Honestly, I can see why people think Valentine’s day sucks, but I spent 17 years crying on the February holiday before I realized I was always going to be disappointed until I was happy being my own damn valentine.
You all better believe that I’m about to dump a ton of self-love inspiration on you. It’s February and the season of love is right around the corner and, let me tell you, self-love is the best love. So buckle up.
Valentine’s Day can be one of the loneliest days of the year for some people. Until recently, I was one of those people. It seems like I always had a boyfriend or was at least talking to someone on every holiday except for Valentine’s Day. It began to feel like some kind of messed up sign, that I was destined to never have a relationship that would last a full year, much less a lifetime, and the fact that the holiday that skipped over me was Valentine’s made everything that much more sour.
But, in 2020, I had recently broken up with my toxic ex-boyfriend and I had to face my first holiday alone. It was, unsurprisingly, Valentine’s Day. I remember having a whole pity party for myself, thinking, “Of course this happened to me,” as if the universe was out to get me. But as I was preparing myself to deal with my best friend’s Valentine’s Day post about her boyfriend of two years and seeing the brightly colored reminder of the pink and red candy boxes at the grocery store, I decided I wasn’t going to feel bad for myself. Especially not for not having someone there to love me and instead decided I was going to do it myself. Self-love has never been something that comes naturally to me, but I used Valentine’s Day, the literal holiday of love, as an excuse to be nice to myself for a whole 24 hours. I didn’t even go out by myself, I spent that day with my family and friends and just thought about how proud I was for taking care of me and how happy I was that I wasn’t spending another holiday crying over someone else’s actions.
That day of forcing myself to love the person I was carried onto the next day, and then to the next, and then I realized that I wasn’t as critical of myself anymore. Of course, I still have days where I look in the mirror and can’t seem to find a single thing to celebrate, but they are overwhelmed by the days that I look in the mirror and can appreciate what I see. And I truly give credit to that first Valentine’s Day that I decided to be my own valentine.
Ever since then, Valentine’s Day doesn’t even reflect relationship love as the number one thing in my brain, it reflects all the types of love on the planet, starting with the love we show ourselves. So, I find myself getting excited when February comes around because I have an acceptance of so much more. I even drew cute little hearts on my calendar because I have become so comfortable with the idea that Valentine’s Day is not meant just for couples. It’s meant for mothers and daughters, best friends, your childhood dog, literally any being on this planet that makes you feel warm inside, including yourself.
It’s a hard lesson to learn, especially since society is constantly telling people, especially young girls, that their value is largely dependent on the status of their relationship, but once you learn to not give a f*ck, your life gets so much brighter. So, this Valentine’s Day, find some time for yourself, even if it’s 30 seconds to admire how hot you are in the mirror, and remember that you have to love yourself before you can love anyone else. So, why not start falling in love with who you are on Valentine’s Day?