Dear Patricia Marie,

I dread this time of year with Valentines Day fast approaching, it just reinforces my loneliness, and disappointment that I am facing yet another year of being single. I am almost giving up on the gentlemen species. The type of men I seem to meet are not worthy of me and have no future prospects. I have even lowered my standards due to lack of response. I seem to attract the useless, uncaring, selfish, non-committal man.

About me. I am 30, my friends tell me I'm very attractive, interesting and reliable. I hold a good position at work, where I am valued and appreciated. Why can't this extend to my personal life? I want to be wined and dined, have flowers sent to me and to receive a card on Valentine's Day.

Please help me.

Thank you.

Patricia Marie says.....

You say most of the men you meet aren't living up to your expectations, and that your considering giving up trying to find a partner. Yet also believe by accepting less out of life allows you more chance of success. Lowering standards displays low self-esteem, which is why you are attracting the unfavourable type not worthy of you. These negative beliefs can arise from bad experiences, or not being valued or understood. In order to love someone you must be able to love and respect yourself.

Being your true self is allowing colleagues to show you unconditional respect and acceptance, which gives you confidence within the work environment. This can be extended to your personal life if you can begin to see yourself in a positive light.

Instead of dreading this years Valentine's Day, make it special by promising yourself this is the year to address your chances of finding a suitable partner. Perhaps you could join a reputable dating site, or embark on some new hobbies or interests, which will enhance your social life and help improve your sense of self-worth.

This Valentine's Day, do remember whilst you may be without a partner, there are plenty of Valentine's Days in a lifetime, and many possible people whom you could fall in love with. Don't make the day about loneliness, make it about love, and instead of just admiring what's on offer, go ahead and treat yourself to a gift that you would like to receive and very much deserve.

Check out the mind website ( www.mind.org.uk ) where you will find useful tips on increasing self-esteem.