Happy Valentine’s Day! Or not. It’s up to you.
Let’s be real, we all know it’s a stupid holiday manufactured by Hallmark and mall-dwelling jewelry stores (I’m looking at you, Kay). Yet the pressure it puts on people is ridiculous. There isn’t a single day of the year that makes you feel crappier about the state of your love life, or lack thereof (except maybe New Year’s Eve and not having someone to kiss).
I truly don’t understand it, but I probably don’t have much ground for this argument since I am in a happy relationship. But I think back to a few years ago, when I had no relationship and nothing on the horizon. Valentine’s Day hit over a long weekend that year, and it was the weekend I decided to paint my entire apartment. So I spent the day painting, and at night I took a shower and made myself dinner and watched TV. And it was great.
The idea that this day has the power to make you feel bad about yourself is what I truly don’t understand. I know a lot of people want relationships and don’t have them, but that’s another thing I don’t really get. Again, this is said from the standpoint of someone in a relationship, but when I have been sans significant other, I’ve had some of the best times. It’s important to like your own company and to not feel like you have to be attached to someone else to be happy. No date on a Saturday night? Go home, put on unflattering but super comfortable clothing, and throw on a TV show or movie that no one else likes but you. Or catch up on reading those books you always meant to get to. What are you having for dinner? Anything you want!! You don’t have to compromise with anyone. There are many positive aspects to doing your own thing, but I feel like people get caught up in the negative part of being single, so they don’t enjoy the good stuff. Unfortunately, society only seems to reinforce those negative feelings.
There’s also a sort of pressure you feel if you’re in a relationship on Valentine’s Day, to do something amazing and “romantic” (whatever that means). Luckily, my boyfriend and I are on the same page about the day, which is that we acknowledge that it is dumb, but we may as well do something to celebrate in our own way, which involves us making a dinner that is nicer than what we would normally cook during the week, and having an excuse to open a second bottle of wine without feeling guilty. But I know a lot of women who would not be happy with that, and would expect flowers and more. I just don’t get that. Flowers on a random day mean WAY more than flowers on Valentine’s day, when someone buys them for you because they’re “supposed to.” Ditto the expensive gifts. Maybe I’m missing a chip in my lady brain, but the idea of getting an Open-Heart pendant designed by Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, does not make make me feel like my boyfriend loves me or values me any more than if I don’t get said (ugly) pendant.
Don’t give this day any power to make you feel one way or another. And don’t let it put pressure on you to act in a way that feels false. If you are in a relationship, great! If you’re not, that’s ok!! Be your own Valentine. Find other reasons to be happy. Life is too short not to.