I have always, without any exceptions, under all circumstances, hated Valentine’s Day. With a burning passion. Ever since I was a child, Valentine’s Day was always just another day of the week for me. I never received any Valentine’s grams or notes from secret admirers or a single rose like on The Bachelor. I always felt like the holiday was overrated, and that it was the one day of the year in which happy couples could rub their relationships and totally irritating, lovey-dovey happiness in all of us single people’s faces — even more than they already did.
Every year, I planned to sit on my sofa or up in my room, gorge on all the chocolate in my household (even the bars filled with almonds or hazelnuts, which I hate), wrap myself up in blankets, and watch Notting Hill or all three Bridget Jones’s Diary movies, while — ironically — feeling a lot like Bridget Jones herself. She never watched Notting Hill, but come on. That heartfelt Julia Roberts one-liner (“I’m also just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.”) seems to get everyone’s tear ducts flowing. (But I guess it would be weird if Bridget Jones watched it, because Hugh Grant was in both movies. Coincidence that I like both, you may ask? No, no it is not.)
Anyway, I always planned to have a cozy night in while pretending not to be lonely and single and depressing. But I never actually got around to it. I guess I was always doing homework, or just forgot entirely. I did always appreciate those awful, photoshopped corny pick-up line cards, though — I still do! But each year, I wondered why I was still single. It wasn’t even necessarily that I wanted a boyfriend, because I knew school was more important and I couldn’t afford any distractions. It was more about the fact that I wanted some sort of validation, something that told me I was worth it and simply good enough. Looking back on it, I can’t imagine why I ever wanted that from a teenage boy, when I could have found it within myself and been a lot happier. (Self love for the win!)
This year, though, I don’t totally hate Valentine’s Day. Part of it has to do with the fact that I have a boyfriend, whose life I am so lucky to be a part of. However, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns like you might expect. Joe and I live in completely different countries. While I’m in the States, he’s in England — which, I can tell you, is never something I expected I’d have to deal with in my first relationship. (Down below, at the very end of this post, you can check out some of the pictures we took last time he was over here!)
“So,” you might be asking, “what’s Valentine’s Day like when you’re in a long distance relationship?” This is my first one, as well as my first Valentine’s Day in a relationship at all, so I definitely haven’t got the hang of it yet. But, to tell you the truth, it’s frustrating. It’s surprisingly even sadder and lonelier than when I was single, because I wasn’t able to be with the one person I truly wanted to be with today. Sure, we did video chat for hours, and texted when we weren’t video chatting, but it just wasn’t the same.
And despite the unexpected, uncharacteristically rainy weather here in Southern California, and despite recovering from my second knee surgery, I still put on a nice dress (over my surgery compression stockings) made up my face, and put on some heart-patterned socks. So maybe it wasn’t all bad. And perhaps Valentine’s Day will grow to make a sappy romantic out of me yet every February 14th…
Remember: If you’re single, please don’t let this silly construct of a holiday, or society’s expectations, tell you how you should feel. Don’t let it make you insecure, because 1) being single isn’t a crime in the slightest & 2) being single / not having a significant other is in no way a reflection of your worth. Not being in a relationship isn’t something that should be frowned upon, even if it is. There are so many different types of love in this world, and waiting for a romantic love so that you can feel validated or ‘worth it’ is completely unnecessary. There’s the kind of love you have for a best friend, the kind of love you have for a sibling or a parent, the kind of love you have for a pet…and so much more. There’s so much more out there than dating, period! Yes, dating is an added bonus to life, but first, find out what truly makes you happy. Find out what your passions are, find out what you love about yourself.
Another note: If you haven’t been in a relationship, or if you haven’t had your first kiss, or if you haven’t had sex, or if you haven’t been asked out… Don’t stress! No matter how much it may feel like one, life is not a race. It shouldn’t be a race. Do these things at your own pace. Don’t rush to do them by a certain age, and remember that if you haven’t, it doesn’t make you weird or an outcast. If you aren’t ready for these things, or if you don’t have any interest in them, that’s absolutely fine too. Remember, it’s your life. Don’t live it to impress anyone or ‘fit in’. Just enjoy it and live your best life!
I hope you all had a great day, regardless of whether you had a valentine to share it with! And don’t forget — all the themed chocolate is going to be cheaper tomorrow. There’s always a bright side. Especially when there’s chocolate involved.