Every year in the weeks leading up to Valentine's Day, we inevitably read the same kind of material as we did the year before: articles about how not to be depressed if you don't have a date; tips on what to buy your sweetie if you have one; people who are depressed and bitter about their single status; and people like me who say the holiday doesn't bother them one bit.
I've had my personal blog for over seven years, and up until 2007 I didn't bother addressing the holiday at all (I confirmed this today when I went looking through my archives to refresh my memory). But I did write about it in 2007, and then again in 2009.
Do you know what means a lot more to me than cards, candy, flowers, and other miscellaneous gifts? The relationships I have with people. Yesterday, I had two male friends meet me at a furniture sale in DC and then we all went out to lunch. That afternoon, I spent time in Georgetown with another male friend and we went out to dinner. And then last night I went to a bar to celebrate a girlfriend's birthday. Today my friend Jeff (whom I met through blogging) answered my distress call when he brought over a shovel and dug my car out of its snowy parking spot.
All of the things I just mentioned make me very happy. I don't feel deprived or sad, and I definitely don't feel like I'm missing out on anything. If Valentine's Day is about celebrating relationships, then I've got it covered.
Here's what other people are writing about Valentine's Day:
Kris at Not a Girl, Not Yet a Wino has a message for All the Single Ladies. It's a must-read.
It's Valentine’s Day. If you're reading this, I'm guessing you're single, because those who are partnered are likely pulling their SO's hair out of the shower drain. Now please don't start crying, because I don't have a lot of tissues in the house, and toilet paper will do nothing for your skin. It's okay to be single. No; I don't care what your mother said. It's okay to be single, and if that's where you are this year you're doing just fine.
Bella DePaulo always gives an awesome, honest, straight-up perspective about being single. She wrote this post as a reaction to another Psychology Today contributor's post called To be or not to be (in love): That is the question. Read that link first and then read Bella's response.
I hate the thought that I would ever refer to myself as being bitter on Valentine's Day (so far I never have), but some people do use that term because it is the way they're feeling. The lovely Stephanie Quilao writes:
I know. I know. I should be grown up and just get over it like any other mature adult but I'm just going to be honest and admit that a part of me still feels a little bit of the bitter sting around the heart more because I thought I would have at least had a serious relationship by now, but I do not. If I think about it too much, it makes me want to bundle myself up in a sleeved blanket of fleece and cry me a river with Justin Timberlake. Say hello to my woeful drama queen side.
However, she realizes this isn't the best attitude for her to have and goes on to list give things to people can do to not be miserable on Valentine's Day.
Ryane just turned 38 and writes about being single, never married. (I met her in person a few weeks ago. She's both stunning and delightful.)
So much time is given to disecting the single woman's life. Is she too picky? Is she a slut? Is she expecting too much? Does she try too hard? I'm sure married folk and those in long-term relationships bear their own excruciatingly annoying burdens - burdens given to them by society and well-meaning types who only want the best for them, but it's exhausting. I find I can't defend my reasons for not wanting to go out every night or make myself painfully 'available' at single's events. I've never enjoyed such things and as I get older, their appeal is markedly less.
CosmoPolitician tells us her thoughts on modern love.
I'm known to be pretty outspoken on my views of romantic relationships... but rarely do I ever discuss the L word. It's not that I'm afraid of love (an all too common misjudgment of a 31 year old single gal). I've been in love. I've been loved. I cringe when coupled up friends remark, "oh, you just haven't met the right one yet!" It doesn't often occur to those people that maybe I'm not looking for the right one. Just yet, at least. I refer to this as couple-tunnel vision. Or love goggles. Most people in a relationship (at least happy, healthy relationships) can't imagine why everyone wouldn't want to be. [N]ot every single person is actively looking for love.
Maris at In Good Taste gives us the Single Girl's Guide to Surviving Valentine's Day.
DO: Remember that it's only one day a year. February 14 will come and go, but you have 364 other days to show the people you care about that you love them.
Contributing editor Zandria blogs at Zandria.us.