Why it’s okay to be your own Valentine

By Sierra Dotson
January 31, 2019

Many people also jokingly refer to Feb. 14 as "Single Awareness Day."
Many people also jokingly refer to Feb. 14 as "Single Awareness Day."
Many people also jokingly refer to Feb. 14 as “Single Awareness Day.” Photo by Sierra Dotson.

The relationship you have with yourself is the most important relationship you will ever have in your life. No matter how much of an extrovert you are, at the end of the day you are the person you spend time with the most.

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, there is so much pressure to “have a valentine.” For those of us with no significant other, the pressure can sometimes feel twice as high.

There has been a Valentine’s Day subculture that has emerged among single people called “Galentine’s Day.” Where our Valentine is a platonic friend rather than a romantic partner. Although I am certain that everyone who celebrates has good intentions, I think that “Galentine’s Day” has certain elements that are problematic. It is unintentionally still reinforcing the idea that enjoying Valentine’s Day by yourself is something unacceptable or taboo.

A few weeks ago, I was sitting around the lunch table with my friends as we were discussing our Valentine’s Day plans. Those of us at the table who were single decided to throw ourselves a Galentine’s party so that we wouldn’t be alone. Those were the words that really struck me.

”…so we wouldn’t be alone.”

Don’t get me wrong, my friends are my whole world. They have gotten me through more hard times than I can count. But I don’t need a holiday to express my love for them, I do that everyday. However, celebrating Galentine’s to distract yourself from being single contradicts the holiday’s goal of embracing singleness.

By drawing attention to the concept’s flaws does not inherently mean that I am anti-Galentine’s or anti-Valentine’s. I don’t have a problem with how people choose to celebrate the holiday. There isn’t really a right or wrong way of expressing love.  I just want people to know they shouldn’t feel obligated to have a big celebration if they’d much rather stay home and take a hot bath.

One of my favorite Valentine’s Day candies is Dove Hearts because each wrapper has a warm message inside. Photo by Sierra Dotson.

According to a study done by University of Virginia, subjects were placed in a room alone with a button that they were aware would deliver an electric shock upon pressing. After being in the room for the same period of time, 7o percent of male participants pressed the buttons while 25 percent of female participants pressed the button. The researchers concluded that the majority of people would rather be shocked with electricity than to be forced to sit quietly alone with their thoughts. But why is this? Why are we so scared of being alone?

Spending time alone forces you to mold that relationship with yourself. It is what really taught me how to practice self-love and self-care.

However, I’m not saying that I don’t sometimes fall into the same trap. Loving myself is not always easy and sometimes I slip up. There are some days when I just have to FaceTime my friends because my thoughts get too dark.

The other day I was walking down the seasonal isle at WalMart and I saw so many cute boxes of chocolate. My eyes finally settled on the Dove dark chocolate hearts. They were on sale, so I bought them. Not for a Valentine, but for myself. As small and insignificant as that decision was, it felt indescribably empowering.


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Sierra Dotson

Cabrini University 2021 // News Editor 2019-2020

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