Opinions & Senior Copy Editor
In a time of desperation and hurried relationships, Valentine’s Day is a dangerous holiday to celebrate during this pandemic. How does one even find their twin flame while stuck inside quarantine? Putting dangerous super spreaders aside, those of us who have been safely distanced are probably romanticizing a pre-pandemic Valentine’s Day routine: finding random mediocre partners a week before D-day.
Never mind that you barely know them and Valentine’s Day is merely a capitalistic excuse to push out themed products and projects — the thought of being alone on this day is more dreadful than this average date, right? Wrong. Dear singles, don’t be socialized to think your worth comes from your relationship status.
Many individuals think of Valentine’s Day as a reminder of their possibly depressing singleness, all because society has pressured us to think our final destination is to be married with children. Being alone is the hallmark of unfulfilled lives, and past heterosexual traditions in America point to an all-encompassing burden of finding your other half. This isn’t a diss on couples or those in love; it is constructive criticism of society as a whole. Why should independent individuals feel embarrassed about their relationship status, when the only relationship that matters is between you and yourself?
This concept is something many individuals choose to ignore, as it’s considered an emotionally in-depth analysis of one’s past or understanding your own needs. To be fair, it does seem scary. But true complacency and satisfaction with an independent life come from self love and understanding. It makes Valentine’s Day another day to celebrate your existence and prioritize according to what you really need, aligning the chakras of necessity and desire.
This brings us to the goal of finding that independence and being perfectly satisfied with just yourself, the first step: self love. In today’s society, this idea is painted as a self-indulgent, ego-centric practice in our already individualistic America. Many organizations, such as religious groups, prioritize the wellbeing of others, and yes, this collectivist approach is important and critical to our society, especially during a pandemic — yet disapprove of the concept of self love.
To be clear, self love is not the act of apathy and emotional isolation. It does not mean you deprioritize your surroundings or only please yourself. It is the idea of recognizing your own needs and being comfortable in your own skin. As easy as it sounds, self love is the exact opposite; it takes discipline to marinate in your own company without the need to find value in yourself from others.
Movies and TV shows market self love as a one-day trip: you buy yourself chocolates and flowers, put on your favorite pajamas, and allow yourself a night of skin care extravaganza and classic rom-com marathons. Though this is a form of self love that manifests differently based on the individual, the advertised version of loving yourself is a one-and-done process of gluttony and procrastination.
In actuality, self love is being in a relationship with yourself. It’s a reminder that you are the main character in your movie, and so is everyone else in their lives. Yes, this process could look similar to Julia Robert’s strawberry-and-champagne night in “Pretty Woman.” Or maybe your self care looks like Emma Stone’s one-woman show singing “A Pocketful of Sunshine” in the shower. The core concept here is learning to determine your own value and finding joy in your own space without anyone else — a point in which you’ll know being single is actually fun.