I’m 19 years old, and I’ve never had a boyfriend for Valentine’s Day. Even with the pandemic, this year was no different than those past – I was alone yet again.
I started dating my first and only boyfriend almost immediately after Valentine’s Day. I had wanted to spend the day with him, but he had to “walk his brother home from school.” I wasn’t aware that his brother went to school across the country and that this simple task would last all day, but being a sophomore in high school, I accepted this clearly valid excuse and moved on. There’d be plenty of Valentine’s Days to come.
We broke up within the year. I’m now a sophomore in college, and Valentine’s Day has become a holiday only celebrated in the company of wine, chocolates from my mom and corny romantic comedies I don’t enjoy but watch for hours regardless.
For me, Valentine’s Day is the onset of a temporary yet inevitable state of loneliness and depression. However, this year, I had a Barefoot Pink Moscato-induced epiphany. I was so stupid for being sad.
The average American woman lives a little over 80 years. I was 15 when I started my first relationship. Let’s say the first 15 years of life don’t count as valid Valentine’s Days. That would mean, as a 19-year-old, I am only six percent through my Valentine’s Days. SIX PERCENT!
I have 94% of my Valentine’s Days left. Some of those will be spent with future boyfriends. Some of those will be spent with my future husband. Some of those will be spent alone. Maybe some of those will even be spent with my parents or future children. And some of those will be spent with platonic friends, drinking shitty wine and watching shitty movies.
Ultimately, Valentine’s Day is about love. This year, I was with my friends who I love, eating chocolates bought by someone I love and drinking wine I most definitely have a more-than-friends relationship with. These relationships may not be the romantic love I’ve been longing for, but they’re still love, and I’m incredibly lucky to have them.
The other types of love will come in the next 94%.
So if you’re ever feeling sad on Valentine’s Day, just remember that you have decades of Valentine’s Days to celebrate every type of love in your life. Whether it be platonic, romantic, familial or self love, celebrate the love you’re lucky enough to have now.