Single’s Awareness Day

Sarah Manderbach ’22, Associate Opinion Editor

Valentine’s Day for me has always been something different. I always loved when in elementary school, we would make bags for our classmates to put candy and cheesy valentine cards in. It was a simple and cute way to demonstrate to kids how to show love for each other.

As we got older, it’s clear that a lot of these things faded or were erased from memory. We evolved from paper baggies with hearts on them to crushes and dates and relationships. We discarded the idea of appreciating the friends in our lives in favor of wanting to just find that one person that would complete our broken and yearning hearts. Valentine’s Day turned into Galentine’s Day for some people. Others spend time with their significant other. 

For every single Valentine’s Day that I can remember, I have been single. It’s both a blessing and a curse. It’s amazing to have an independence that only I can appreciate and to be able to focus on my studies, which I have always put before a relationship. However, the curse is that I’m constantly surrounded by people who have boyfriends and girlfriends and significant others who shower each other with affection I never really got from dating someone. In every case of February 14, I have been near ashamed to be single.

There is always the constant doubt of if I will ever find someone that will love me the way that I love myself. That I am not good enough for anyone because I take it “too slow” or I’m “too awkward.” And people never seem to realize that it can hurt people and delve them further into doubt and a lack of self-confidence. 

This past Valentine’s Day was I think the first time I actually felt okay with being single. Yes, I had gone through a serious ending of toxic friendships and my own personal dilemmas, but last Friday was the first day I was happy being me, myself and I.

I was able to shower my close friends and those that I consider family here on campus with love and admiration. Instead of drowning myself in schoolwork, for one night I was able to just be with friends that all shared that common thread of being single on Valentine’s Day. My good friend Brendan deemed it as Single’s Awareness Day and I personally think it’s perfect. Through being with my friends and not a significant other on Valentine’s Day, I personally felt like I was able to finally appreciate the true connections and friendships that I have made through my twenty years of life.

Instead of spending time with a significant other, I spent time loving myself and spreading love to those I care about. I managed to buy candy and some valentines that were emoji themed just so I could pass along the love to those that have stuck with me through all the highs and the lows.

As for my friends from home, I made sure to send them messages. Sure, they may have been spending time with their boyfriends, but sometimes all you need is a little word of love or encouragement to help get your friends through the day.

So if you were alone on Valentine’s Day, it’s okay. Treat yourself to dinner at Issei or buy something you have wanted for a while. February 14 should also be a day to love yourself as well as those that you really care about. Let Valentine’s Day be about all forms of love and if you’re not into the holiday cause of commercialization, that’s okay too.