You're single. It's February. Unless you've been ordering take-out since New Year's, you've been sprayed by now with the pink and red projectile spewage of the ever so annoying romance marketing machine, perpetuated by the myth that unless you're in love on Valentine's Day, you don't exist. Ok fine, maybe you do exist, but trust me, you don't really matter. At least not to Hallmark.
Whether you're picking up cough syrup at the drug store, or navigating your grocery cart through the aisles, there's no way to avoid the over-the-top piles of love-shit on display, in the form of chocolate hearts, cupid dolls and bossy stalker candy. Be yours? Kiss you? Fuck off, I'm single.
I know. With my sunny disposition, charming, balls out personality, and dazzling trust issues with men, I can't imagine why some dashing young lad hasn't swept me away from my miserable single life yet, either.
Make no mistake. I love being in love, and I've been blissfully lost on a cloud of multiple orgasms, pillow talk and naked spoons before. But right now, as a single gal, I gotta say, I'm pretty goddamned happy.
There's nothing lonelier than being with the wrong person. Nothing more heartbreaking than sticking with a partner who has betrayed you, because you're afraid to be alone. Or maybe you're not attracted to your "plus one" any more, you've outgrown them, but you're paralyzed with guilt for fear of breaking their heart, so you stay. I know, because I've done all three.
So many of us define ourselves by our relationship status, which is not only sad, it's dangerous to our mental health. How many of us feel "less than", when we find ourselves single? Why do we feel that if we were just with someone - anyone - the planets would miraculously align, and we'd snap into Happy? So what does that mean - if we aren't in a couple, we don't get to be happy? It's a scary trap, and nothing could be further from the truth (if you don't believe me, you can call a couple of my unhappily married friends).
It's taken me years to get it. Countless failed attempts of shoving squares into circles. And trust me, no one on the planet can reenact The Way We Were and every Sex and The City episode like I can. Carrie and K-K-K-Katie were my girls. But now, I'm finally on board. And I believe, with every fabric of my patched-up heart - that the only person responsible for my happiness is me. This isn't to say that my friends, lovers (and anything else I dig with undying passion) don't help put that extra bounce in my step. I'm just saying, I walk just fine on my own.
I have nothing personal against Valentine's Day - I actually think it's sweet (pun intended). But for those of us who are single, we don't need to feel like shit, which is what usually happens this time of year. It's natural to feel left out, and personally, I think there's an untapped marketing goldmine for the flower shop, candy and greeting card companies. Where's the bouquet that congratulates us for not settling for less than what we deserve? Taking this a step further, I say if you're single, change the word "Valentine" completely. Call it Victory Day.
This Victory Day, I'm going to celebrate myself, and the fact that I'm strong and truthful enough to know I'm worth more than what I've lived with in the past. I'm buying a box of chocolates, taking a bubble bath, and going to town with the blissful solitude that is my peace of mind.
If you're single and struggling this February 14, read this list of love lessons - and remember - you're worth more than what some candy-filled display wants you to believe.
1. If someone wants you, nothing can keep them away. If they don't, nothing can make them stay.
2. Stop making excuses for people's behavior.
3. If you have ANY doubt in your mind about someone's character, leave 'em
4. Allow your intuition (or spirit) to save you from heartache.
5. Stop trying to change yourself for a relationship that's not meant to
6. Don't force an attraction.
7. Never live your life for anyone.
8. If you feel like you're being strung along, you probably are.
9. Don't stay because you think "it will get better." You'll be mad at
yourself a year later for staying when things are not better.
10. Actions speak louder than words.
11. Never let anyone define who you are.
12. Don't knock masturbation (it's sex with someone you love).