“Isn’t Valentine’s Day a day of love, why is it always romantic? Why isn’t it like best friends celebrating it?” Asked my friend, two days before Valentine’s.
I always thought of it as a day where I get reminded that the closest to a date I might get on this day is the fruit, or annoying advertisements asking me to buy gifts for a loved one, and couples on social media writing novels about each other online.
A quick search of its history showed that there is significant presence of platonic Valentine’s celebrations. It isn’t all about romance and affection. Although if you want it to be that way for you, go ahead. If you’re single and have read this far, then you’re in for a treat ahead, so keep reading (I’m not flexing any more date fruits and obviously not a real date)!
I’m Single – What Can I Do?
Don’t close this tab yet. I’m not teaching you how you can find singles near you. This is deeper than that and no this is not a fancy excuse to not be taken on Valentine’s either.
Read beyond romance and affection. Embrace its platonic values. By all means, you can sideline mainstream media and capitalism and appreciate your platonic relationships without spending money or decorating an entire yard red with a Limo to get people there. Send small or long messages to your friends if that’s what you want to do. Let them know you appreciate them!
You might not be a fan of capitalism and the advertisements might be annoying you but it’s still always okay to purchase for self-consumption. Don’t buy gifts for a loved one, or flowers, or food. Buy it for yourself. Take yourself out on a date. A lot can be accomplished in even a small session of peace and quiet with quality introspection.
You can also choose not to do anything, or just write a blog post, like me. You don’t have to wait for special days like this to appreciate people and recognize your bonds.
The bottom line is, you do you! This does require an effort to not let social media consumption influence you too much. You will need to practice discipline and self-love to remain unaffected. Jumping into a relationship or just going on a date because everyone else is, might bring short term satisfaction but at the cost of your independence. To elaborate on this, I’ll give you my final treat – stemming from a recommendation by a friend.
Write Yourself a Love Letter
Never received a love letter? Well, you will now because I’m going to ask you to write one. Appreciate yourself for who you are. Embrace your flaws. Go all-out; this is for you. You don’t have to share this with anyone. Don’t worry about the language in it or how good it looks, I’m not going to grade it.
Prompts you could include in the letter:
- 3 values you admire of yourself.
- 3 appearance factors you admire of yourself (try to include the ones that social media standards make you insecure about – we’re out here to beat unrealistic expectations and love ourselves regardless of anything!)
- What is something that still bothers you but something you would benefit from by moving on? How should you do this? What support will you offer yourself to help yourself?
- What does your family love about you?
- What do your friends like about you?
- What makes you happy, and how are you going to offer more of it to yourself?
- How are you going to ensure that you remain kind to yourself even when acknowledging flaws and working towards improving yourself?
- Do you identify any moments where you have taken false responsibility? How are you going to work towards inhibiting these and being more realistic?
A Letter From Me To You
You’re worthy of good, love, and appreciation just because you exist. Your life is filled with experiences – good and bad, mistakes – fixed or unfixed and what not. But none of that takes away your right to love yourself and be appreciated.
The sky is mostly blue, and that makes us appreciate the manifestation of cotton candy in it. But if blue was the color that it rarely took, then our excitement would be on blue and the colorful sky would seem boring. What fun would you be and how valuable would your qualities be if all of them were perfect?
By all means, work towards improving yourself, but accompany it with compassion. Don’t let the standards set by society take away the love you should have for yourself. You are enough, even when not in a romantic relationship. You are enough, even if you’re not a world star. You are enough, even when you aren’t topping your exams. You are enough, even if you aren’t on the road to be a millionaire. You are enough, even if you don’t match society’s wrongly set standards of beauty. You are enough, even if you aren’t meeting the pressures of society.
Love yourself for existing, and for who you are, not by material values and standards of society. The latter is ever-changing and always unachievable.