Each year Valentine’s Day rolls around, the U.S. splits into two camps: Those who are looking forward to the day, and those who range from “not caring about the day” to “hating the day”. Today, I’d like to explore that range a bit and examine some potential roots of distaste toward the promoted day of romantic expression.
Level 1: Indifferent About the Day
Starting the range off – things are pretty harmless and non-negative (notice I didn’t say “positive”). I would go as far as to say there are people who are NOT single who fall into this boat as well. To some people, the day just doesn’t matter. It is just another day — what makes this one special?
People in this group may often point out that you can celebrate (and in most cases, “should celebrate”) your affection toward someone any date of the year — so why just wait until February 14th each year? If you’re going to “be romantic” then do so as much as you and your partner(s) can stomach because none of us know how much time we have. Sort of a “say it before it’s too late” mentality. I ride with that logic.
On the other hand, some people start to creep out of this category closer to the next one when the indifference is rooted in the sense that Valentine’s Day just feels overly engineered.
Level 2: Saying It’s Fake
This category is reserved for those who hate the commercialism associated with the holiday. They question the intentions of everyone involved, from the participants buying things and expressing their devotion to the companies selling their promotional items. The selling of roses spikes and suddenly teddy bears and chocolates are moving off shelves like they’re going out of style.
And I understand that, too. I have been in this phase. Hell, I used to work at Hallmark Cards! I have seen this particular portion of “the machine” from both sides (as the buyer and the seller). I hear you. But… I look at getting out of this particular viewpoint like so: Valentine’s Day represents a sales opportunity for companies, sure — I don’t think that it should symbolize a sales opportunity for individuals.
What I mean by that is, to keep it feeling genuine – put in the work at various points year-round. Whoever you’re trying to express yourself emotionally to that day, it shouldn’t be reliant on the date February 14th. Strive to have your own special days in-between, and maybe look at Valentine’s as an opportunity to publicly declare something or be a bit more grandiose (or subtle) than normal without having the world collectively gag at you or your sweetie pie run away because you’re being weird (just my two cents). It should be the cherry on top, not the whole sundae.
Level 3: Feeling Unworthy of the Day
Raise your hand if you’ve ever said that you’re going to be single forever (and let out a sigh if you’ve ever felt that way, but not necessarily spoken it aloud). I think this is where people head next after scooting past the first two levels of the spectrum. Some part of you may begin to see that “everyone else” (I also did air quotes with that one – LOL) is enjoying the day, and then get a little self-reflective. There may be a little self-reflection going on with questions of, “Why am I always the single one?” floating through your head because some part of you doesn’t want to be.
There are a number of reasons you may be single on Valentine’s Day, but know this — it’s not because you’re unworthy of anything.
It could be timing. It could be the emotional availability of others that you’ve been into. It could be because you’re an asshole (more on that in a bit). It could be because the person or people who are into you are too afraid to let you know how they feel because of the risks involved. It could be because you’re not putting yourself out there. And the list goes on…
But… I would argue that almost everyone on this planet is lovable to the right person. I can’t say that with 100% certainty – but think about it. For nearly every reason you can come up with for why you’re single, you can find someone who fits the bill and is doing just fine in the romance department. Whether it be that someone is generally considered obnoxious, mean, ugly, fat, rude, “difficult”, whiny, “good for nothing”, lazy, shy, selfish, too tall, too short, physically disabled, mentally challenged, etc. — someone else in that camp exists on this planet who is with someone else. Even assholes (bringing it back) find love.
So, yeah — chalk it up to “it’s just not your time yet” and move on, because it’s not a matter of unworthiness on anyone’s part.
Level 4: Hating Valentine’s Day
You can either oscillate between Levels 1-3 or you can say screw what I’ve said up to this point and land in Level 4, where you full-on hate the day. Something about it annoys you, and you just want it to be over. You feel like people put too much stock in it, and you’d rather go and “be ok” on your own or hang with friends. If you’ve gone that route and you aren’t sad (or at least admitting it), fine — do you.
However, some people are MISERABLE on Valentine’s Day and they aren’t afraid to admit it. I argue that the people who are miserable on this day have likely experienced love at some point. They’ve tasted it, so they know it’s real – and now some part of them wants more, and Valentine’s Day is just an annual reminder of something they don’t have that leaves them feeling a little incomplete (although they’d rather not discuss it). You will meet people who respond angrily about Valentine’s Day because of this unspoken fact.
To anyone in or near this state, I just want to remind you that “this” is but a moment. You never know who you may meet, you never know who may admire you… Life is funny that way. Rather than get in the dumps because your prototype may have gotten away from you in the past, or because your clock is ticking and you aren’t getting any younger – let others know how you feel about them on this day (romantically or platonically). TRUST me — this approach will make you feel a lot better than literally skulking around hating an entire day each calendar year.
What is the point of you hating it? Who are you impacting with that besides yourself?
I don’t say that to be defeatist, I am just saying you have better things to do with your time than ever get wrapped up in emotions like hatred. There is always a better and more fulfilling path available to you.
In a time when “love” has been made into such a commodity that we go to phone apps for fixes now, I understand why that’s cheapened the thrill of it all for some. But, as a hopeless romantic, I have to jump in with, “Valentine’s Day is as real as YOU make it.” Do not let the world around you influence and define the meaning of February 14th for you. Hell, do Valentine’s on another day if you want – LOL! People may look at you funny, but that’s on them.
If you fall somewhere in the spectrum above, you’re not alone. I can honestly say that I’ve touched on each of these levels at one point or another, but I now calmly sit at Level 1 (and that’s good enough for me). Facts: Nobody’s perfect, but I like to think Valentine’s Day is for letting SOMEONE ELSE know that they bring a little more of “whatever the word ‘perfection’ is trying to describe” into our lives. *Shrugs*
And I just feel like a day rooted in that fact (once you get past the commercialized parts) can’t be all that bad. Stay hopeful, people.