I can buy myself flowers: why I love spending Valentine's Day single
Heart motifs left and right, hard launches on Instagram, cheesy pick-up lines, and inescapable PDA… how can Valentine’s Day not trigger a single person’s cynical side? I used to be the bitter and single stereotype, side-eyeing couples, and boycotting February 14th in all its gushy glory. In recent years though, my perspective has completely changed: I absolutely love celebrating Valentine’s Day, especially being single.
Growing up, I spent every Valentine’s Day with my sister and my mom. Each year, my mom would buy us flowers and our favorite chocolates, take us out for dinner, and write us the most beautiful cards about how much she loves us. As a college student I don’t see my family as often. Thus began a new tradition – my friends and I began buying each other gifts, surprising each other with flowers, and celebrating Galentine’s Day.
I have to admit it took me awhile to truly realize that the holiday is about celebrating all kinds of love, not just romantic love. But between my family and friends, I have had years of loving and wonderful experiences on the ever-so-dreaded vday, because I choose to celebrate it! At the risk of sounding cliché, (hi Hugh Grant) I have come to see that love is absolutely everywhere. If you’re single, and dreading being alone on Wednesday, my best advice on overcoming cynicism is to recognize the love that very much exists in your life. Love shows up in friendships, family, pets, hobbies and passions, nature, and even your favorite movie.
Again with the clichés (they are clichés for a reason): seeing the glass as half full really is so much better than doom scrolling through february 14th. And honestly, negative energy is draining! You attract the energy you exude. If you feel angry and bitter on Valentine’s Day, you will 100% have an angry and bitter day. The opposite is also true. For every mushy post you see on your feed, there is someone else mourning a breakup, casually dating, or loving life with no strings attached. Find those people, and spend your day with them!
It’s easy to forget that more often than not, romantic relationships are much more fleeting than platonic ones. Romantic partners come and go – the average person has 4-10 significant others in their lifetime. Investing in yourself and your friendships can be more rewarding in the long run. I always remind myself that I would always choose being happy by myself over being unhappy with someone else.
If you think that my opinion is biased, research agrees. There are countless articles, both op-eds and studies, that show that being single on Valentine’s Day is just as great having a partner. The most common reason is because being single means no expectations or potential disappointment. Romantic partnerships are complicated, and being in a relationship does not guarantee the vday experience we see splashed across social media.
Single or not, the most important relationship any of us have is with ourselves. Spending time alone gives you a clear understanding of your values, your standards, what and who you want to be. It sets you up to be and to have a better partner in the future. Learning how to love spending time with yourself will completely change your perspective on not only Valentine’s Day, but your day-to-day life.
My overarching message is to relax, have fun, and spend the day with someone you love (including yourself!). You’ve got your whole life to be in a relationship, heading off to a romantic (or not so romantic) dinner on Valentine’s Day. Right now you have the time to celebrate whatever your heart desires, so do it. Miley said it best, I can buy myself flowers.