Do you hate Valentine’s Day? Is it a day to glorify those who have settled while you’re out pursuing your dreams? Do you feel bad for those people who so desperately need to be part of a couple on Feb. 14 that they don’t have their own identities anymore? How many times have you rolled your eyes and complained that people shouldn’t be rewarded by a national holiday to celebrate their relationship status while you’re actually being productive and doing things with your life?
Maybe the problem isn’t Valentine’s Day. Maybe the problem is you.
Before you riot, hear me out. If Valentine’s Day didn’t exist, wouldn’t you still have plenty to say about people in relationships? Wouldn’t you still complain every time some sickening couple tweets about a date night? I know you would because I used to do exactly the same thing.
It feels good to scorn the couples who share their “love” relentlessly on social media. For every Instagrammed photo of flowers delivered to your so-called friend’s work, you’re proud to have twice as many photos of single nights out. You only buy groceries for one, do laundry for one, never get into a war about whether the toilet seat stays up or down, and always have the complete freedom to do what you want when you want. You’re really happy with your life. So why does Valentine’s Day inspire so much anger? Maybe, just maybe, it’s because you’ve noticed others have something you don’t have. Something you think you deserve.
Everyone in a relationship on Valentine’s Day has also been single. We know what it feels like to be angry and irritated and bitter and annoyed at people in relationships while we’re just trying to make it past a first date. But we also learned how to be happy, and if we’re really in happy, successful relationships, we learned that before we started dating our significant other. We got off social media. We stopped binging on Netflix with wine and ice cream in our pjs on the weekend. We met people. We got involved. We got online. We put ourselves in situations where we’d meet people with the same interests as us. We stopped blacking out on the weekends. We started living our lives. We started posting about it on social media not to rub it in, but because it made us happy.
So this year, instead of having a “single girls only” party consisting of sweatpants, cookie dough, and Facebook, make a change. Take a stand. Do something you actually enjoy. Get out there and have a good time. You’re more likely to meet a guy anywhere–literally, anywhere–other than your living room. Follow your interests. Make an effort. You may still have those awkward first dates or get hit on by randoms. But eventually, you’ll meet someone who will make the effort worth it and he will make you so, so glad you finally ended your affair with Netflix. So get out there, have a great Valentine’s Day, and remember that the change you want in your life starts with you.