Today is February 14th, which means that it’s Valentine’s Day. And you know what that means. It means that if you’re in a relationship, you hope that your significant other takes you to that restaurant you’ve been hoping to try. Or maybe you feel slightly miffed that he didn’t send you flowers at work, even though you know you shouldn’t care. Or you wonder why he didn’t get you a card. Doesn’t he know that cards are the best part? If you’re single, it means you try to stay off of Facebook but can’t resist and torture yourself by looking at pictures of Tiffany bracelets and roses and stuffed teddy bears.
Basically, no matter what your relationship status is, today is a stupid, stupid holiday. Much like New Year’s Eve, it’s hard for the holiday to live up to the hype.
This is my first single Valentine’s Day in a long time, and I’ll admit that I fully expected this day to suck. In fact, I even extended my trip to see my parents because I didn’t want to have to be in Charlotte alone on Valentine’s Day. Looking back on that choice, I feel ridiculous. I’m smarter and more independent than that, but I let the day and social media get the best of me. I thought to myself:
“I’m going to be sitting home alone while my roommate and taken friends go out to dinner with their boyfriends.”
“It’s going to remind me that I’m single and I won’t be able to handle it.”
But at some point during the past week I realized that I was being a ridiculous person and that Valentine’s Day is a ridiculous holiday. Not to mention the fact that you shouldn’t need a day on a calendar to remind you to treat your significant other well if you have one. Yes, it’s nice to have someone to share your life with and cuddle with when it’s cold and snowy out. It’s nice to have someone who understands you on a deep level. But if you don’t have this on an arbitrary day on the calendar, it doesn’t mean you’re any less valuable or loved or unique. It just means that you’re not taken on this very day. And who really cares? Maybe in two months or four months or a year that will change completely.
I understand why it’s exciting to have a special someone on Valentine’s Day. But I also think we should focus on love in a more general sense. I have amazing friends whom I love dearly. I love my parents. I love Charlotte. There are a lot of activities I love too. But somehow I let these things and people and places get overshadowed because I don’t have someone sending me roses. That’s just goofy. I’m not saying I’ve risen above the Valentine’s Day hype. I’m sure I’ll get caught up in it again. But having a single lady Valentine’s Day has helped me to realize that there’s no need to get so worked up about this holiday. It’s fun and exciting and sweet, but it shouldn’t make or break your self-esteem.
If you’re in a relationship today, I hope that person listened to your hints and got you that thing you really, really wanted, and that you did the same for them. If you’re single, I hope you go out with friends to a place without a fixed price menu and have fun. Or I hope you get a bottle of wine just for yourself and watch your favorite show on Netflix and love every minute. But I hope you don’t get so caught up in Valentine’s Day, and I hope you don’t base your self worth on a day created to sell conversation hearts and those little boxes of chocolate with the map inside.