As Valentine’s Day approaches, many single people begin to feel a little sorry for themselves.

On a day dominated by ‘couples’, this can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness, say researchers.

However, don’t worry – they say it could actually be good for you

‘On the scale of everyday life, it is understandable how something as personally aversive as loneliness could be regarded as a blight on human existence,’ said John Cacioppoat and his fellow researchers at the University of Chicago write in the journal Cognition & Emotion.

‘Research over the past decade suggests a very different view of loneliness than suggested by personal experience, one in which loneliness serves a variety of adaptive functions in specific habitats.

‘Although it may feel like loneliness has no redeeming features, it promotes behaviour change to increase the likelihood of the survival of one’s genes.

‘The pain of loneliness served to prompt us to renew the connections we needed to ensure survival and to promote social trust, cohesiveness, and collective action.’

However, there was also bad news – researchers found the ‘lonely’ are viewed more negatively in terms of their psychosocial functioning and attractiveness.

‘In a social environment non-lonely people form a negative impression towards lonely people, which then affects their behaviour and reinforces the lonely individual’s perceived isolated existence,’ the researchers wrote.

‘Furthermore, individuals rated opposite-gender partners who they expected to be lonely as less sociable, and behaved towards them in a less sociable manner than they did toward partners they expected not to be-lonely.’

So, don’t be carried away with all the HYPE – Valentine’s Day is really overrated.  It will pass and everything will get back to normal.