As a student that’s been single many Valentine’s Days, there are minor irritations that one expects to encounter and ignore. I can deal with liking a smiling couple picture that close friends post on Instagram before scrolling past it. The only thing passing a UPS deliveryman unload a truck full of flower deliveries inhibits is the walk to my 10 a.m. class in the Walker Building. I’m fine with awkwardly attempting to check my e-mail in an elevator with no cell service as an anonymous couple engages in flirty PDA. I’m even happy to help my friends plan gifts and surprises for their significant others, and often have.
I say all of this to make the following clear: the gushy, public, mass-market appeal of Valentine’s Day is not lost on me. If I had a boyfriend that cared enough to gift me with carefully packaged oatmeal raisin cookies and a subscription to The Economist, I’d love it. If it was a Nora Ephron-esque romance of storybook perfection where he’d take me for Italian food and treat me to a showing of Zero Dark Thirty, I’d probably Instagram it. My problem lies not with the siphoned-off couples determined to make their love as public as possible, nor is it a bitter manifesto defaming the boyfriend I don’t have. I dread Valentine’s Day because of the couples, I dread it because of the singletons.
As shocking as this news may come to the guilty parties I interact with on social media, February is not the month for me to hear about your ex-boyfriend. As I’ve successfully made it through the other 364 days of the year without a collection of subtweets about the person that broke your heart, Valentine’s Day is not the time to make awkwardly public confrontations that no third party wants to be involved in. And for those that feel perpetually single, February 14th is not the day to pen lamentations about the “single lyfe”. Honestly, I’d rather a tried-and-true lame attempt at humor with picture of Ryan Gosling and a caption recounting your plans to have him father your bespectacled, coffee-addicted, pseudo-hipster progeny.
I was single this Valentine’s Day because I often hold others to the unfairly high standards that I hold myself to. Also I’m often unintentionally sassy and some people find my brazen defense of my opinions off-putting. I also have this weird complex where I find people without ambition and a pair of dark colored dress shoes immoral. These issues, along with a plethora of others, are mine and I’m working on them. I’m not tweeting about them, tumbling them, tweeting them, or listing them at the very top of your Facebook newsfeed. Not only is it useless, as a person that guards her personal life with fierce privacy, I find the public declarations of private matters tasteless and unnecessary.
For next year’s singletons, how about this: leave Valentine’s Day to the couples. Instead of taking it to the social networking behemoths, go out with your girls and booty-pop your way to your next carefree tryst or get wine-drunk while watching Sex and the City. Whatever happens as you’re staying away from composing that tweet, this isn’t the night to send a text message-attempt to rekindle that one toxic relationship that has remained a wound, ready to fester in a fit of loneliness. Take to heart the most honest piece of relationship advice from the best book you’ve never read, He’s Just Not That Into You: “Don’t spend your time on and give your heart to any guy who makes you wonder about anything related to his feelings for you.” For the casualness of college relationships, that’s probably a high standard, but one definitely worth keeping in mind.