Navigating Valentines Day

Valentine’s Day crops up at the worst fucking time every year, it’s just after January which everyone knows is the darkest, coldest and most depressing month and a lot of people are still coming out of that major post-christmas funk. And this time of year is always so daunting, the pressure to achieve everything you’ve ever wanted is at its strongest, (you gotta love those New Year’s resolutions). So, in other words, if you’re single yet again when February rolls around it’s the fucking cherry on top.

University can be isolating and lonely enough as it is without bringing sex or romance into the equation. Often it can seem like everyone else is dating or hooking up, or going on numerous dick appointments. There’s not even relief found in going home, all your family ask is if you’ve found a significant other yet, as if time is running out - I’m only 19!!!! These attitudes and anxieties are captured so perfectly on Lily Allen’s 22: “it's sad but it's true how society says her life is already over, there’s nothing to do and there's nothing to say, til the man of her dreams comes along, picks her up and puts her over his shoulder”.

Heteronormative, romantic relationships are relentlessly forced upon us at all angles by the media and pop culture. Being happily single is very rarely championed. Admittedly, it’s slowly progressing in some aspects, with a rise of ‘girl power’ reflected in bops like Thank U, Next (big up Ariana Grande, a single queen). And, of course, the amazing Leslie Knope of Parks and Recreation, brought us the legendary term “Galentine’s”, which reflects the that same feeling of celebratory girl power and self-validation.

Still, it seems there’s this intense pressure to be either in a relationship or actively seeking one and it can be really fucking tiring. Pinning your whole happiness on your dating life, or lack thereof, is then most unhealthy thing that society teaches people to do (especially young girls). We are constantly encouraged from a young age to find validation in other people and not in ourselves.

There’s so much more in life that can contribute towards your happiness and self peace than a relationship: find interests that fulfil you, find friends that have your back always, just live for yourself first. As the best bad bitch Sza said back in 2018, “Look in the mirror. Figure out what u need. Give it to urself.”

So, show yourself some love and resist the urge to watch Bridget Jones and cry. Hang out with your friends, drink some wine, do a face mask, light a candle, make a playlist filled with positive, uplifting tunes. Just be kind to yourself, because I promise that you’re doing fucking amazing.