*Writing about the enterprise of love and romance is certainly not my expertise.

No matter how much sound advice I have been credited with dispensing about matters of the heart, I am not a licensed therapist. And I must confess I have not always practiced what I have preached.

I have been in love. Carelessly and recklessly in love. In my impetuous pursuit of romance in what I thought would yield lasting and true love, I’ve learned a lot.

Valentine’s Day causes more consternation than exhilaration for more women than men. For some, Valentine’s Day is a just a reminder that another year has elapsed without love and commitment.   Cupid seems incapable of hitting the side of a barn, even with his heat-sinking arrows.  Because he’s so inept, 51% of women in the United States traverse life without a husband.  And in the African American community over 70% of women live without a husband at the hem, according to analysis of recent Census data.

It makes you wonder if either Cupid needs a new repertoire in his bag of tricks, or we need to deploy Special Forces to get the job done.

No wonder there is so much acrimony among women about their lack of matrimony.  And it nips at me too, especially in those quiet moments of repose, when I take a break from trying to change the world.

So many women I have spoken with have resigned themselves to living their full and fabulous lives, alone.  The say it’s because they can’t find Mr. Right.

It’s unfortunate that so many women have loss hope in finding their Valentine of a lifetime.   Maybe what they should lose are the illusions that they have been carrying around in their heads since high school about finding the perfect man, and try something new.

In movie “Something New” Sanaa Lathan’s character, who played a successful African-American CPA, did it. No I’m not talking about interracial dating – although I have no objections to it. I’m talking about the decision she made to let go of the dream of finding the ideal black man — which more often than not is an illusion that lives in depths of our imagination.

When she erased the boundaries and obstacles she has constructed for herself, she created new opportunities and new possibilities of finding a man who possessed the qualities that were most important to her happiness.

It’s an interesting concept. It’s one worthy of consideration.

How many good men  are overlooked just because that didn’t resemble the figments in our imaginations?

Probably plenty.

Maybe it’s time to ask yourself, what are the human qualities that are most important in a life’s partner? Is it kindness, loyalty, an unbridled sense of humor, or someone who values family? Maybe it’s a sense of adventure, fervent spirituality, someone who appreciates a slowly simmered stew or enjoys foreign films.  Perhaps what is important to you is having someone in your life that appreciates the beauty of a monochromatic sunset, the sound of the ocean, the taste of rain. Or some who loves carelessly and unconditionally.

Make a list of those qualities.

What you will find is that when you get right down to what really satiates  your soul, those qualities transcend the kind of car a person drives, their career, their zip code, their income, skin tone, race, age, height, weight, hair length, wardrobe, or whatever your “screening out” criteria has been that’s not working for you.

Suddenly, finding Mr. Right or Ms. Right for that matter is not an impossible dream or unrealistic aspiration, but well within the realm of reality.  And that person could be right underneath your nose when qualities  such as loyalty, kindness, humor and spirituality become more attractive that the peripheral stuff we’ve pursued most of our lives.

Too many love pursuits are empty-hearted, and too often leave you broken hearted, again and again.

I say it’s time to try something new. So there you have it – this is my Valentine’s epilogue to you — xoxoxox!

(If you have comments about Veronica’s View, email them to [email protected])