Oh, Valentine’s Day. A day full of red roses, pink hearts, sweet hand-written notes, and romantic dates. A time when couples are out in hoards trying to impress their partners while occupying every seat possible at every imaginable restaurant on Earth. This is a day to traditionally commemorate romantic love with sappy displays of affection. It is a day where those who are single can feel extra alone and feel like they’ve done something wrong if they do not have a romantic date for Valentine’s Day. Some of my single friends look at this date on their calendar as a deadline to find a partner by and it’s such a race to beat the clock. It is as if you are in the undesirable pile if you are dateless on Valentine’s Day and you are missing out on an important annual event. Some of my friends definitely suffer from a specific kind of Valentine’s Day blues – the result of a seasonal reminder that their love life has not amounted to anything.
For me, I am unbothered. I have always been single on Valentine’s Day. The last Valentine I had was my best friend in high school, and we went to the local diner where I gifted her a box of candy and a balloon. This was back when I had yet to come out and still felt the need to conform to the heterosexual norms that society has so tastelessly imposed in the form of heart-shaped chocolates and kitschy Hallmark cards. But as far as a real true romantic Valentine’s Day with a lover is concerned, I have had none. Some may say that it’s sad, but for me, there is no need to succumb to the societal pressure that bubbles more intensely on Valentine’s Day. It doesn’t signify anything if you are single on Valentine’s Day nor should it be something to cause any negative emotions.
I have chosen to flip this holiday on its head and celebrate Galentine’s Day: a holiday to celebrate your friends while looking insanely sexy, getting drunk and partying the night away. I have hosted a Galentine’s Day Party for the past 6 years where I invite all my single friends and my friends in relationships – but they have to leave their partners at home. We get together at my place to play games, drink and just dance the night away. Instead of feeling alone, I feel quite the opposite: I am surrounded by my best friends who make me feel more loved than any man could.
Last year on Valentine’s Day, I decorated my apartment, cooked myself dinner, drank a bottle of wine and did a face mask in preparation for my Galentine’s Day Party, which was scheduled for the day after. Sure, the traditional festivities of Valentine’s Day make me feel somewhat alone and leave me wishing I had a romantic date, however I remind myself that it just isn’t my time in life yet. It is very easy to feel like you are missing out something so important since the entire planet is celebrating romantic relationships but instead, we should be celebrating love in all its forms including love of the self. Everything happens for a reason and, in all actuality, would I rather sit at a formal dinner table with a date or go out with my friends while looking undeniably sexy? I would take the latter any day.
Sure, Galentine’s Day might be an avoidance from the realities of being single but instead of succumbing to the thoughts of sadness and loneliness, I’d rather empower myself. Maybe if I find myself in the situation where I do have a romantic Valentine’s Day date, I would feel differently. But, until then, tequila will do just fine.
Valentine’s Day makes me remember that I am mine before I am anyone else’s. I am my own Valentine and I deserve to treat myself to candy, a solid meal, bomb cocktails and nice things. It makes me feel even more empowered to be a single, independent person because there are no set expectations from me on this day. I don’t have to go out of my way for anyone else and it’s just another day where I get to improve myself. Don’t get lost in the semantics of Valentine’s Day because, essentially, it’s just a day celebrating love in all forms – whether it be romantic, sexual, platonic or self love. For all my single comrades on Valentine’s Day, don’t stay in because you think this holiday is not for you, because it is. Grab that hot outfit sitting in your closet, rally some friends, and revel in your joys. Honestly, you might run into your life partner that night OR have such a great time with all the many other ways it is possible to feel special and loved. The possibilities are endless, so don’t let Valentine’s Day get you down. Love yourself before anyone else does!