Singles Awareness Day
It seems like the Valentine’s Day reminders have come earlier than usual this year: Make sure you place your flower delivery order early on one of the busiest days of the year. Call to make reservations in advance to get a table at THE latest hot spot to ensure that you’ll have a perfect romantic dinner. Stop by the local drugstore and you’ll see that everything in the “seasonal items” aisle has turned into a heart-shaped box of candy. It’s like a one stop Valentine’s Day shop- with an array of cheesy last minute Valentine’s Day gifts. Everything is pink red, heart-shaped or covered in hearts. Even bookstores are jumping on the bandwagon. The other day I walked by a bookstore that had a whole display of books on love. It’s hard not to know that Valentine’s Day is coming and not only that, but you’d better be prepared for it!
Valentine’s Day didn’t always come with all of these expectations or brouhaha. At least it didn't start out that way for me. My earliest memories of celebrating Valentine's Day are from grade school. When Valentine's Day came around, all the kids at school would give each other Valentine's Day cards. It was an exchange in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, and Saint Valentine. It wasn't a boy girl thing. Things were much simpler back then, before the onset of raging hormones, but were they really?
I remember my Mom buying me a bag of assorted Valentine's cards for me to give to my classmates. My plan was to give a card to each one of my classmates, but there often weren't enough cards to go around so then I'd have to decide whom I’d give a card to. That's when things began to unravel… After exchanging cards with my classmates, I found myself comparing to see who got the most Valentine’s Day cards. And as I looked through the cards I received, if I didn't receive cards from some of the classmates I’d given cards to, I wondered: Why didn’t they like me back? Why did they choose not to give a card to me? I didn't bother to think that maybe the same thing had happened to my classmates- namely not having enough cards to give to everyone.
Come to think of it, being “chosen” is what Valentine’s Day is about. Most of us want to feel chosen, and to feel a sense of belonging. Feeling loved means that someone has chosen you; they’ve chosen to be with you. It’s hard if you’re alone, especially when you see everyone around you paired up, receiving flowers, or out at a restaurant on Valentine’s Day. It can be downright disappointing and depressing. Certainly all of this could make you wonder why you haven’t found love, and what’s wrong with me? For many, the struggle is real and because February 14th is the one day of the year that they are reminded of just how single they are, thus Valentine’s Day has also been referred to as “Singles Awareness Day.” It's easy to see how Valentine’s Day could feed a person’s insecurities. On the other hand, “Singles Awareness Day” could also be thought of as a day to practice self-love and to celebrate the joys of being single and all the sources of love in your life-friends, family, and even furry little friends.
Relationships are not always a bed of roses but they shouldn’t be a bed of nails. I’ve always thought it’s better to be single than to be stuck in a miserable relationship. I believe a good relationship should offer comfort and support, and just make your life happier and better.
With all this talk of love and relationships, I thought that February would be a good time for me to start sharing some of the articles that I’ve written recently for the One Love Foundation. I’m proud to be a contributing writer and to support the work of the One Love Foundation. After Yeardley Love was beaten to death by her ex-boyfriend just three weeks before their graduation from the University of Virginia, her mother Sharon Love and sister Lexie founded One Love Foundation. Yeardley's death could have been avoidable if anyone in her life had truly understood the unhealthy and increasingly dangerous relationship behaviors they were seeing. One Love works to ensure everyone understands the difference between a healthy and unhealthy relationship. Learn more about the One Love Foundation HERE. I'll be reposting articles I've written for One Love here in the coming weeks.