Forgive my dark sense of humor, but did you know that Valentine’s Day is based on a pagan fertility festival in which they sacrificed dogs and goats? Or that the Saints Valentine (there were a few of them) were simply religious leaders who were brutally murdered for their faith? Or that one of them has their skull on display in Rome? Seems pretty bizarre that all of those things evolved into us buying cards written by strangers, stale drugstore candy, and poorly-made pink and red plushies. Doesn’t it? And the fact that it is now a romantic holiday just seems downright ridiculous to me.
I spent many Valentine’s Days in high school feeling depressed that I wasn’t in a romantic relationship. I was sad and angry, and I maliciously made fun of all the “happy” couples celebrating it. And the one time I was in a relationship on that dreaded holiday, I just ended up buying them all that junk I mentioned earlier, all of which ended up in the trash or shoved back into the forgotten realms of the closet, never to see the light of day again. It just felt phony somehow.
In hindsight, I wish I could have seen Valentine’s Day for what it truly was: baseless social conventions that try to tell me I am a failure for not being one half of a couple. By this same convention, I am also a failure if I do not go above and beyond to perform these overused romantic traditions for my other half in a way that feels unique and personalized. This way of thinking, of course, is all utter MALARKEY!
(steps up on a soapbox holding a megaphone)
Do not – I repeat – DO NOT let yourself be defined by your ability to achieve a romantic pair bond with another human being! Do not make finding that special someone your main goal in life! You are so much more than that all by yourself.
(steps down from soapbox)
Maybe this year, instead of feeling depressed or performing those empty “romantic” gestures that everybody else does, focus on yourself. What are your passions in life? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Stop being modest and admit to yourself that there is good in you. If you do have a romantic partner or you’re too depressed to see the good in yourself, are you able to see the good in others and let them know about it? What is something you can do to make life happier or easier for someone else? (Don’t say send them a Valentine, unless you think it really will make them happy)
After you’ve figured out what it is you love doing or something you can do for others, GO DO IT! Play your favorite video game, paint your nails, binge watch all the Marvel movies in order, crank up some tunes and dance in your room, volunteer at an animal shelter, volunteer at the library, or hand some random person a five-dollar bill. If you are a person of faith, thank the powers that be for all the things in the world you love most. If you are not religious, thank the random universe for turning out in such a way that brought us the wonders of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, console gaming, and BTS.
Okay, maybe I got a little (or a lot) carried away there, but y’all get my point right? Find your little bit of happiness in life and be your own Valentine. After all, regardless of your own relationship status, you will have to live with yourself forever.
*no dogs, goats, or saints named Valentine were harmed in the writing of this blog post*
P.S. The idea of St. Valentine’s Day is a day for romance actually came from the famous poet Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th Century.
Some books to check out (or don’t, whatever):