So, today is Valentine’s Day. I waited for Facebook to share with me my previous memories, hoping that there would be something good. Unfortunately, I discovered I didn’t post much over the years. In 2018- I posted nothing. In 2017- I posted about my disdain for Betsy DeVos, and my love for Beyoncé, and about the ‘90s show Ghostwriter (if you remember that show – you’re the real MVP). In 2016- It was cold as fuck, so I posted a meme of the weather also being single and another Beyoncé meme. In 2015 and 2014 I posted nothing (these were the years I was with my fuck-boy of an ex “The Ex Files”). And, in 2013 I posted a meme about my then boyfriend; the first meme was, “I have the WORLD’S MOST AMAZING BOYFRIEND! LOVE!!!!!!!” (He surprised me, at work, with an Edible Arrangement basket). The second meme, “When you know that you will never be alone on Valentine’s Day, ever again.” Looking back now- I realize that was one of the dumbest things I ever posted.
I have been ‘alone’ for the last 4 Valentine’s days and I don’t want you to feel sad for me. After I broke up with my ex in 2015, (right before Valentine’s Day) I felt a sudden weight lift off my shoulders. I was truly happy to be single; not because, I just, wanted to be single; but because I no longer wanted to be with him and I knew that I would never be let down in such a way again.
So, what is the significance of Valentine’s Day when you’re in a relationship vs. when you are single?
I often hear people say that ‘everyday should feel like Valentine’s Day’. That’s a great aspiration; but the reality is that most relationships are not set up that way.
I also hear a lot of people expect the full red-carpet treatment. (Proposals, flowers, candy, fancy dinner, etc.). This, too, is great, but what about the rest of the year? 364 days of chopped liver and one day of Surf & Turf… I don’t think so!
Lastly, I notice, it has become a day of confirmations. In this era of just-chilling, bae, boo, and title-less sex-sationships; this is the one day all those people that want to know “what are we?” and they expect an answer TONIGHT! This, to me, is stupid people’s logic. If I want you to be my man, I’m not waiting for a certain date to confirm it. I’ll make it clear once I feel it and then you have 48 hours to give me your answer. (Cause consider this: if we’ve been seeing each other for months- if by now, you don’t know if you want to try and make this official, you probably never will.
Do we allow our relationship to be basic as fuck all year around, waiting for our partner to pull out all the stops, and if they don’t- we walk away; or, if they do- we stay? On the other hand, if your partner is romantic to begin with, the person that sends you flowers (just because) or takes you out to dinner (just because); is there still an expectation for grand gestures if every day is a fairytale? Every couple is different and has to define what works for them.
Take me and my friend Cat for example.
In 2015, it was my first V-day with my fuck-boy ex and her first V-day with her- then guy she was dating, now husband. They had an established date night where they would go out, I believe once a week, and have a romantic evening. I, in my relationship, had no such thing. Fast forward to a year later, dates in my relationship were few and far between and eventually I broke up with him. My friend and her man were still going strong. When Valentine’s day came around, it was cold as fuck (single digits cold), I asked her what were their plans and she said they were staying in because it was too cold, and that it didn’t matter because they went out last week. They enjoyed a nice evening together and that was that. Fast forward to marriage, baby, and I another on the way; all while maintaining a certain level of romance.
What I took from this was, you have to consider what this day means to you long before you bring a person into your life. You, also, should not revolve your entire relationship around this day; because it sets an unfair expectation on the person coming in, especially if you don’t make your expectations clear in the very beginning.
When you enter a dating-ship set the standard high; in doing so, when things, become more relaxed (as relationships often do) you won’t find yourself at a disadvantage. You may start at dinners out 2-3 nights a week and that may decrease to 1-2 a week- this is not the end of the world; but that depends on you. However, if you know you prefer 2-3 nights and for whatever the reason, you let 1 night be the starting point (and I can guarantee that, over time, it will become no nights); you will have no one to blame but yourself. So, to avoid being in a less than happy relationship down the line, set the tone from the beginning.
I have spent the last 4 V-Days a single woman. Last year I was looking for a new job; so, I was probably home working on my portfolio. The year before that I think I celebrated with friends for a birthday; and beyond that, your guess is as good as mine. What I do know is that- I did not wait for a phone call that would never come. I didn’t wait for flowers that were never sent. I didn’t wait for a card and chocolates that I would never receive and, I didn’t wait for a romantic date that would never happen. I watched whatever movie I wanted. I went to the restaurant I wanted. I had sex with whomever and however I wanted, and I loved every minute of it.
Over the years I have become extremely comfortable and happy being single. Sure, I would like to make a flip-a-gram of my perfect relationship; and I’d like to be one of those obnoxious couples that people want to poison. I know that down the line I want to be a wife and have a family- someday. But I know I don’t want that right now. I don’t want to give up on my freedom, and on a certain level I find it unfair to subject an unknowing victim to the clusterfuck of a life that I choose to lead. Between work, blog writing, novel writing, marathon training, triathlon training, juggling time with my family and friends; a relationship ship would drive me over the deep end.
One day, when I’ve completed most of my goals, I’ll be ready for a relationship (of my liking) and I’ll be one of those obnoxious couples. But that day is not today. This morning I took a run class and after I leave work, I’ll be heading to meet with fellow writers; we’ll drink some wine, eat some chocolate, write, and share some sexy stories. And that is how I will spend my Valentine’s Day this year.
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!