Story by Opinion Editor Grace VanHaitsma
I have been single my whole life. Every year when Valentine’s Day comes around, it can feel a little depressing for me as I watch other women in relationships celebrate the holiday. As I get older, this can be harder to cope with as I wonder: Will I ever have a Valentine?
As women, we often feel that our worth lies in our desirability. For me, this feeling always worsens around Valentine’s Day. This most likely comes from the constant messaging we get around this holiday that we would be happier, better, healthier if we had a partner. But I also find that the constant negativity from single people around Valentine’s Day gets annoying. So how do we celebrate the holiday of love, as single people, without that undesirable feeling creeping in?
We see self-love preached a lot on social media, but it can be harder than it seems to harness it. No amount of infographics shared or quotes posted can make you love yourself, and I have learned that firsthand. But I also know the truth deep down: I am complete on my own, with or without a Valentine. And I am incredibly grateful for my group of friends, who are also single, for the joy they bring. When I look at my beautiful friends who also are not in relationships, I am reminded that being single doesn’t mean you are not worthy of love.
It can be easy to see the romance around Valentine’s Day and feel like you will never experience that kind of love. But it’s important to remember there are many kinds of love that are not romantic, and they’re not any less valuable. I am reminded of this when I am down and my friends cheer me up. When my mom sends me a gift out of nowhere, or when I realize that I have all the strength I need within myself. This Valentine’s Day, I encourage everyone, single or not, to focus on all types of love in your life. I am going to embrace the pink and red and hearts and chocolate this year, without a partner, and I will remember that I am still whole.