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Self-love for Valentine’s: It’s okay to be single this V-Day

by Gaby Agbulos

WITH Valentine’s Day fast approaching, you may find yourself scowling at the lovey-dovey TikToks you see on your For You page of people asking people to be their Valentine, or of date ideas to celebrate that day. 

It’s hard being single, especially if you know you deserve love just like everyone else does. But being single on Valentine’s isn’t a bad thing, nor is it the end of the world. If anything, it’s a great way to make plans either with your friends, your family, or yourself.

Relationships come and go; there’s no certainty in them. Why not dedicate this day to loving yourself and the people around you, instead?

Love comes in all shapes and forms

People may know Valentine’s Day as something you celebrate with your significant other, but there are no rules on how you’re meant to spend it. Valentine’s is a great day to show your friends or family how much you love them. 

You can take this time to go out on cute friend dates; go out for overpriced coffee, take pictures at a park or a museum, or make cute arts and crafts. Or you can schedule a date with your parents by taking them out to a nice restaurant or going with them to the mall for some window shopping. 

In the past, I always kept to myself when it came to dealing with my problems, especially when they were jowa-related. As a result, I always felt extremely isolated whenever I was hurting. I felt like I had no one to turn to because I didn’t wanna burden anyone with my problems.

When I did start opening up to them though, I wondered why I’d been so scared in the first place. The only responses I received from them were of concern, love, and understanding, with no judgment to be seen. That’s what love is. That’s what true love is to me.

Love is not limited to the romantic kind. There is love in everything and everyone, all around us. If you learn to look for places you may not expect to see, your days may just get a little bit brighter.

Being alone takes some getting used to

I’d always been the type of person who liked to do things alone. I would often do errands by myself, and whenever I went out to cafes to work, I hated having company. 

When I got a boyfriend, though, I found myself slowly losing sight of my independent self. Any time I had to go out, I wanted him with me, and I felt uncomfortable doing anything on my own.

At that point, I felt like if I were to go out alone, people would judge me or mock me when the reality was that no one actually cared what I was doing because they were busy doing their own thing. 

When we broke up, I struggled to do things on my own. Any time I ran errands, I would look for someone to come with me, and when no one would come with me, I’d just change my plans until I had someone to go with. But that’s no way to live.

As cliche as it is, life really is short, and I don’t want to live it regretting all the experiences I missed out on just because I didn’t want to do them alone. While I’m still struggling to find the confidence to enjoy my own company, I’m getting there, little by little.

Studying at coffee shops, shopping at the mall, eating at a cute restaurant – all of these and more are things I get to experience now as I get used to the comfort and peace of being alone because there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. 

You know you best

Instead of trying to find someone to spend Valentine’s Day with at the last minute, remind yourself that you shouldn’t settle for less than what you deserve.

Why settle for someone that you know doesn’t fit all your standards? Why force yourself to go out with someone you don’t even know or like just for the sake of saying that on the 14th, you won’t be alone, when in reality, being alone is one of the best things on earth?

After my last relationship in junior high, I went years without dating anyone, because I didn’t see myself dating anyone. When I did start dating, I found myself constantly settling for less, trying to justify to myself that if I were to continue to keep the standards I had, I was going to die alone.

Well… so what? Wouldn’t I be better off being single and happy instead of taken and miserable?

I’m still a hopeless romantic, and I still have my toes dipped in the dating pool, but I’ve come to accept that what’s for me, will come to me. There’s no point in forcing it. If I don’t feel it, then why pretend like there’s something there?

Always remember that you know you best, and you know what you want better than anyone. Regardless of if you’re feeling pressured to date because your parents are asking when you’re gonna get hitched, or feeling anxious because all your friends are getting into relationships and you aren’t, remember that there’s no specific timeline to follow when it comes to love. It comes in its own time. 

Until then, remember that you’ll always have yourself. Whether you’re spending your Valentine’s Day with a partner, friends, family, or yourself, make plans how you want to and not what others say you have to do. 

You’re your own person, and that’s something to be celebrated every day.

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