Being Single on Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day: it’s a day that most couples look forward to, and a day that most single people dread.  As a girl who never had many boyfriends, I can totally understand the latter: but now that I am in a relationship, I understand more than ever why being single on, especially on Valentine’s Day, actually isn’t all that bad.  Our society hypes up relationships to an extreme.  Because of this, Valentine’s Day has a way of tricking people into thinking that they need a significant other to be happy, but I am here to debunk that myth once and for all: you are all you need.

I love my boyfriend very much, and honestly, I am excited that I have somebody to celebrate with this year.  However, looking back, I really appreciate the years that I spent alone on Valentine’s Day.  At the time, it wasn’t a great feeling… but I can now say that I learned a lot about myself in the years I was single.  I worked on myself, figured out what I liked, thought about my desires in life, and determined what I’d be able to bring to the table when I (eventually) got into a relationship.  I genuinely don’t believe my relationship would be as successful and happy as it is, had I not spent some time putting myself first.

Being single also taught me a lot about being independent.  While I’ve always considered myself an independent person, spending time on my own showed me that there is a certain empowerment that comes with being self-sufficient.  I became stronger emotionally, and overall a happier individual.  Learning to be there for myself helped me become more successful academically, and socially.  There is so much beauty in being able to do things by yourself, and it is so liberating to feel like you don’t need to rely on anyone else to sustain your own happiness.

Finally, I think one of the best parts about being single is having ample time to nurture your relationships with loved ones. Spending time with people who lift you up is important whether you are in a relationship or not, but I found it helped alleviate some of the “down moments” that come with being single.  I found that when I was single, I became closer with some of my friends and family, and it’s because I didn’t have to put most of energy into building a relationship with a significant other.  During that time, I think I really developed a lot of my friendships into lifelong relationships, and it’s because I was able to wholly focus my energy on that.

To conclude, I believe that being single is a luxury that can easily be taken for granted.  When holidays like Valentine’s Day roll around, it’s easy to feel bitter about the couples posting Instagram photos dedicated to one another.  However, remember that in order to be happy, you must first be happy with yourself.  Being single allows the perfect platform to becoming your full self: in all your beautiful, independent glory. 

Jenna Toth is a second year student at the University of Vermont, majoring in public communication. Jenna is no stranger to the world of writing-- her grandfather, Owen Canfield, is a former sports writer for the Hartford Courant in Connecticut. She considers him one of her biggest inspirations when it comes to writing. During her downtime, Jenna enjoys long walks to the fridge, playing songs on her ukulele, and cuddling with her black lab, Oliver.
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