Love Letter Image Heart Wax Seal Envelope Reclaiming Valentine's Day

All the Single Ladies

I remember back in high school, my single friends and I proclaimed Valentine’s Day an international day of mourning and sported black clothing to school when February 14th rolled around. (Ok, so this may have only happened once, but you get the idea). Meanwhile, girls with boyfriends (or overzealous parents) strolled the halls with balloons, flowers, candy and stuffed animals toted proudly on their shoulders or clipped to backpacks like prizes won at the fair.

As I face another Valentine’s Day as a single lady, I have to ask the question: why is it that we so often measure our self-worth by who we’re with? I have spent so much of my life trying to prove I can survive on my own that it’s difficult to see a relationship as anything but a step back into the comfort zone.

We owe it to ourselves

I strongly believe that before we can commit to someone else, we have to first discover who we are. I hear so often, “He/she completes me.” Or, “He/she is my other half.” Since when were we not complete people on our own? I get it, you love each other, you complement each other, but shouldn’t you be able to complete yourself?

So I recently joined Match.com

I know, this seems odd considering what I just wrote above. But I do think it’s about time we all got over our squeemishness and just admitted that online is a good way to meet people. Now, I could give you all kinds of excuses as to why I joined the site, but I see enough of them on guys’ profiles. It gets old. Bottom line, I’m interested to see what’s out there, and I’m not going to limit myself because some people think online dating is weird.

The beauty about Match is its simplicity. There is no guesswork involved. No looking for wedding rings. No wondering if he’s interested in you, and no mustering the courage to talk to him. You can confidently assume that all of the guys and girls on there are single (and any that aren’t are quickly discovered…telltale sign: no photo of his face). And if he sends you a message, he’s interested in at least talking to you. It’s that simple. Who knew such a complicated thing as dating could be streamlined so nicely?

The Catch

I think where people go wrong on Match is by using it as a “last resort”. If you’re desperate, you’re not going to find a good relationship anywhere, least of all online. This brings me to my earlier point. Have you figured out who you are? If you’re unsatisfied with your life, chances are it has nothing to do with who you are (or aren’t) dating. Maybe you should start with you.

Reclaiming Valentine’s Day

Having never been on a Valentine’s date ever, I have to admit I’m not a huge fan of the holiday (although my bitterness has evolved into a twisted sense of pride). Valentine’s Day has become a contest in a lot of ways: who got the most cards, flowers, stuffed animals, romantic dinners etc. Competition on a day that’s supposed to be all about love? That’s a little backwards, no?

Here’s an idea: as an alternative to buying all of those useless things, why not donate that money to a charity? As Americans, we are (mostly) an incredibly selfish culture. We so often rely on material goods that most people in the world only dream about. So on this day that you would normally spend money on your honey, how about letting him/her pick a charity instead?

In the Meantime

This is still a day of love. Let’s show appreciation for all of the people who are important in our lives. Give somebody a hug. Reconnect with an old friend. Say thanks and count the multitudes of blessings in your own life.