As a twenty-something who has been on both sides of the relationship spectrum, I have to admit the holidays are easier (not necessarily better) when you celebrate them with a significant other. There are many holidays that isolate singles, but one of the worst is Valentine’s Day. Until this year, I dreaded going Valentine’s Day alone.
I started 2014 as a single lady, and worried about the string of holidays I might spend alone this year (Really, who wants to be alone on President’s Day?) When I complained about my singleness to a wise, married friend, she asked me why I put so much pressure on myself to fit a certain ideal, when I didn’t want the actuality. When I compare my expectations of holidays with my values and goals, the two don’t always match. I made a short list of reasons why ditching those V-day notions could be a freeing experience, and why this holiday might not have to suck.
Expectations v. Reality
Expectation: You are supposed to buy tacky gifts for your significant other, or receive them and pretend to love them.
Reality: I don’t know any grown ass individual who needs more stuffed animals in their life. If you want to buy something, buy something the other person loves and can actually use. If you’re single, you can always exchange gifts with friends, or you can treat yourself.
Expectation: You have to publicly celebrate this holiday all day, or you might as well stay in bed.
Reality: You don’t have to meet this holiday’s insane expectations for true love. Everyone wants true love and romance, but cramming gifts and fancy dinners into a 24 hour span is stressful and overwhelming. If you’re a couple, remember the day is not a contest, but an opportunity to celebrate each other. If you’re single, the inevitable ambush of balloons and red may feel cruel or ridiculous, but so is Columbus Day.
Expectation 3: This day is all about candy grams, romance, flowers, PDA, and heartfelt moments. If your day doesn’t sound like the previous description, you are a loser.
Reality: Celebrate the things you do have, whether you are celebrating that with friends, a significant other, or yourself. This year I’m celebrating Kevin Spacey by watching the new season of House of Cards. Godiva, fitness yoga, and creating work I love will also make guest appearances today.
Valentine’s Day might still be one of my less-favorite holidays, but I’m looking forward to my first Vday that doesn’t suck.