incredible person. Look at your desired characteristics and think about where this person might spend their time. A brainy woman might play chess, take night classes, or spend time at the bookstore. An athletic man probably plays recreational sports and spends time at the gym.
  2. Give online dating a fair chance. Online dating has a few big advantages. There are lot of people with the same goal, and they’re right in front of you. You can also approach them via online message, eliminating the terror that comes with approaching a stranger in public. You can go through a lot of profiles while watching a movie from the comfort of your couch.
  • Stay on task. Look for signs of your desirable attribute list. Avoid those profiles that demonstrate one or more of your undesired traits.
  • Set a goal for how many people you’ll contact each day. Keep the number small. You’ll find that you can’t juggle very many at once. You might lose a great potential partner if you’re too distracted by too many emails.
  1. Meet people in person. At some point, the relationship has to move beyond the computer and your cell phone. Be careful, but be brave, too.
  2. Keep your eyes open. The cute man or woman in line with you at the grocery store might be the one. All you have to do is open your mouth and say “hi.”

It can be a little depressing to spend Valentine’s day alone. It can also be a great opportunity to take action and begin the process of finding someone new. Instead of sitting at home feeling sorry for yourself and eating too much junk food, take control of the situation by beginning the search for your perfect partner.