My Valentine’s Day date was a book.
Not just any book. This was a book I found at a little bookstore. It wrapped in brown paper and had a short bio written on it that gave me a vague idea of what it was going to be about. It was a blind date with a book.
For some reason, I love the idea of a blind date book. It encouraged me to pick something from the shelf I normally wouldn’t choose. That book now has a special place in my heart thanks to the adventure it took me on and the way I found it. There’s something exciting about the idea of curling up by myself on Valentine’s Day with a bag of popcorn and a warm blanket, just to read.
It’s also so comforting to take that time to be by myself on a day that seems so stressful otherwise.
Valentine’s Day has become such a big deal. There’s so much social pressure to be romantic and if you don’t do anything, you’re seen as a cheapskate or not caring enough. It was a big deal even in elementary school when we decorated boxes for treats and cards that had little messages written on them and every person in the class needed to get one so they didn’t feel left out.
Now, couples are expected to give each other chocolate, flowers or expensive gifts, and go out to fancy restaurants where tons of other couples are doing the same thing. There’s also this stigma labeling those who don’t have dates for Feb 14 as unwanted, ugly or lonely people. It’s either that or they’re strong independent people making a statement.
I honestly find the idea of this holiday absurd.
I get it. In a college setting where everyone is so busy with school, Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to spend time with that special someone and show them how much you care. But in a culture so oriented toward finding a forever partner and creating a family, it’s also a reminder for single people that they haven’t found that special someone yet.
I’ve known people who would worry about why they weren’t in a relationship yet. Was there something wrong with them? Were they giving off the wrong vibes? Are they not attractive enough, or smart enough or witty enough? These worries always get worse this time of year as everyone is scrambling to make date plans.
The thing is, maybe you just aren’t in that stage of life right now. Okay, so you haven’t found the love of your life yet. That doesn’t mean you won’t, someday. But this also doesn’t mean that you need to settle for the first person who shows interest in you because you don’t know when your next opportunity will be.
That is not what I want from my life. I may be perpetually single, but I don’t feel like I’m failing at living just because I don’t have a significant other in my life. I have other priorities, like school, work, me. Sure, it would be nice to have someone to go with me to the movies, or surprise me with flowers or food, but I’m not desperately searching to fill a void in my life.
I’m okay with being alone. I like being alone, being me. I also like spending time with friends and making connections with others without the stress of trying to learning if I’m romantically compatible with someone.
That doesn’t mean I don’t want to date and get married. I do. I’m just not worried I haven’t found someone I want to share such a large part of my life with yet. It will happen, eventually. But for now, I’m still learning who I am and what I want from life. That’s what my 20s are for after all, right?
For all of you single people out there, wondering why you were alone this Valentine’s Day. Don’t worry. It’s just a day that has been commercialized far beyond its pagan and historical origins which people use as an excuse to remind their loved ones of their feelings. Other than that, it’s just a day. Love and relationships, friends and family, they are what matter and they don’t depend on the days of the calendar year.
— Miranda Lorenc is a strong, independent young woman who’s also a big nerd that likes books and video games. She is a senior double majoring in biology and English technical communication.