As one of the, undoubtedly, many eligible singles (or so I like to think) floating around JAC this semester, I will be going 18 times out of 18 times for my Valentine’s Day alone. While others may be fine dining, Netflix and Chilling, and doing all the general romancing with their significant other, I will be by myself, wondering why no one wants me but my cat. I’ll put on the sweet melodies of Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran, curl up in my sheets, and cry myself to sleep. Or, at least that’s what I’d do if I wasn’t completely happy with myself despite being single. So, actually, psych! I won’t be doing any of that except for curling up in my bed at some point. Still, Valentine’s Day is a week away and it’s time to address some issues.
So, as a person that’s treated the occasion as any other day, except for having to endure couples being “extra”, I have to wonder, what’s the big deal? After all, if you’re in a relationship with someone, shouldn’t you be cherishing them all the time, and not only on a specific day each year? I do understand that in the modern era, people are busy with their daily lives, and so it’s convenient to have a day specifically to celebrate their relationship. I’m not saying couples shouldn’t have a big celebration every once in a while, though, I don’t see why they all have to do it on the same day. Why not be satisfied with their yearly anniversary? At least that day is actually significant and unique to their relationship. Perhaps even have a monthly celebration if the one day isn’t enough, but to me for all couples to pile on the same day takes away from the individuality of one’s bond.
Now, at this point, the average college student reader is probably thinking, “look at this salty most-likely-a-virgin sap complaining about couples having fun on Valentine’s Day. Pathetic”. And to which I say, touché, because I can’t afford to lower our readership by insulting our readers, but one of the things that has struck me about Valentine’s Day is how artificially about love the day seems to be. Stores sell cards, teddy bears, flowers, and all number of different products to suit anyone’s Valentine’s Day needs. The holiday has basically evolved into a consumerist opportunity for businesses to take advantage of love. Meanwhile, couples seem largely happy enough to partake as it’s easy to pick up something cute without putting much effort into it. Basically, throw enough money into a Valentine’s Day dinner or gift and you guarantee at least a pretty decent and romantic time. However, since when has it been okay to commercialize affection? To me, it seems sad to literally put prices on love, and as there is the expectation for couples to celebrate Valentine’s Day, there’s that pressure to spend money or be seen as weird, or even worse, as not in love. Though, I’m not trying to shame those who do this, and really more power to all of you in loving relationships, but Valentine’s Day is not so much about love as it is about consumption.
I’ll close with a few words for my fellow singles out there. Whether you’re in a relationship or not, it’s not a measurement of your successes nor is it one for your failures. Relationships with others shouldn’t be the defining part of your happiness, it should come from your own personal satisfaction. You should be content and proud with whatever you have to offer, because it is uniquely you. Indeed, putting your heart entirely in the hands of another will almost certainly never end well, and as selfish as this may sound, you’re genuinely the most important person in your life, so don’t neglect you. After all, you can’t expect to take care of others, if you can’t take care of yourself. And if you’re lonely, chances are you’re not alone; there are others in similar situations out there and all you have to do is find them. Sure, rejection is a possibility, but you’ll survive (trust me, I should know). Anyways, perhaps Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be just about the love between couples, but also for that of oneself. Therefore, this Valentine’s Day, don’t forget the importance of loving yourself, because you are certainly worth it.
Image Source: Virginia Rufina Marquez-Pacheco, Science & Tech Editor
Originally published in Bandersnatch Vol. 47 Issue 08 on February 7, 2018