Over the years of asking my friends and family about blog topic ideas I have come to the realization that there is a commonality in their perception of me and with the concept “write what you know.” I thought the questioning would lead to something along the lines of my 2016 predictions, the ratio for a perfect BLT or my opinion on the time jump on Pretty Little Liars. I was wrong. Thus, let us begin with a concrete fact: I have been single for 22 years. If you excel in math, then you will count that up to the summation of my life. That is 22 years of being single on Valentine’s day—not that I understood what that meant for the first 12 of them.
Recent studies show that depression and anxiety rates among young adults spike during the first two weeks of February, according to single white girls with social media accounts. Disparaging the holiday of Valentine’s Day has become a social norm to be likened to the word “literally” and the act of twerking. Everyone is doing it, but now it’s more out of habit than enjoyment.
Regardless of the shade V-Day gets it is actually a pretty dope Roman Catholic holiday celebrating St. Valentine, the patron saint of engaged couples, happy marriages, courting traditions and epilepsy.
Do not fret, this is not a post exploiting the consumeristic nature of V-Day or the deep sadness brewing inside my unloved heart. On the contrary, this is a declaration of love for a day meant to celebrate just that.
Love is a truly beautiful thing. It typically gets romanticized to epic gestures or flamboyant weddings, but in reality, love is just a solid, deep feeling of affection. I feel love for my family and friends, my deceased childhood dog and for Leslie Knope. It’s a form of human affirmation that we aren’t horrible monsters and that others do want to be around us. But “love” gets muddled to romantic partnerships. That the most concrete form of acceptance is finding your one true soul mate, having forty babies and dying holding each other in the bed you shared for sixty years. And that could sound appealing—and maybe even ideal—but typing that statement made me cringe a little.
One of the greatest love stories of all time, Romeo & Juliet, has taught me something very important: don’t fall in love at a young age if you don’t want to deal with the drama of double suicide. Honestly, it taught me that things can get messy in a romantic relationship, whether it’s a disagreement on dinner plans or killing your boo’s cousin in a duel.
This realization led me to embark on a modern love story for the ages: falling in love with myself. It’s less of a cheesy Cosmo suggestion and more of an annoying way of stating that everyone should focus on themselves if they have that luxury this Valentine’s Day. Sometimes there are too many distractions in our lives to really sit down and enjoy our own company.
Regardless of the pressures by societal timelines or binge-watching Rom-Coms, do not feel guilty if your perfect way of celebrating love is being alone. Straight up, I love hanging out with myself. It usually involves two different kinds of meats, a hefty glass of beer and trying to mimic the spiritual voice of Beyoncé.
As Valentine’s Day makes its bend around the corner, let’s acknowledge the important people in our lives with heart emoji-filled texts or throwback Instagram photos, but let’s also celebrate the person we should love the most. In doing this you will help foster a day of mass self-love. When people love themselves, it makes it easier to love others and for others to love you as well.
On a day intended to celebrate what many would consider the purpose of human existence, let’s wine and dine ourselves. We deserve love, especially from ourselves.
Be kind. Be you. Slay.