When Valentine’s Day comes each year, we are reminded of the gift-giving, endless boxes of chocolate, excessive PDA on social media, our loved ones, and gushy romance. If you’re like me (single as a pringle) you don’t have to worry about any of these problems. Some people might think this is the worst time of the year to be single. They could be reminded of past relationships and breakups, dwelling in sorrow, envy, and loneliness- or maybe that was just me? After getting my heart broken, I was the most bitter, sad, single girl on Valentine's Day every year, until I decided to make a change.
I loved Valentine’s Day as a kid. I always was given the leftover chocolate covered candies my sister made for her boyfriend. At school, everyone was included on this special day. We all gave out cards and candy grahams with our favorite characters and colors on them. No
one felt sad or cared about relationships. Fast forward to high school, and my peers started dating and (really) practicing public displays of affection. On Valentine’s Day people would give their partners balloons, flowers, heart shaped necklaces or teddy bears. I felt like I couldn’t go more than a minute without seeing someone making out in the hallway or carrying around a bouquet to every class. I was in and out of relationships throughout high school, so I did get to experience what it felt like to be in a relationship on this day. But once I got dumped, I was a walking advertisement for “Anti-Valentine’s Day”. I would gag at the sight of happy couples, abandon social media for the day, and purposely avoid romantic movies.
I expected once I got to college and became an adult, I would find my forever prince charming. Isn’t that how all the teenage romantic comedies go? But freshman year went by, followed by my sophomore, junior and senior...still on my own. I heard all the comments from family, especially around the holidays: “When are you gonna get married?” “Do you have a boyfriend yet?”. I would respond that I am indeed still single, which would lead to the typical “Well I know a friend of a friend whose son lives 8 states away that would be PERFECT for you”. I just turned 20 and was feeling like time was running out (as if you can’t date after your 25). I began to lower my standards, turning a blind eye to obvious red flags in pursuit of a relationship. I had this mindset that a relationship would completely transform me, fix all my problems, and provide me with endless happiness. I blame the movies I watched that had me believing life was a fairytale.
Now here I am at 23, still single, and better for it- instead of bitter. How was I able to change my mindset without a prince charming? The answer is simple, I did it on my own. I took a step back from relationships and dating, and treated myself as my own partner. I found my self worth; I praised my brain, mind, and body and I began to take quality care of myself. I no longer compared my life path to others. I realized it is okay that both my mother and sister got married at 22 and I did not. I realized that everyone’s life path and timing when it comes to love is completely different. What works for some people is great, but it may not work for me, and that is perfectly normal. I started appreciating the relationships and love already surrounding me. I liked and commented in support on all the PDA packed social media posts. I felt joy when I saw others being treated with love and kindness. Sure, I may not have a significant other, but who’s stopping me from celebrating this day of love. Valentine’s Day is now one of my favorite days of the year. I buy myself a special gift, wear a cheesy red outfit, take
myself out on a date, watch sappy movies, shower myself with extra care. This is how I now know I deserve to be treated by a future partner.
Take this year to care for yourself, your friends, your family and loved ones. Be the person who makes everyone feel less alone. Lastly, be better, not bitter.
Tips on how to spend Valentine’s Day as a Single:
1. Read the book “What a Time To Be Alone” by Chidera Eggerue.
2. Send cute Valentine’s Day cards to your friends and family.
3. Buy yourself a special gift.
4. Indulge in the sweets and good food.
5. Take yourself out on a date. Examples: Out to eat, spa day, walk in the park, movie, museum, etc. (but this year be careful and wear a mask with COVID-19)
6. Watch season 2 episode 16 of Parks and Recreation (Galentine’s Day Episode) 8. Celebrate Galentine’s Day and shower your friends with love.
7. Put yourself first, treat yourself with kindness, care and love. Today and every day.
& Finally, some fun (single) content for you:
Written by: Marissa Contelmo