I had recently received a friend request from a long-lost crush from the year 2000 (I was five). It’s quite comical when I think about it. Sixteen years later and I am getting a social media notification from him? It instantly brought back some hilarious memories. I would literally chase him around the playground until he would talk to me. Then I got him in trouble one time for not sharing crayons with me, big problems for a kindergartener. But my five-year old dreams were officially made, when he gave me a valentine that year with candy hearts attached to the card. Those candy hearts made my actual heart flutter and my face radiate happiness. And sixteen years later he still remembers me? I must have been a fantastic valentine.
It’s hard to believe even at five years old, I had already begun associating Valentine’s Day with a specific person, or as most of us know it as, puppy love. And I was bit by the love bug hard. If it only it stayed this simple. Attaching sugar to a paper card and bam, you were valentines. But as we get older, it changes a bit but the structure stays the same. Just as I chased him around the playground until he noticed me, girls and young women will chase boys until they notice them. And if they’re lucky, they get labeled, “Their Valentine”. It seems like an unnecessary amount of work for a silly title. I mean why do I have to do the chasing? It’s another way for candy companies and jewelry stores to mark up their already high prices to astronomical numbers, that literally makes your jaw drop.
I have been in a relationship for almost three years now and Valentines Day has never felt like a day to be celebrated. You appreciate each other for one day out of the year, by exchanging material items that ultimately make your wallet cry. It’s sad our society names you a loser if you don’t have that “someone special” on this oh, so special day. But we, as a couple appreciate it each other everyday. We will randomly surprise each other with small tokens of our affection that mean much more than one present on one day. And most importantly, I have never felt the need to chase him.
I think it’s important whether you’re single, in a relationship or somewhere in between to one, appreciate each other (especially yourself) 365 days of the year and two, learn to be your own valentine. It sounds ridiculous, the girl in the relationship giving advice on how to be your own Valentine. Easier said than done, right? Yes, but I have been single before and have experienced being dateless on this day too many times to count. Here are five small ways to be your own valentine:
Just because you are your own valentine, does not mean you have to be alone. Spending the day with your closest friends will make spending the day with one person seems illusive. The more the merrier!
If you do end up being alone on this day, for whatever reason, get motivated. Go to that spin class you’ve always wanted to try or finish that book you’ve been trying to read for months.
Hate to break it to you but your life isn’t as awful as it seems, someone always has it worse. See what volunteer opportunities are in your area. The selfless act of giving back will surely make your heart full.
Wine, Wine, and More Wine:
And finally, some are completely content with binge watching Netflix in the dark and downing a bottle of wine, no judge zone. You do you.
Write down every inspiring, creative, talented and beautiful part about you, I know you can come up with at least three.
If this friend request has brought back anything besides writing love notes and buying candy hearts, it also reminded me that many Valentine’s will come and go in your lifetime. Others clearly more memorable than others. And finally, to never chase someone with your only motivation being to receive an artificial gift with temporary meaning. This day should really be about self-value, appreciate yourself and you’ll never feel alone any day of the year.