We are currently moving into the time of year where our email has begun to fill up with cheesy advertisement of gifts for him or her, simultaneously as all shops are filled with heart formed chocolate, roses and fluffy teddy bears. As this was not enough, articles with the headline of “The perfect Valentine’s gift for your partner” and “The Unforgettable Date Night” begins to occupy news pages.
Valentine’s Day is that annual kick in the groin all single person’s dread. The annual romantic and all-hearts day seem to work more as a slap in the face to all singles, or a condescending reminder that “yup, your single this year too”. The day is approaching by leaps and bounds, resulting in many singles swiping right like desperate slaves of love. But can you blame us? Surrounded by hand-holding love-struck couples ensuring us that “you’ll find the one soon”. Yes, my horoscope seems to agree on that too… But honestly, why are we so afraid of being single for one day, and not the 364 other days of the year?
While researching for this article, I found headlines like “Single on Valentine’s day? Here’s how to survive”. Seriously? Brought to the head of course but still… When did Valentines become a matter of life or death? Instead of agonizing ourselves with the thought of being single on a day like Valentines, we should rather embrace it. And is it really that bad to be single? Let’s summarize some bullet points;
Having freedom to make plans or decisions without having to check with another person. Doing number two in peace and quiet. Being able to take as long as you want to get ready without having someone in the next room fussing over the time. The fizzy expectation of going out on a Friday night and possibly meeting someone great (sort of like a SodaStream for your heart). Having time to hang out with your friends, additionally as none of them complain they never see you anymore. Binge-watch an entire season of a show on Netflix with no guilt about your significant other falling behind. Cooking whatever you want for dinner, whenever. Having the whole bed for yourself, to roll around as you like. Hilarious retrospectively dating stories to tell your friends. You can watch Real Housewives or The Bachelor without being judged. You have more time for self-care and focusing on you.
…It doesn’t seem all that bad to me?
Let’s talk about another side of this romantic day; consumption. Every year the consumption tied to Valentines increases, and last year the total expected spending on Valentines was 20.7 billion U.S. dollars. The day is supposed to be a celebration of love, but has it actually turned into another excuse to spend money? In many cases, probably. As nice as it is to get flowers on Valentine’s day, is it not more genuine to receive flowers or another romantic reminder on a random day, when you least expect it? I fear Valentine’s day have become so exaggerated and red-hot that receiving gifts feels more like a matter of course, rather than a romantic surprise, which sort of makes the whole concept frays. So, if you are in a relationship, how about embracing the love and not the over-consummation this year?
Another thing I began to wonder about was dissatisfaction as a basic trait in humans nowadays. Meaning, in most of the times throughout our lives we learn that we often want the things we don’t have. If you have a sister, you want a brother. If you are blond, you want to be a brunette. If you are short, you want to be tall. If you have freckles, you would rather not have them. And vice versa. I believe the same goes for having a boyfriend and being single. People who are in a relationship might envy singles sometimes for the fizzy freedom feeling or having more times for friends, and single persons envy couples for being high on love, having someone to share their life with, and not least, a permanent spooning partner. We are world champions in complaining and constantly yearning for thing we don’t have, instead of appreciating what we actually have.
Valentines is originally a day to celebrate love. But who is Valentines, or the society for that matter, to define love by a relationship? Galentine’s day has gained a lot of attention in recent years, with an increasing number of women, both single and in relationships, using the day to celebrate and appreciate the strength of their female friendship. I believe this portrays an important and valuable side of Valentines, with the main focus on embracing love instead of defining it to a romantic relationship. Love is what makes us humans. Without love there would be no acts of kindness, passion, happiness or positive growth. We require love to live, more importantly for a life worth living. So, single or in a relationship – love is all around. Maybe I don’t feel it in my finger or in my toes, but honestly, I didn’t feel it in my fingers being in a relationship either (spoiler alert). And frequently, who really does? Wet Wet Wet?
Quoting Carrie Bradshaw in the end to give a nice reminder to all singles out there;
“Being single used to mean nobody wanted you. Now it means you’re sexy you’re taking time figuring out what to do with your life and who to spend it with”.
Like Beyoncé singes it,
All the singles ladies: put your hands (bottoms) up!