Ah yes, Valentine’s Day is right around the bend. Cue the flowers, the candy and the chocolates, the teddy bears, the elaborate gifts, the date nights and dinners. Restaurants will be booked to full capacity. Couples everywhere will be swooning over each other; social media will be flooded with “I love you” messages, from Facebook to Snapchat to Instagram and everywhere in between. And in the midst of all this love being in the air, anywhere AND everywhere, there you are, single.
Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being single. However, it is unfortunate that in the year of Our Lord 2019, a woman’s worth, no matter how much she has done for herself academically, professionally, and in her life on a whole, is always tied to if she “have ah man” or not. Even the President, Her Excellency Paula-Mae Weekes had to deal with questions regarding her sexuality, because for some, it is completely dumbfounded that a woman of her stature does not have a husband or male companion to go home to at the end of the day.
As to why there is such an emphasis on a woman’s singleness? That is a history lesson for another day. Instead, I polled a few of my single lady friends to find out how long they’ve been single, if they’re looking for that special someone right now, how they spend February 14th, and if the entire idea of Valentine’s Day is a big deal to them or not.
Melissa’s been single about five years now. She explained that although she does love the idea of getting back into relationship, she isn’t actively looking for a relationship. Valentine’s Day doesn’t faze her. She never really celebrated the day while she was with her then husband, so to her, it is simply just another day. She’d most likely spend the evening doing what she normally does: going to gym, then heading home to relax, watching television and then calling it a night.
Keisha has only been single a few months, and admitted that even though she and her now ex never really celebrated Valentine’s Day, the thought of being single for the first time in a long while on Valentine’s Day has her feeling some type way. She couldn’t put her finger on the feeling, but simply explained that “it isn’t a good a feeling”. She said she’d try to hang out with some of her other single friends on that day, but knowing her, she’d probably end up staying home reminiscing on her past relationship, wine included. When I asked her about the prospect of a new relationship, she responded that she wished she and her ex could work things out and reconcile.
Arianna, who didn’t want to disclose how long she’s been single, said that the whole concept of Valentine’s Day is BS. Why wait for this one day in the year to show your partner that you love them? You can do that any other day of the year, and you won’t have to worry about people trying to rip you off by increasing the cost of flowers and other traditional Valentine’s Day paraphernalia. With all that said, she is still searching for love and hopes to find it one day.
Kathryn, who said explained that her divorce was just finalised, said to me that the day has no real significance to her. Right now she is simply focused on her children and as far as she sees it, they are her Valentines. When asked about if she is back on the dating scene, she admitted that there is someone, but it isn’t serious, her children are her priority so that is where she is invested.
Renee said she loved everything about Valentine’s Day. And for her then boyfriend, she would go all out. Since their break up about three years ago, she has tuned out the day on a whole. She told me that comes off of social media for a few days, because it hurts her to all these people in love, and she wants that for herself, but doesn’t have it. She said that she will forever be a hopeless romantic, borderline believer in a fairy tale, so she is always looking for her Prince Charming.
In hearing all their stories, I realised that the day has different meanings for different people. While some aren’t bothered or hyped up about the day, others are. While some are still looking for love, others are quite content in their singleness. As a single woman, you can make Valentine’s day about YOU. Treat yourself, take yourself out on a date, go to the spa, to the gym, go watch a movie. Do something for you that speaks to your heart and soul. Learn to love yourself and learn to love being in your own company. If you have children, speand it with them. Just because the premise of Valentine’s Day is celebrating Eros love, doesn’t mean that you have to celebrate it that way. You can acknowledge February 14th in your own way. After all, the day is about love, isn’t it?