Sleepless in California: When Valentine’s Day Is Better Single

Here’s a (not-so-secret) secret about me — I absolutely adore love. In high school, I was a wing-woman extraordinaire, talking up my friends to potential boyfriends and supporting both awkward first-date efforts and promposals. Romantic comedies are my bread and butter: in my opinion, classics like Better Off Dead and Roman Holiday are some of the greatest movies ever made. I believe that love is the greatest thing there is. I also believe that Valentine’s Day is just as good, if not better, when you’re single. Surprised? You shouldn’t be.

Being anti-Valentine’s Day is nothing new or unique. There have always been people who roll their eyes when February 14th comes around, annoyed at either their own lack of romantic prospects or at the perceived commercialization of love. It’s true that we don’t need one specific day to celebrate love, but the same can be said of so many other holidays. After all, we shouldn’t need Veterans Day to remember service members, or Thanksgiving to show gratitude, and yet we celebrate them anyway.Image source: Pexels

In a society that’s cluttered with so many other things, it’s nice to have a reminder to slow down and see how beautiful life is. Focusing on just the romantic aspect of Valentine’s Day diminishes its meaning. Love is expressed in an incredibly large number of ways, most of which have nothing to do with being in a relationship. You see love when your dog greets you home after a long week, smiling and wagging its tail. You see love when your friends take you for Boba after a long day or when your mother calls to ask how life is going.

Most of all, love is an expression of our place in the world. It’s the belief that at the end of everything, there is a reason why we continue to breathe. It comes when we make peace with ourselves. You don’t need someone else to fill gaps inside your heart because there are no gaps. You’re already a complete person, and until you know how to love yourself, how could you possibly have enough energy to love somebody else?

Image source: Pixabay 

This February, I’m decorating my room with flowers and heart-shaped stickers. I’m keeping a countdown to Valentine’s Day on the whiteboard, and I’m treating myself to snickerdoodle cookies and dinner with my best friend. Because when all is said and done, we can’t choose whether or not love exists. It already does. We just choose whether or not to embrace it, and we can start by embracing ourselves.