It took finally finding a Valentine for me to realize just how unimportant Valentine’s day is. Who needs to eat more chocolate anyways? And I’d like to think that no adult out there genuinely wants a new teddy bear – or at least, I hope.
But don’t get me wrong – I think that you should take every chance you get to tell the person you love that you love them. As with Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or birthdays, Valentine’s day is a time to appreciate your loved one. But no one, and I mean no one, should feel left out or unappreciated just because they happen to be single and it happens to be February 14th. If you’re single, then Valentine’s Day should be looked at as a day to love yourself.
I can recall being bummed about V-Day as early as first grade. First grade! I was taller than all of the boys and had no chance of anyone ever having a crush on me (whatever crush really means at that age). I took it to heart – and I was only 5 or 6. Every year February rolled around and I found a reason to think something was wrong with me for an entire day. Eventually a day of questioning and self-doubt seeped into weeks, and then months. I became perpetually bummed that I had no boyfriend or crush, even though I was just an elementary kid. Now that I’m older (and a little wiser) it’s hard to believe I was that young and that forlorn.
It wasn’t until fifth grade that I had a Valentine, if you could even call him that. The boy across the street from me, who I had a humongous crush on for years, gave me a little teddy bear and a rose. I’ve never felt butterflies in my stomach like I did that day. But just moments after giving me the gift of my dreams, he proclaimed that he had a crush on my neighbor and went to give her a bigger bear and more flowers. The butterflies turned into boulders. Although his present made me feel special for just a moment, his confession made me feel rejected.
It wasn’t until college I had an actual Valentine, and I have to say, our first V-Day together was pretty exciting. I can still remember his gift because it was very thoughtful and detailed. We had become “official” just a month before, so our relationship was still new and exhilarating. We were really getting to know each other, and having a romantic Valentine’s Day was an important part of that process.
Flash forward to a few years later and we’re still together but we don’t take part in typical Valentine’s Day activities. We’ll be getting dinner together in a few days as just a regular date, but maybe you could call it a postponed Valentine’s day. No gifts or cheesy cards, just an opportunity to complain about our jobs over a good meal and a nice drink.
Though it’s taken me awhile to get to this point, if anything were to happen and I were to be single again, I’d be okay on Valentine’s Day. Though it’s pretty obvious, I finally know that there’s nothing wrong with being single – it only took being in a committed relationship for me understand.
So for all you single guys and gals out there, take this day to remember what makes you special. Treat yourself to something nice. Relax and rejoice in life. You’ll find someone eventually, but today’s not that day. If I’m ever single again I’ll think back to that day in fifth grade when my crush gave me a bear and a rose and told me he liked someone else. He taught me something special that day, and although I didn’t understand it in the moment, I do now. Life goes on. You change. People change. Love is special, but it can’t be forced. When it’s right, it’s right.
You may not always be with your boyfriend or girlfriend, but you will always be with yourself. Start loving you today.