"All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt."
Winning as a single lady on Valentine's Day!
For most of my 29 years of life I have loathed Valentine's Day. I disliked the pressure that went into it. As a child I always had to decorate a box and give everyone in my class a card (even the kids I did not like), and of course everyone got judged by who gave the coolest cards. In case you were wondering, I did not give the coolest cards.
Fast forward to high school, where I'm starting to realize that I am queer, but still trying to act straight. Valentine’s Days now consist of more expensive cards, flowers, dinner, and maybe sex. I found that there was even more pressure than before and that it took away from the romance for me.
College years hit, and it's now an epic crisis if you find yourself single on Valentine's Day, or so say my dorm mates and Cosmopolitan Magazine. If you are single on Valentine's Day, then you must be a loser and sit at hom, eat chocolate, and cry into your pillow. If you have a significant other, then everyone is comparing where they are going for dinner and who got the biggest bouquet of flowers. Again there was all this pressure and lack of originality that I saw with my friends and, occasionally, my partners.
So I grew to hate Valentine's Day and labeled it as my least favorite holiday. I loathed the idea that one day out of the year, everyone went out to dinner, got the same types of flowers, and professed their love. I thought that it should be like this all year long and I didn't want the same plans as everyone else.
Then I lived with my first romantic partner. I got caught up in making Valentine’s Day plans for three years in a row and all three years, some idiotic thing happened to ruin them. But my partner and I made the best of it and I discovered that I did not need big epic plans to feel romance. I needed a hand written note, someone to do the dishes, chocolate, and some sex to make my day.
Then I was single again on Valentine’s Day. As the holiday got closer, I expected those old feelings of hatred to surface, but they didn't.
This year, for Valentine's Day, I celebrated on my own terms. I spent the day being nice to others (my way of spreading the love), eating free chocolate at work, and getting a few random Valentine’s Day presents from friends. I found myself smiling and laughing, not feeling lonely or angry. I went out with a couple of single friends for coffee, and we all talked about the perks of single life. I reflected on the things about myself that I love and how I should appreciate myself every day of the year. I took a nice hot bath and lit some candles. I pampered and took care of myself. And the next day I went to the store and bought a bunch of half price Valentine's Day candy and took it to work to share with my co-workers.
I think I finally understand that for me Valentine's Day has become a day of self love and self care. And I'm good with that.