Let’s address the elephant in the room: Valentine’s Day is looming.
Interesting word… looming.
But if you’re single and you place a lot of importance on your relationship status — not to mention still dream about what you think a perfect Valentine’s Day should look like but have yet to ever actually experience — I’m guessing a big, loud part of your being is dreading it and just wishing it was over, already.
I totally get it. Because I’ve been there, too.
One particular February 14this probably forever seared on my brain. Post-breakup, I was in my gym rat, you’ll be sorry you ever dumped me when you see my bangin’ body now phase… so I chose to spend it at the gym. Don’t so many magazines and well-meaning friends suggest you do something nice – i.e., healthy – for yourself? And isn’t it a great way to release all that pent-up energy? And deeply-seeded anger? And maybe even some simmering sexual frustration?
Setting up for class, the instructor’s greeting to the packed room was, “so I guess we’re all the losers who don’t have dates tonight.”
It stung. It cut deep enough that I thought to myself, “wow… you judgmental bitch,” and immediately wanted to leave.
But I didn’t. I get points for pretending to laugh along with all the others, right?
And then my genius plan a mere few years – post-yet-another-breakup – saw me back at that same gym. This time, it was my attempt at a care-free, breezy — but not near 100% genuine — gesture to take the pressure off the new, super athletic guy I was seeing. I figured he’d be thinking it was just way too soon for any kind of romance, and so to whom I’d declared I was going to spend the evening “running sprints until I puked.”
Hadn’t I so evolved?
But if you currently find yourself on your own… how will you spend the day?
Curled up in the fetal position somewhere mourning relationships past?
On a date, just for the sake of being on a date?
In your jammies on the couch with the biggest-ass box of chocolates you could find, and a bottle of wine to wash it all down? Or whatever is your idea of nice gifts from you to you.
Going out of your way to mock and challenge everything red, rose and romance-related?
Doing up a big Galentine’s bash with your friends?
Defiantly pretending not to notice it at all?
Well, here’s the thing…
None of that is wrong.
But as unfortunately seems to be the case with many things these days, it’s not at all necessary to turn yet another celebratory day into an Us versus Them scenario. In the end, it should have nothing to do with judgments and making anyone – in this case, couples – better or right, and so making being single in any way wrong. Somewhere along the way, it often feels like couplehood became the gold standard, considered inherently more valuable when stacked up against the then supposedly more lowly — yet often admired and applauded for their independence – still shameful singles.
Not all couples are happy.
Not all singles are lonely.
Definitions get blurry sometimes. Of course, you can grab your trusty old Webster’s Dictionary, or Google is always at your fingertips. In everyday practice, though, we often give words their own meaning.
Like, what is your “primary relationship”?
And if you just got thoroughly annoyed with me and fired back that, thanks for twisting that knife in my back, just like the fitness instructor you called a bitch, Bitch… I will challenge you to shift your thinking.
It came as big news to me personally back several years ago now, to learn that your primary relationship is not actually a romantic one.
It is with you. Always and forever.
And while it may not always seem necessarily easy, it really is that simple.
So go do whatever you need or want to, to be kind to yourself, that celebrates you and makes you happy.