My First Valentine’s Day Single in 4 Years: Why I’m Not Boycotting the Holiday

I’ve always loved Valentine’s Day.  When I was thirteen, the boy I was crushing on ~formally~ asked me (over text and with lots of heart emojis) to be his valentine. He came into school the next day with a Hershey’s chocolate heart to give me. It was adorable. But, the truth is, I loved Valentine’s Day before I had my first, second, or third valentine. As a kid, my family always made Valentine’s Day a special day. Instead of going out for a romantic dinner for two, and ditching my brother and me at home with a babysitter, my parents would plan something nice for all of us to do together. I loved when Valentine’s Day meant going to the movie theatre with my dad, or eating lollipops with my best friend. It was something to look forward to in the gray, dreary days of February, and at the very least it meant an excuse to wear pink, eat candy, and have a class party in middle school. 

be mine Meli Di Rocco

Flash forward to when things started getting real ~lovey~ in high school—Valentine’s Day only got better. It was now an excuse for me to go out on a date in the middle of the week, and spend time with whomever I was dating at the time. It was always a fun time, full of lots of laughs and love. From year to year, I got champagne gummy bears, prom-posed to through a ukulele performance, and even taken on a date to the World Trade Center Observatory. 

Now, here I am, a first-year in college, and I am about to experience my first Valentine’s Day single in four years. Most of my single friends have always resented the holiday—maybe because it’s a shallow, exploitive, manipulative, capitalist ploy... or maybe, it’s because they’re bitter (you can tell them I said that). But I don’t feel bitter. In fact, I still enjoy the idea of Valentine’s Day.

woman giving a gift to another woman Pexels / Daria Shevtsova

I’ll admit—my admiration for the holiday likely comes from all of my positive experiences with it. Sure, maybe I don’t have plans for it this year, but, as I’ve shared, I’ve clearly made some fun memories with the day. In this way, I’m jaded. The objective of this article is not to convince every single person out there that Valentine’s Day should be their favorite holiday (that should be Halloween). I suppose the reason I’m writing this is to say this: Valentine’s Day is not a holiday exclusive to couples. It’s a day dedicated to love— all kinds of love. It’s great if it is full of kisses and hugs but it doesn’t have to be. I know this Valentine’s Day, I will be sending some messages of love and affirmations to my best friends, taking the day as an opportunity to reinforce to them how much I care for them. I’m not quite sure what my plans will look like, but I will likely get some dinner with my close friends, and enjoy their company. I might also take some time for myself. I definitely wouldn’t mind spending the night in my dorm room with a tub of dairy-free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Netflix— and that isn’t because I’m heartbroken, but because what better way to show myself some love?  So whether you’re celebrating romance, friendship, or self-love (or all three), let yourself enjoy Valentine’s Day this year. Or, ignore everything I said and just resort to stomping on flowers, Insta-stalking your ex, and boycotting the holiday as a whole. I mean, whatever floats your boat… or... heart-shaped balloon?