Yes, Singles, You Can Ignore Valentine’s Day
You don’t have to buy crap or spoil yourself just because couples feel pressured to show their love
I’m not a fan of Valentine’s Day. Like a lot of other people, I’d rather feel loved, be told that I am loved and be shown it many more times a year than just one, V-Day.
OK, I get it — for some people, even people who say they don’t want anyone to make a big deal out of day may indeed feel bad if something romantic doesn’t happen. Because we humans are funny that way. Which is why we see so many articles on how to make this Valentine’s Day the best ever … and just as many recommending you stay with the tried-and-true romantic dinner, roses, Champagne, chocolates and diamonds (which will set you back more than $500).
Still, if we have to turn to “experts” to tell us what to buy a loved one or how to celebrate, what does that say about our relationship? Honestly, I’d rather be single than be with someone that clueless about me and what I like.
V-Day makes women feel bad
But, let’s look what happens to those who don’t have romantic partners on V-Day; they (and let’s be honest who “they” are — women) are told how to survive it (like it’s a disease?), which often means they (aka women) are told to do something nice for themselves, which means they should buy into the consumerism aspect of the “holiday” (and what holiday nowadays isn’t about consumption?), have a party, binge-watch TV and booze up so that Valentine’s Day is less about romantic love but a celebration of all sorts of love.
But, is it wrong if romantic partners have a day — no matter how commercial — to express their love? Must that day be a day that makes the unpartnered feel bad or have to go out of their way to make themselves not feel bad? Because all the advice singles get on how we should be showering ourselves with self-love and splurging this Feb. 14 just puts more unnecessary pressure on us to do something — anything — on this manufactured holiday.
Speaking of which, I really would love to get rid of the shoulds of the world because no “should” has ever made any of us feel good and authentic. It just makes us feel guilty and diminished, and thus we act on something we don’t necessarily want to do. Instead of speaking our truth.
What man feels like he should be kind to himself on V-Day?
And, again, the only ones who seem to have this kind of thinking shoved down their throats are women. What man feels like he should be kind to himself on V-Day? What does that say about what society thinks about women? What does that say about what we women think about ourselves? Can we gals do better? I actually believe we can.
Which is not to say that men who want a relationship and don’t have one don’t feel bad about it; I’m sure they do. In fact, a recent article on 40-something New York bachelors who wish they could find love received a lot of less-than-sympathetic “welcome to the club” letters from women. Still, we rarely see articles advising men on how to survive “holidays” like Valentine’s Day, and the few that are out there give the same crappy advice women get (but also tell men to see it as a “Get out of jail” card; hmm). Perhaps men could actually use some help or at least some support. Maybe we’re ignoring or somehow diminishing some men’s romantic sadness. Maybe we as a society need to explore that.
I am all for singles happily and openly loving their lives, whether they’re single at heart or single by circumstance and hoping to meet someone special some day. But couldn’t we just be happy for our loved ones who are coupled and for whom V-day might “mean something” while also being thankful — or maybe relieved — that we don’t have to feel pressured into proving something to anyone, even ourselves?
But if that’s what you want to do, go for it. Go hang with your gal pals or have a spa day or celebrate in whatever way that honors who you are as long as you’re doing it because it feels authentic. And you don’t have to wait to be kind to yourself until you’re told you should. Really!
Originally published at omgchronicles.vickilarson.com.