Written by Teresa Prytko
Maybe like is too strong, how about how not to hate it as much?
There is a huge divide on opinions about Valentine’s Day. Generally, it is those who are in a relationship who love it and those who are single who hate it. There are couples everywhere, enjoying their time together, while we are stuck all alone. So, how do we deal with it? There is plenty of advice online, most of it useless, telling single people to “be their own secret admirer” or to make plan with friends instead.
Although these other activities can be enjoyable, it does not address the real issue, the deep-rooted insecurity behind being single. Our society places a heavy emphasis on being in a relationship and as we get older these expectations get more and more overbearing.
We hear stories about how our parents, or other people our parents age, found “the one” when they were young. It seems that within a few years they got married and started a family. Meanwhile, we are around the same age they were and are too scared to call people on the phone, use humor as a coping mechanism and would rather create families on The Sims than in real life.
Times have changed, and our generation is not the same as older ones. We cannot be expected to go through life the same way as those before us.
It is not just society’s fault, however. Not to bring up COVID, but we cannot deny that it negatively impacted not only our ability to meet people but also our social skills which could carry with us in the future. It is also arguably even harder to find good people who will love us for who we are instead of leaving us with more hurt.
Basically, there are a lot of factors going against us.
While these factors can contribute to the negative feeling surrounding the holiday, we cannot deny that the biggest one to blame might be ourselves. That is, our own tendency to ignore what is really going on. We look at (seemingly) happy couples and we say things like “ew” or “I could never”, except we probably don’t mean it.
Instead, we are just projecting our own feelings of loneliness onto them while secretly wishing that we could have what they have. This is not healthy because how can we be happy for ourselves if we cannot be happy for others. If one day we actually find ourselves in a healthy relationship, we would probably not want others to look at us with that same disgust we give others.
This Valentine’s Day instead of numbing the pain with Rom-Coms or a bottle of Rosé (if you are legal of course), maybe try and think about whether or not this applies to you. Working on your self-confidence might be harder than the alternatives, but it could be the way to appreciate the holiday more. Maybe don’t roll your eyes when a couple posts something on Instagram or make rude side-comments to your friends when you see two people holding hands, even if it hurts.
After all, Hating Valentine’s Day is not a personality trait.