By Jarrod Thalheimer
February 14 – that famous epoch of couples love dreaded annually by singles the nation over. Not in a relationship? Well, hang that lonely, dejected loser of a head in shame while those lucky in love get to kiss and canoodle in your face (really, canoodle?).
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The thing is, Valentine’s Day is actually a pretty cool day to be single too. Sound far-fetched? Nope. It’s all in how you look at things.
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First off, far from a day of romance, Valentine’s “began” when some religious folks decided to honor a few martyrs (read “dudes who got murdered”) for their faith. I’m no mind reader, but it’s doubtful that little chunk of reality is high on most folks’ Valentine’s to-do list. The only other historical mention of February 14th having anything to do with love was Charles VI of France throwing a massive party in the 1400s for other royal one-percenters where part of the entertainment was hearing – and apparently ruling on – disputes between lovers. Sounds positively magical, no?
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The always helpful Bureau of Labor Statistics says more than 50 percent (that’s roughly 124.6 million American adults) are single. In 1950, that number was about 22 percent. It would appear single folks have far more company these days than the steadily decreasing numbers of hooked-up pairs out there. Let ‘em have a day to party. They probably need it.
This may sound petty but when it comes to the ending of relationships, Valentine’s is almost the perfect storm. Every year some guy (or girl) inevitably manages to break the love camel’s back for good. Whether it’s no gift, the wrong gift, or thinking dinner for two at the local strip club/bar and grill is romantic, Valentine’s can often be the smash-up derby of coupledom. That also means February 15th gets way more interesting for singles.
How awesome is getting to skip out on the routine retail orgy created by the obligation to gift on Valentine’s Day? Shop all you like but keep your buying power dry until the day after. Scoring scads of love-hearted boxes of chocolate or red ribbon-themed gifts for 70 to 80 percent off is truly something worth falling in love with.
Think you feel bad ‘cause you don’t have someone? What about the poor girl chewing her nails subterranean in fear that her someone forgot? The only thing worse than not having a lover is wondering when – or if – the lover you do have actually cares. Revel in the psychic security of absolute truth: You are giving and getting nothing this year. Pure emotional bliss!
Okay, maybe all you have is a fish, a parakeet, or even just a turtle, but that little life loves you plenty. Sure, it’s based mainly on the fact that you provide him food, but so what? Your dog loves you lots and he’s never going to get you flowers. Why not spend a fun day hanging with a genuinely cute creature that will never, ever care how you look in sweatpants.
Fine Dining Free-For-All
Everyone digs a fancy dinner out, and on February 14th it seems like almost everyone gets to. Even if you find a place, odds are you’ll be hustled through dinner in no time flat while the owner jams in tables and chairs to max the seat count. Screw the chaos: Plop on the couch and order in. Nothing says cozy happiness like hot pizza delivered, churros for dessert, and re-runs of “The Walking Dead.”
Right now, go to your closet and fish out the smallest, fanciest bits of lingerie you own. Next, think back to every single breast-twisting, side-pinching, butt-flossing moment you ever endured wearing them and take a very deep breath: This year you’re single! You can wear a Snuggie to bed if you want.
Wrong Guy (or Gal) Syndrome
One of the worst feelings in the world is spending Valentine’s Day staring into the face of a person you cannot believe you actually ended up with. Just like Liz Lemon’s Dennis Duffy (“30 Rock,” kids – look it up!), some things are simply more awful than words. Being single on Valentine’s Day means your luck might be far better than you think. Hooray!
Check Out the Mirror
Feeling all angry and mopey because you’re alone actually reveals one of the most important truths you are ever going to face: Happiness comes from within. If you can’t love you, why should anyone else? The sooner you get to digging that person deep inside, the better off you’ll be. And what better time to launch a love parade with yourself than a day dedicated to hugs and kisses?!