I've never really understood why Valentine's Day has to be a massive "it sucks to be single" pity party. I don't really identify with the need to read "The Single Girl's Guide To Surviving Valentine's Day" or "25 Mac & Cheeses That Taste Better Than A Boyfriend." I don't really feel comforted by those Facebook memes about how being single means you're just gonna drink wine for dinner to console yourself. The Valentine's Day pity party on the Internet doesn't really connect with me, because I'm not really having a pity party.
Sometimes I think that when girls pull the whole "woe is me, I'm single on Valentine's" thing, they're doing it tongue-in-cheek, the same way somebody goes fishing for a compliment. I think when they say "OMG I'm gonna be spending Valentine's SO ALONE with Ben & Jerry and my cats, PLEASE come over and make it a girls' night, because I'm going to cry so hard if I'm alone," they're saying it while knowing in their mind that you -- and a zillion other friends -- will totally offer to come spend Valentine's Day with them, because you're all in the exact same boat. This girl is not truly alone, and she knows it. But she's pretending to be bummed about being alone... because for some complicated, girl-y reason, it looks good to sound bummed to others but secretly know in your mind that you're not bummed.
So can we all just admit we're fine with being single, people?
Or are you guys truthfully not fine with being single?
I tried to figure out why I'm not "OMG SOOO SAD" to be single on Valentine's Day by envisioning my ideal Valentine's Day.
First, I'd want to trade presents with friends at work... maybe this means I'm fine being single because I love my friends at work?
Next, I'd want to mail gifts to my friends from home... maybe I'm fine because I love my friends from home?
Then, I'd want to walk around wearing pink and feeling the general specialness that comes with a national holiday... maybe I'm fine because I love life in general?
Finally, I'd want to come home, pour wine, listen to Michael Buble, and bake red velvet brownies ALL BY MYSELF.
...I think I'm fine being single on Valentine's Day because, like many others out there, I'm in love with myself. And with being alone.
If I'm alone on Valentine's, I can set up my own little world of Michael Buble music and adorable brownie pans and comfy beds and pretty roses. Nobody will say anything awkward, nobody will argue, and nothing will go wrong, because the only person there will be me. I like it in my own little world. Maybe too much.
I've never had a boyfriend. Ever. I think I'm afraid of it. Every time it gets close to happening, I slooowly stop responding to texts and retreat back to my own little world. I snuggle into bed by myself, turn on Michael Buble, and savor the comfortable feeling of eating Ben & Jerry's all alone. Then I make red velvet brownies. It's my own little world that I've hung out in for 23 years. And I love that when I'm in there, no boy is going to come push me out of my perfect little comfort zone.
I want a Valentine, yes. I'm working on opening my own little world up to other people. I hope that one Valentine's Day, I can feel comfortable enough with a guy to invite him into my own little world for the day without fear of him "messing it up" or ruining its comfy, familiar perfection.
But why can't I do that now?
I think the answer for me -- and for a lot of single girls -- is that we're comfortable being single. It's what we know. We've learned to be happily in love with our work friends and our friends from home and our lives in general, and most importantly we're in love with ourselves. Those "own little worlds" where we hang out all the time are very healthy and admirable worlds to have, because not every girl is comfortable being in there all alone without a boy to keep her company.
This is not to say we shouldn't work on letting other people into our own little worlds-- it should and will be way more exciting there when we finally let a boy in.
But by the same token, there are going to be days -- probably even Valentine's Days -- in your future when you're going to be all alone. Your work friends will be at work. Your home friends will be thousands of miles away. Your life might seem a little sucky that day. And the boyfriend you've finally let in might have to work late.
That's when it will be a gift to be happy and single in your own little world, totally in love with yourself.