7 Valentine's Day Reads That Will Make You Feel Grateful You're Single
Valentine's Day (I mean, Singles Appreciation Day) is just around the corner, which means a veritable infestation of candy hearts, rose petals, and lots of hand-holding. Yuck.
Being single is weird. A lot of the time you feel fantastic. You can do what's best for you (whether that's watching your guilty pleasure or moving to Antartica) without having to worry about a partner's needs. But sometimes, it's frustrating to be unattached. Especially when there's some punk holiday coating the world in pink, red, and fluffy ideas about love.
It's cynical, I know, but the best antidote to the single blues is a sharp reminder that being in a relationship isn't all it's cracked up to be. These books will show you how dysfunctional relationships can be, how agonizing it is to put your heart on the line, and how freaking great it is that, as a single person, you don't have to deal with any of that crap.
Whether your plans include eating an entire tub of cookie dough by yourself or going out on the town (or both!), these reads are the perfect accompaniment to the best singles Valentine's Day ever. So what if you don't have an SO? You're crushing it over there.
1. It Ended Badly: Thirteen of the Worst Breakups in History by Jennifer Wright
One of the best parts of being single is that you don't have to worry about a hard break-up. And these crazy true stories will show just how nuts relationship problems can get. From beheadings to creepy sex dolls, the events in this book will remind you that it could truly be worse.
2. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
One of the most renownededly gross literary love affairs of all time, featuring a middle-aged man who's desperately in love (read: obsessed) with a 12-year-old girl. The concept is disgusting I know (and will certainly remind you how twisted love is), but this book is actually a must-read. It's a beautifully-written, intense examination of lust, temptation, and obsession that will blow you away.
3. Gone Girl by Gilian Flynn
There's no doubt about it, Nick and Amy Dunne's marriage is messed up. If you haven't read this grade-A gripping novel yet, get on it. You'll go through a twisted, fast-paced, surprise-heavy exploration of the darkness that can bubble beneath the surface of a seemingly perfect romance.
4. This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz
This is a killer collection of stories, many of which center around Yunior (who you may recognize if you read The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao). Yunior's reckless, and his love life is a mess; indeed, every character in this has to come to grips with the harsh realities of love. With stories such as "A Cheater's Guide to Romance," Díaz's masterful writing is at its peak as he gives us an intense look at love and relationships.
5. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee
This classic play has one of the most infamously tense marriages in the English literature canon. Couple George and Martha conduct a night of dangerous fun and games, all the while bickering like nobody's business. But when you find out this couple's secret, you'll be absolutely stunned. Characterized by its sharp-dialogue and its masterful banter, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is one that will stick with you.
6. The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison
While this book was marketed as the new Gone Girl, most readers disagree with that label. However, The Silent Wife is a thrilling, harrowing look at a relationship in its own right. Switching between the voices of Jodi and Tom, you'll be drawn into the dark world of a common-law marriage that is crumbles into a murderous game. While you probably won't like the characters, you'll be on the edge of your seat for what they do to each other next.
7. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
This classic tells the story of a woman who puts it all on the line for a doomed love. After Anna leaves her husband to be with her lover, she's faced with the scorn of Russian society and her life begins to spiral. A tragic tapestry of 19th-century Russia, not only will this book take your breath away, but it will affirm your life choices as Tolstoy shows that getting what you want does not equal happiness.
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