Valentine's Day is taking over the world yet again and, from what I can tell, most people find it to be a source of stress. People in troubled relationships are troubled. People who've just broken up are pensive or sad. People who've just started relationships are freaking out about how to observe or not observe the day. People in casual relationships have a huge dilemma on their hands. And it's also the most common time for breakups. Even people in happy relationships have all his pressure to have the perfect date and perfect gift. I assume some people think the holiday is fun, but I don't think I know any of those people. So given all the importance placed on this holiday and all the stress it creates, you'd think that for someone who's always been single, like me, Valentine's Day would be hell. But it's actually the opposite. I just don't give a damn.
I've never been in a relationship, not once. Which is not to say there haven't been guys in my life, just that none of them have ever turned into relationships. I've been single my entire life, and even though objectively I can recognize that that's pretty weird, it doesn't feel weird to me. It feels like the way my life has worked out. Being single is normal for me, and until such a time as that starts making me unhappy, I've more or less decided not to care. Every February 14th I ask myself, honestly, "Is it a problem that I'm still single?" And I think of where my life is at and of all the boys I know that I could theoretically be dating, and I almost always answer myself, "Nah." And then I go on with my Valentine's Day, which for me is just another day.
We've all heard the classic counter-narrative that if you're single that's fine, you don't need a man. And then, of course, we also hear people using it as an excuse to "smarten up, ladies," and find ourselves a man. We've been told all kinds of things, but I can offer some advice to people who are looking for a new perspective on this holiday: it's actually a ridiculously funny event.
Think about it: This is a holiday that started as the anniversary of the day Saint Valentine was beheaded, and it somehow became about a Hallmark version of love. It's a day when the sappiest, most ludicrous version of love is celebrated while people who enjoy real love in real relationships are made to feel insecure about "celebrating right." It's a time to eat chocolate in the name of love, send pink cards in the name of love, decorate with fat, flying babies armed with bows and arrows in the name of love. And yet none of it has anything to do with love, the real kind, the kind you feel for another person. It's pretty ridiculous when you think of it.
So why worry about it? I have no idea. But then again, I've never needed to. For me Valentine's Day is the height of irrelevance. I don't need people to try to assure me I'm fine without a man because I already know that and don't see a reason to forget it on February 14th. I don't need people telling me how great love is, because I've seen enough wonderful, loving relationships to know that, plus I love a ton of people non-romantically, and I enjoy that the other 364 days a year, too. And I sure as hell know better than to think I need to "smarten up" and find myself a husband.
I don't give a damn about Valentine's Day, and I probably never will, even if and when I find myself in a relationship. So if I can offer any advice to the rest of you, it's this: enjoy today if the holiday is fun for you, and roll your eyes and ignore it if it isn't. And either way, you have to check out all that discount chocolate on the 15th. Trust me.
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