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'To attract love … project love'

Svetlana Novikova
Svetlana Novikova
Chatterbox PR Ink

February may be the month to celebrate love, but the preceding month is known among divorce attorneys, personal dating Web sites and relationship counselors as the time for many loves to end.

Yahoo! Personals even deemed January as "National Break-up Month" for their online dating service, declaring that 50 percent of singles "reassess their relationship status" between the winter holidays and Valentine's Day.

With a relationship-centered holiday right around the corner, freshly single folks can still cope, however.

Internationally known relationship expert Svetlana Novikova said meeting family and friends during the holidays adds pressure to relationships, but the increased demands are also a reality check that can bring better perspective.

So a pre-Valentine's Day break-up may be a welcome relief, allowing people to focus on other important relationships.

Above all, people should spend the day with people that make them feel the most comfortable, including kids, parents or friends.

Newly single people shouldn't feel ashamed of their situation or stress over their relationship status for the holiday, Novikova said.

"People should start loving themselves and treat themselves the way they want to be treated on Valentine's Day," Novikova said.

The Los Angeles-based matchmaker said women often expect grand gestures of love on Valentine's Day, but the secret to enjoying the holiday is to serve others.

"Women want to be validated and feel special, but the reality is sometimes to feel special you should make another person feel special as well," she said. "To attract love in your life, you should project love."

As for those who find themselves in a new relationship just before Valentine's Day, dates and gifts shouldn't go overboard, Novikova said.

"If you're interested in continuing the relationship, you should take it easy," she said.

Exchanging simple hand-written cards that express thoughts and emotions is one of the most memorable and thoughtful ways to show appreciation for someone, Novikova said.

Though the matchmaker offers private helicopter rides and Malibu picnics for her Beverly Hills clients, Novikova said little details are usually the most appreciated gifts. She suggests giving your significant other a pedicure or finding some other activity to do together, rather than buying into commercial Valentine's Day products.

"Just come up with fun ideas to lift the pressure," she said. "My advice is to expect little, but give big."

e-mail: bbrown@desnews.com