Article by: Elizabeth Schoof, Editor in Chief
Photo Courtesy of Canva
Would you date yourself?
During my sophomore year of college, I had to give an impromptu speech for a public speaking class. It was just my luck that, of all the cards I could have drawn, the one I drew had this very question on it. You see, I had never been in a romantic relationship. I’d come close a few times, but there was always something that had gotten in the way.
Maybe he lost interest. Maybe I got busy with school. Maybe I was just destined to be single for the rest of my life. No matter what the reason behind my stagnant relationship status, I knew I had to get up and give the class an honest answer.
“Of course I’d date myself. I’ve never been in a relationship. If I wouldn’t date me, then who would?”
The speech went on for three minutes while I told everyone in the room about what a catch I was. I had a nice smile and a good sense of humor. I wasn’t afraid to try new things and I loved to write. I explained every positive aspect of who I was and what would make me attractive, and you know what happened?
I remained single.
Looking back on that experience, I can honestly say I would still totally date me—and not just because of all the things I told my class about.
When I think about Valentine’s Day and the belief that it’s “over commercialized” and a “Hallmark Holiday” I can’t help but question why people have that mindset. Is it because they genuinely hate the idea of having a day set aside to celebrate love? Or is it because they don’t have a romantic partner in their life, and for some reason, that makes them think there’s something wrong with them.
I’ve never heard someone in a romantic relationship actively speak negatively about Valentine’s Day. And do you know why?
They can celebrate their love any way that they want.
Maybe it’s in the form of a flash mob with a marriage proposal. Maybe it’s buying a teddy-bear the size of a human and giving it to someone. Maybe it’s as simple as leaving them a thoughtful message at a time when you know they’d need a pick me up. While I absolutely recognize that people can allow their celebrations to get a bit out of hand, I don’t think that there’s anyone who can honestly say that getting a card from a loved one would upset them.
A wise woman once told me that if you’re truly bothered by someone else’s life choices, you should do some soul searching and figure out why that is. I believe that we should let people celebrate Valentine’s Day however they want. Every relationship is different and if you’re placing judgment on someone else’s way of celebrating the day, you should look at why exactly it’s bothering you.
There was a point where I actively hated Valentine’s Day and everything that it stood for. I argued that it was over commercialized and pointless. It took some time, but eventually, I realized that I didn’t hate the holiday because of people sending cards or going on dates or even giving each other life-sized stuffed animals. I hated it because I didn’t have that special someone to celebrate with.
For a lot of people, Valentine’s Day serves as a reminder of what they’re lacking in life and it makes them question why they’re lacking it. Nobody wants to be reminded that they’re single, in part, because we’re taught that it’s bad to be alone. If you’re not romantically involved with someone, then there’s got to be something wrong with you.
I’m not going to tell you that you’re perfect as you are, or that you’re going to find someone who will love you even though you’re flawed. Those are big promises to make, and honestly, even people in relationships have flaws. What I am going to say, is that whether someone loves you romantically or not, there’s a certain point where you have to stop questioning why you aren’t in a relationship and focus your energy on loving yourself.
The day I decided I would so totally date myself was the day I decided that I was sick and tired of feeling like my life was somehow less whole because I didn’t have a boyfriend. Would it be nice to have a significant other? Sure! It would be great! But am I going to spend all my time wondering why it hasn’t happened for me yet? No. I have places to travel! Books to read! Movies to watch! Friends to spend time with!
You can’t waste your life wondering what you’re missing out on or what the reasons behind it may be. The reality is that if you don’t take the time to invest in yourself, you probably aren’t going to be able to take the time necessary to invest in a quality relationship.
Instead of wondering why you can’t seem to find your perfect match and being bitter about it this Valentine’s Day, use the holiday as a chance to show yourself (and the other people in your life) some love.
Elizabeth Schoof is a Senior at Aquinas College majoring in English with a Writing Emphasis and Communication. She loves writing, movies, and laughing at her own jokes.