V-Day isn't D-Day
Deciding to celebrate more than just men
I am the person most girls hate when Valentine’s Day rolls around. As someone in a happy long-term relationship, I often find myself keeping quiet in my friends’ conversations about their boy troubles, knowing whatever I say is going to be unwelcome. If I do speak up, I inevitably get one of two responses: “Easy for you to say,” or “Stop rubbing it in our faces.”
Predictably, I love Valentine’s Day. But, unpredictably, it isn’t for the romance. Growing up, my mom would put out a small basket of chocolate and other Valentine’s-related items on Feb. 14, and I always put copious effort into my hand-written valentines for my classmates.
I may have frowned at the people who only passed out the pieces of candy with names scribbled on them, but despite that minor amount of judgment, I have always treated Valentine’s Day as a day focused on love. Because of this, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I would like to dedicate this column to reminding every girl why she should love herself.
I have seen too many of my friends get hurt because they did not love themselves and stand up for what they deserved — and that is one thing I do not want to remain quiet about. Even if, in the end, you still resent my insistence that Valentine’s Day is worthwhile, I hope you can at least take away a little extra love for yourself.
I’ll begin with a cliché but nevertheless true statement: you deserve the man of your dreams. And I am not talking about Channing Tatum. I am talking about someone with countless crazy quirks who make you giggle and shake your head, someone who will sweep you off of your feet with his actions rather than his words and someone who will talk to you because he genuinely wants to get to know you, rather than conversing just long enough to get you in bed. Do not settle for anything else.
Perhaps some people are genuinely fine with random hookups and one night stands, but more often than not I see these encounters damaging self-esteem rather than quelling a sense of loneliness. Most of the time, we go into those situations seeking a deeper connection and are all too shocked when it doesn’t culminate. I hate to break it to you, but most of the time the guy you meet at 1 a.m. at the bar isn’t going to care about how angry your high school softball coach made you or how delicious your mom’s cheesecake is. And you deserve someone who does.
When you find that person, and I truly believe you can, you won’t be looking back saying that you wish you had hooked up with a few more guys or stayed with that subpar boyfriend just because you were comfortable. It will be quite the opposite.
As girls, we need to stop measuring our worth based on the actions of a few ill-intentioned guys and remember that we deserve better. The fact that your Friday night hookup didn’t text you the next morning does not make you subpar — it just means that he isn’t worth wasting time on. Every girl deserves better and it is time we start acting like it.
The funny thing is, I actually feel rather left out of Valentine’s Day amid the plethora of single woman gatherings — but I am okay with that. I think Valentine’s Day is an amazing time to celebrate the love between friends, family or really anyone you may encounter. If you are dateless, don’t fret — you just haven’t found the guy you deserve yet, and he is worth waiting for. Besides, Feb. 14 should be a day to remember how much you are loved by everyone already in your life, not one to fret about those who aren’t a part of it.
Though I encourage everyone to spread a little love to each other this Valentine’s Day, I also want to remind you it is also OK to focus on yourself. As a believer in the sentiment, “We accept the love that we think we deserve” — penned by Stephen Chbosky in “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” — I hope this Valentine’s Day you are able to love yourself, in addition to everyone else around you.
Kelly’s columns run bi-weekly Tuesdays. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org