Single and Happy, Except on Valentine’s Day? ASK JANICE

I totally understand why single people dread Valentine’s Day. I get it, I do. But, as I like to remind myself, it’s not as though you aren’t single on February 13th or 15th, too. So why is it so hard being single on February 14th?

Just because greeting card companies, jewelers, florists, and chocolatiers have convinced us it’s a “holiday” for romantic love? So they can pressure us into wasting our hard-earned cash on cards and flowers that’ll end up in the garbage in a couple days? Or on jewelry we can’t afford and fancy chocolate we’re supposed to be avoiding if we want to stick to our New Year’s resolution to lose weight? The resolution that’s barely a month and a half old?

If Valentine’s Day is just the commercialized tool designed to bust our waistlines and break our wallets to enrich the corporations who prey on our need for inclusion that we say it is, then why do so many single people still dread February 14th like it’s different from any other day?

I’ll tell you why.

It’s because no matter how independently, successfully, and happily single you are during the rest of the year, you’ve been programmed by our commercialized cultural to believe that being uncoupled on Valentine’s Day is like being a second-class citizen. You’ve been brainwashed, that’s why!

Think about it. In the midst of all the sappy, over-the-top advertising promoting happy coupledom as the preferred status, marketing towards singles is framed as a second-rate, consolation prize. It’s like someone is out there saying, “We know you’d rather have romantic love and celebrate like the rest of us, but since you’re single, you can’t. Poor you! Here’s an article on ways to make you feel better for being a loser and not having a Valentine’s Day date.”

Right now you can go to Google and start typing “S-I-N-G-L”, and before you even get to the last letter, you’ll see “Single on Valentine’s Day”, or “How to Survive Valentine’s Day Single”. If you click on any one of these, what will follow is a comprehensive, yet sad, list of articles, blog posts, think pieces, and videos all striving to console us poor, miserably single people for being (gasp!) ALONE!

I know what I’m talking about, y’all. I’ve written those same types of pieces myself for this very blog.  

And we buy right into it, don’t we? We actually believe the hype and get all sad, when the reality is, we’re perfectly fine being single on any other day of the year! How crazy is that?

Now, I know that some of us really are lonely and legitimately looking for a real romantic relationship with someone. And yes, we do feel sad and lonely on days other than Valentine’s Day, no matter how brave a face we put on. I know this. I’ve been there.

But not all uncoupled people are sad and lonely. In fact, most of us are out here living out best lives without romantic love. We love being uncoupled and embrace our independence … except on February 14th! Because that’s when we’re programmed to think of singlehood as a bad thing.

We gotta stop this, y’all. We gotta stop letting this ONE day get to us like that. I say, from now on, we ignore the usual signals and marketing efforts to make us feel bad on Valentine’s Day. Let the happy couples celebrate their love to their hearts’ content. They don’t have to bother us.

Instead of us singles feeling disappointed or unloved, let us embrace our singleness on the 14th as stridently as we do on the 13th or 15th or any other day! Let us go about our normal, daily routines, secure in the knowledge that even though we don’t have romantic love in our lives at this time, we’re still lovable, valuable, and worthy!

I realize that I just turned this whole piece into a rallying cry for embracing singlehood on Valentine’s Day, which actually feeds into the whole system that I’m railing against. But that’s ok, though. Y’all know what I mean.

Happy Valentine’s Day!