Being Single on Valentine’s Day

Below is a blog post I wrote that was featured on Girlfriendology. Please enjoy!

Being in the business of romance, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about and focusing on Valentine’s Day. Of all the V-Days I’ve celebrated, there is one Valentine’s Day I will never forget. It was the Valentine’s Day that made me decide to be present and active in this holiday.

Years ago, at the end of a busy workday, I had to go to Kroger to pick up things for dinner. Not realizing what day it was, I walk into Kroger and see hoards of men scrambling throughout the store. The shelves were empty and most of the carts were taken. Then it hit me: these men were hustling to find something for their wives, girlfriends, and significant others for Valentine’s Day. They were doing whatever they could to keep themselves out of hot water.

I took a step back and observed all this. Having just come out of a relationship I thought, “Please God, never let that be me. I don’t want to be with one of those men who’d just grab anything.” I know that sounds a little harsh, but when you’re in a relationship, it’s usually a decision between the couple whether they’re going to celebrate Valentine’s Day. If it is a mutual decision, I sure would hope that both parties put forth real effort. And if he or she doesn’t, it’s not a promising sign. Some planning and thought would be nice, and we all deserve that.

After witnessing a Kroger full of men shopping last-minute, I was thankful— thankful for the fact that I had so much love in my life from my girlfriends, my family, and myself. I finally felt OK to celebrate Valentine’s Day in my own way. I made a promise to myself to always honor love on Valentine’s Day (and beyond) and spend the day however I want. As long as I stay present and allow myself to feel the love of my friends and the love I have for myself, I will have a successful Valentine’s Day.

I’ve redefined what a “good” Valentine’s Day is. For me, it’s a nice dinner out with my friends, drinking some wine and cheating on our diets. It doesn’t even need to be a dinner out! Having my friends come over to my house and contributing their favorite dishes is a great way to honor one another. People put their heart in cooking; what better way to celebrate a day of love than over a home-cooked meal and endless hours of conversation? A “good” Valentine’s Day can also be a movie night or a night to myself.

I realize that Valentine’s Day can be challenging for single women. But we all have the choice to honor all the love in our lives that day. Refuse to take yourself for granted. Celebrate your girlfriends—celebrate yourself. Stand firm in who you are and be thankful for all the wonderful things you are. Make your V-Day a celebration of that, not just a commercial afterthought.

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