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This time last year, I was gearing up for the Valentine’s Day date of my dreams with my then-partner (now ex-partner, the quarantine breakup was real). Looking back on that night, it ended up being everything I didn’t want it to be; he was late, there was no parking so we walked five blocks in the freezing cold to get to the restaurant, and he ended up taking me home to meet his parents for the first time (big yikes). Honestly, I should have broken up with him then and there, but that’s a story for a different day.

Now thankfully, the only person I have to date this heart day is myself which, let’s be honest, is the ultimate dream date. After a year of emotional, physical, and worldly turmoil, I for one am delighted to spend an entire day focused on loving myself. Last year, I had this larger-than-life Valentine’s Day fantasy planned out in my head where I would magically float down my stairs, hair cascading down my back, looking out my front door to see my date standing outside with four-dozen roses while harmonious angel voices serenaded me. Obviously having expectations this high was only setting myself up for disappointment (which was only solidified when I got a text after he was already 30 minutes late asking if I could pick him up from work…it was definitely not the dream I had imagined). This year, I plan on being much more reasonable with myself and honestly, it will be magical enough if I remember to brush my hair.

Another part of my dream date fantasy from last year was the evening’s itinerary. Now with me being a Virgo, perfectionist, and self-proclaimed control freak, I am very hesitant to let other people make the plans because they usually do not live up to my standards. That being said, it was my ultimate fantasy to have the perfect Valentine’s Day plans made for me, so last year when he offered to make all of the plans, I swooned. At first, having the pressure of making plans taken off of me was great. I felt so special and taken care of knowing that there was someone else trying to make a night perfect for me. Inevitably, those plans failed after he was held up at work, forcing me to drive to pick him up, which made us late for the reservation. I’ll give him credit here though, he did call to tell the restaurant we would be late, and the restaurant was able to move tables around for us to ensure that we would still be seated. But then, because it was dinner hour on one of the busiest nights of the year to eat out, there was no parking. As a result, we drove around mindlessly for another 20 minutes before finding a spot that still required a 15-minute walk to the restaurant. It was freezing and I was in heels and a skirt— my fantasy was already ruined.

By the time we finally got to the restaurant, we were half an hour late to our altered reservation time, and understandably they could no longer serve us (cue him trying to save the day and bring me to his house for dinner). This was a sweet gesture, except for the fact that his parents and siblings were home, all of whom I had never met before. We ended up having take-out with his parents over an ocean of awkward small talk and then I went home, no romance at all. Thank goodness this year I will be able to plan my own itinerary. I will be treating myself to a Starbucks caramel macchiato, taking a bubble bath while listening to my favourite love songs and finishing my day with a perfectly corny rom-com. Best of all, these activities will happen on schedule and there will be no small talk in sight. Overall, Valentine’s Day is going to look a lot different for me this year, but I can truthfully say it will be the date of my dreams. 

Caroline is a fourth year student at Ryerson University studying Performance: Production & Design! She is a self-proclaimed Coke Zero Enthusiast, Proud Virgo, and INTJ. On her days off you can find her on her yoga mat, exploring the wilderness, or writing her next article. She is looking forward to the resurgence of all things theatre and until then will be patiently waiting to return to the backstage.
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