Dear single people: Valentine’s Day is not about you

Courtesy of USC
Courtesy of USC

Valentine’s Day is a holiday that dredges up all sorts of emotions. For some it’s simply February 14 and for others it’s “Singles Awareness Day.”

I love Valentine’s Day. I’m single, not particularly a fan of romantic comedies or Nicholas Sparks related things — tortured love stories, such as “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” or “(500) Days of Summer” are more my cup of tea — but Valentine’s Day is a holiday I enjoy nonetheless.

Valentine’s Day can be rough for many members of the single crowd, but I’m here to propose approaching this holiday with an alternative attitude — no more feeling sorry for yourself, and it’s time to come to this harsh realization: Single people, it’s not about you.

Valentine’s Day is not about single people no matter the myriad of bitter tweets out there. This is a holiday for people in love or even “in like” with each other.

I suspect some couples who have been together for some time might get stuck in a rut, and maybe Valentine’s Day is a day for them to reignite the flame. Perhaps this is the day a new couple decides to utter the words “I love you.” In either case, be happy for them. It’s liberating to put aside bitterness and be jubilant alongside your friends in relationships.

The reality is, being in a relationship does not constitute a higher state of being. It does not mean people in relationships have attained nirvana. It’s simply a way of being, just as singlehood is.

Certainly there is a whole slew of couples out there that do not enjoy Valentine’s Day. They may see it as a day of forced affections and pressure, which is an understandable perspective. You don’t have to like it. You may find yourself tempted to go on a “This is a holiday created by Hallmark and candy companies” rant. It’s fine to have opinions and to not enjoy this day, but don’t make it your mission to bring down other people whether it be “You shouldn’t need a specific day to show your love for someone,” or “It’s all about capitalism.” While these claims may have some validity, they miss the point entirely. People deserve to feel special and in reality, no one has the power to make their significant other feel loved 365 days a year. Instead of psychoanalyzing couples, wish them joy.

If you see a couple kissing or exchanging gifts on your way to class or at a restaurant, be happy for them. Bitterness takes a lot out of you. It’s no way to feel. Maybe somewhere down the line you’ll be a part of one of those corny couples.

Remember that being single is not a negative thing. In fact, in many cases it’s healthy, but feeling lonely is another story. If you find yourself in low spirits, try hanging out with a friend or doing something nice for yourself.

Keep in mind that you are not missing out on anything. Being single versus being in a relationship are only different experiences — both quite enjoyable if one approaches them with a healthy attitude.

At the same time, don’t allow people in relationships to pity you. If you don’t want to be a third wheel or be set up, then politely decline. Try on a new perspective for size. Don’t be that person whining on Facebook about how it sucks being single on Valentine’s Day.

I hope you find love this Valentine’s Day, no matter the source — yourself, friends, family members or a significant other. It’s no less valuable if it doesn’t come from a romantic partner. In being happy and appreciating love for others, you’ll find happiness and love within yourself.

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