I remember how in elementary school, Valentine's Day was such a big deal. All the students would have a paper bag on their desk and we all would bring a set of Valentine's cards from the drugstore; everyone in the class got one. I still think that those cards are so adorable when I see them at the store.
However, like a lot of things, the older we get, the less "enchanted" or "magical" these holidays seem to become, and the less illusioned we are about the world we live in, what society expects of us, and what is acceptable in terms of societal norms.
Our culture emphasizes the importance of having a relationship, getting engaged, married, being somehow committed to another person. This is the cultural ideal which is only strengthened by film, television, and music. The media shows how happy people are when they are in a romantic relationship, and how sad it is to be single, though that is not the actual reality of the situation. However, there is more awareness and acceptance around staying single and choosing to embrace being on your own while refusing to settle for any less than you deserve.
When I changed my Facebook relationship status, I remember seeing all these ads for dating sites. It got to a point where I was getting so annoyed seeing them, and I knew that the only reason I was, was because of data mining, and the fact that it said I was single on my profile. I also saw an ad for this new company called Singles Swag that sends out either thee to four or six to seven products each month in a gift box, depending on the subscription. They include beauty and makeup products, snacks, jewelry, and fun surprises.
As previously mentioned about the perception of the holidays, the older we get, the less fun mail we get, as well. Getting quality beauty products in the mail felt like a step up for myself, and helped me not feel so bad about treating myself and choosing to stay on my own.
I never would treat myself to them before, so being able to have a service pick them out and send them to me, for a reasonable flat rate price, was actually really nice. Their philosophy is all about how a woman's true satisfaction with life and happiness, comes from her perspective and attitude, not her relationship status, which I absolutely loved. They aim to help women feel beautiful through quality products so that they never feel they need to settle.
For as long as I can remember, I held onto this idea that I would never be truly happy until I met my soulmate and settled down. I am finally realizing that that is not the case. The longer that I am single, the more okay with it that I am. Going into February, I am hoping to strengthen this attitude that being single is not a bad thing. It does not make me a bad person, nor does it make me any less than a person.
Valentine's Day should not be about making people feel bad about whether or not they're single or taken, it should be about celebrating the love we that have for all the people in our life, romantic in nature or not.
So, to all the singles out there, do not allow cultural norms and expectations, ruin Valentine's Day for you. There is no shame in being single, taking yourself to a movie just because, in discovering who you are as a person, as well as figuring out what you want in life. When settling for anything less than what we truly deserve, we lose out. The more time I spend alone, the more okay with being single, I am.
Love takes a multitude of forms, not limited to love between partners, and it's important for all of us to remember that this Valentine's Day.