• Tiye Naeemah Cort

If You're Single on V-Day...

As a single woman, the world will tell you that on Feb, 14th, you have to make a choice. You can pretend that it doesn't exist and go about your day with blinders to the red foil heart balloons and speed past the store promotional ads during your coffee run. You can embrace it and wear a hint of red or pink to show your solidarity in the name of love. Even though you know that you don't *have* to do anything for Valentine's Day, the older we get, the more pressure there is in anticipation of what's gonna happen on the 14th. Completely ignore the day, and you're labeled boring and cold. Feed into it too much, and you look desperate. That's why I'm all for the "chill V-day". Either you're with someone or you're not, but chilling out removes the pressure to prove anything to anyone outside of your relationship. If you're single, it's up to you. If you're in a relationship, it's up to y'all. Simple.

Valentine's Day has always been my favorite holiday. Yeah, it's made up, but what holiday isn't? As a single girl, I once tried to get into the idea of "Gal-entine's" day celebrations, but honestly, it always seemed kind of desperate and insecure to me. I go out for cute dinners and drinks with my girls all the time so every time we're together feels like Valentine's Day. And that's how life should be, innit? Every day should be a celebration of love for friends, S.O.s, and whoever else may be in your life. I really believe this, yet every year I come across the labeling of "Single's Awareness Day", as if singleness is some strange tumultuous season to be dreaded, and I just wonder:

What's wrong with a day dedicated to celebrating the consciously coupled and lovers of the world?

Being single is cool. You were probably single the day before V- day, and you'll probably still be single the day after. There's no reason to sulk when you see guys choosing gifts for their girls, taking them out to nice dinners, and buying flowers and chocolate. It's cute. It's thoughtful. And it's what should be happening at any other time during the year. Why hate on that?

Love is beautiful. And if you're in love, that is something to be celebrated. Celebrate your relationship with a person who loves you, encourages you, and pushes you to do better. I'm hopelessly romantic enough to appreciate the opportunity to show love through themed boxes of chocolates and a bouquet of my favorite flowers, and simply because I have no answer to the question "Why not?"

Maybe I love Valentines Day because I know that every year I get chocolates from a very special man. Boyfriends and situationships may come and go, but my father never fails to buy me, my mother, and each of the my other siblings a box of chocolates. And maybe that's part of my appreciation for a day dedicated to the showing of love for one another. The first man I've ever known has continuously shown me love, and even on the corniest day of the year, he comes through every time. I love seeing my mother open her chocolates and get all excited when a fresh bouquet of flowers awaits her on the kitchen table. My sisters and I all look forward to coming home to or being mailed our box of chocolates every year. Showing love is definitely a "thing" in my family, and maybe if you're not used to that, it's not something that is easily appreciated.

This year, maybe I can expect something a little more substantial from another special guy, but I'll still find joy in seeing other lovebirds be all lovey dovey for a day. If you're single, take a moment to feel the love and happiness that the day is meant to celebrate.

Why use a day dedicated to happiness and all things cheesy to selfishly reflect on what you dislike about being single? If you hate it that much, change it. There's a reason why single people are single, and it's not always some other person's fault. Sometimes you have things that you need to take time to work through on your own instead of drawing other people into your mess. Sometimes you simply are better off on your own than in a partnership. Sometimes you just need to chill and be content with the fact that singleness is a season that can last a couple of months or forever, but raining on other people's parades is definitely not your calling.

Valentine's Day is not "Singles Awareness Day". It's self-loathing to psych yourself out about how depressing the day will be when (and here comes the corny but true part) you are indeed loved by someone. Somebody loves you, baby! I typed that in my best Patti Labelle vox. Yo mama, yo daddy, brothers and sisters, friends, Jesus- somebody out there loves you, and I'm sure they think about you on more days than the 14th of Black History Month. It may not be the same as someone else buying things for you or making you feel special but, dude, V-day is on a Tuesday this year, I'm sure you have other things to do. Let the couples have their moment, and lay low if that's too hard for you to smile about without feeling salty.


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