Do you feel more true blue than red hot on Valentine’s Day? You’re not alone. Wait. You are alone. That’s the blues thing. Unless you have a few half-sized bottles of sparkling wine – and we know how long those last – there’s not much fun in popping the cork for one.

The red heart rages because you’d prefer to scan the Crocodile River for otters from your rose-petaled boudoir for two at the sprawling Lethabo Estate in the Rhenosterspruit reserve.

Or watch elephants quench their thirst at the watering hole as you chin-chin with the gin from your lunch table deck at Tau Game Lodge in Madikwe. Of course, you would – who wouldn’t?

But you’re not. You’re eating tuna from the tin and picking at your cuticles, wondering why all the commercial romance pedlars – florists and confectioners – charge triple the price on February 14.

Why was the day of St Valentine’s beheading chosen in the first place? Was it the farewell note St. Valentine left for his jailer’s daughter? It seems a bit cynical, no? Emporer Claudius the Cruel demanded his death for conducting marriages when he had forbidden his soldiers to tie the knot.

Elephants at the watering hole seen from the deck at Tau Game Lodge in Madikwe.

Talk about falling prey to the ultimate narcissist. The problem is it’s such an easy mistake, especially for an empath. If you feel flat and empty, you relate to how poor St. Valentine must have felt.

Have people like Narccisist Nick or Gaslighter Gary drained your energy? Did you become a sitting duck for psycho-poachers such as Conman Don, Boomerang Bruce, and Hardluck Harry?

Ignore these red flags at your peril:

  1. Online, he addresses you as ‘Respected Dear,’ ‘beautiful lady,’ or gets too familiar too soon
  2. Asks to borrow money for any reason
  3. Does not return calls and texts timeously
  4. Delays and evades – you’ve never met his friends or family
  5. He sulks, withdraws, and stonewalls you
  6. You find yourself walking on eggshells around him
  7. He’s negative, mean with money, a resentful tipper, and complains constantly.

Four ways to stop a rogue in his tracks

  1. Believe in the red flags before you believe in someone’s potential.
  2. Trust patterns over apologies
  3. You are more than enough. Value your worth.
  4. Raise the bar. Isn’t it time you lifted your standards?

If you’ve slipped on the treacherous rocks of romance or fallen in love with ‘potential’ for too long,  Flow 21 Secrets to Refresh Your Relationships (Hygge Books)is an outstretched hand. And if you’re contemplating dipping your toes in the dating pool again, it’s an essential read, launched just in time for Valentine’s 2023!

Discover more dating secrets. Look inside for yourself, and see!

South African Flow paperback special:

You can order a copy of Flow 21 Dating Secrets for R300, including postage, to your nearest Postnet. Email proof of purchase, your cellphone number, and the name of your nearest PostNet to – and a paperback copy of Flow 21 Dating Secrets will wing its way to you! Copies are limited, so the offer is valid only for February 2024.