So, it’s Valentine’s Day again. People are pulling up their Netflix accounts to watch cheesy romantic movies for the hundredth time, churning up nickels and pennies in order to get some nice chocolate, or flowers, or even a nice dinner outside of the dorms. There’s a culture of love which emerges, sometimes with the implied consumerism…

…and you’re not part of it, because it involves a significant other, which you don’t have.

If you think about it, then that’s nothing to worry about. I could continue about how being single is not a bad thing as of this time, or any time of the year in general. Not only does it give a person time to think about what they want to do in the future, but also it reduces the amount of stress needed to balance a relationship.

But if you’re still focused on having a significant other, then shouldn’t there be other people to love? Or things?

  • Family: I’ve been told from my parents frequently that friends come and go at different times in your life, and that they could deceive you at any moment. On the other hand, regardless if it’s only a few miles away to an entire ocean, your family will be able to love you and take care of you for as long as they possibly can. Or when you graduate college and get a well-paying job. And so, give them a call, if you don’t do so already. Send some flowers, and maybe a card. On the other hand…
  • Friends: For those who don’t believe in “blood is thicker than water” as strongly as the “friends are the family we choose for ourselves” philosophy, this is a good way to love. And for some of those whose friends are dating someone else, then you should try to restrain the jealousy within them and get to know them. It just leads to a larger, happier family.
  • Food: Because most of us are college students and therefore, hungry, food is usually something to adore and cherish and take pictures of before consuming in excess. In my high school’s newspaper polls during Valentine’s Day, most people would say food is their one true love. It doesn’t make sense, considering how much that relationship is one-sided towards us. But it is something to survive on, and can take up our challenges, so we’ll say we love food.
  • Ourselves! There’s a bunch of external joy out on the world for us to reach out and to chase, but you have to discover it. You’re the one to enjoy all these little pleasures. At the same time, one must be able to create something out of themselves. I’m confident about my own abilities, but one must also provide a good way to apply them so that we could fully love ourselves. While this process can also be done in a relationship, as we can see ourselves in relation to another person, one can do this through self-reflection, work, and having fun, whether with non-significant others, or selves!
  • The fact we still don’t know exactly what love is. People have tried, and yet they couldn’t put a finger on what this phenomenon entails. That doesn't mean we shouldn't try to seek it out.