Being Single On Valentine’s Day
There is a terrible stigma for women who find themselves single on Valentine’s Day, and I, for one, find it sickening.
Every time someone asks me about my boyfriend/husband, and I don’t mean people I know, I mean complete strangers, and I tell them I am not currently in a relationship, they behave in the most astounding way. The questions are invasive, a little rude, and sometimes I walk away amused, other times I walk away wondering what is wrong with other people.
After a really awful year (and there have been so many I can’t keep count any more), I usually treat myself to something nice, and often times it’s a piece of jewelry. I was in Lowes’ of all places a few years ago and a woman working there grabbed my hand at the register. She oohed and aahed over my ring and then asked me when I was getting married. I almost laughed in her face, until I realized that for someone her age, a woman wearing a diamond ring could ONLY mean that she was getting married, it couldn’t mean “I’ve had a hard year, I work hard, and I treated myself to something beautiful that I enjoy looking at every day, as a reminder of my perseverance.” I explained that I’d been through a hard year and had treated myself to the ring. She dropped my hand and all of her enthusiasm went right out the window. Why do women behave like that? Can’t a pretty ring just be something pretty? Can’t we just be nice to one another and wish each other the best in life? That’s how I was raised, not to be jealous, rude, or make assumptions, but to wish people well and wish them the best, even if they aren’t the nicest of people.
Is it some kind of sin to be a single woman? Not from where I’m sitting. I may not have the perfect life, but I have one and I live it the way I want to, most of the time. I don’t justify my time to anyone, I plan and go on my own vacations, I don’t fight with anyone over the remote, no one is judging my taste in books, music, sports teams, or asking me why I’m wearing make-up (except for my brother, who always asks these questions and never ceases to judge).
No, this isn’t my take on how all relationships function, but I do worry about women who completely lose themselves within the confines of any relationship and turn into doormats for their partners, not because they don’t have a mind of their own, but because they’ve forgotten they have a mind of their own!
This country is so obsessed with weight (Apparently any female over a size 2-4 is considered some kind of large farm animal. At my absolute thinnest I was never a size 4, so MOOOOO!!), looks, money, power, social status, and a plethora of “stuff”, that often times people forget to look very closely at the person they are in a relationship with.
Not all guys are wonderful and not all guys are horrible. Not all guys are liars and cheaters. The same is true for us women, guys. We’re not all bitches from hell, we’re not all your “viper of an ex-girlfriend/ex-wife”, etc. There are still good people in this world, and unfortunately Valentine’s Day sort of shines a Beyonce type stage light on the single folk, whereas everyone in a relationship is somehow considered “lucky, blessed”, and the fact that marriage is hard work is never even mentioned.
The marriages I have as my prime examples have never, from the outside, looked easy. My personal family history was tumultuous at best. The marriages that lasted “‘til death do we part” were the ones established in the 30’s, 40’s, and one that lasted for 49 years and only ended due to my Uncle passing away, or I can assure you they would still be together, as they’d been together since they were kids. Those were not easy relationships, but the love was there, sometimes thinly veiled beneath arguments regarding children, grandchildren, politics, religion, every day life, etc., but it was there and they were rooted in foundations built upon so many things.
I can almost hit triple digits with the amount of divorced people I know and the number of times they’ve been divorced. The sanctity of marriage is damn near a joke to people these days, yet somehow people think we have the right to say no to gay marriage. We don’t have that right. To take basic human rights away from human beings is disgusting. This is the 21st century people. If you don’t like it, that’s fine, stay with whoever it is you’re in a relationship with, but don’t tell others that the fact that they love each other is wrong.
Being single is not a crime, being single on Valentine’s Day is not the end of the world. Flowers and candy don’t impress me when it’s only done once a year. When you take the time to be a partner every single day, to take care of me when I’m sick, to ask me how my day was and really listen, that’s much more impressive than if you make a last minute trip to the flower shop on Valentine’s Day or if you spend several hundred dollars to send me roses.
So yes, I was single this year for Valentine’s Day. I might not be a year from now, but if I am, I’m going to own it and not act like it’s the end of the world because it’s not. If you don’t learn how to be by yourself and be good to yourself, no one will ever come along and treat you the way you deserve to be treated. Women who treat themselves as Queens will always attract Kings, just make sure your King isn’t romancing any ideas of having multiple wives.
Hope you all had a good Valentine’s Day and felt loved by someone, be it a partner, a family member, your children, or a pet. If you felt loved by everyone in your life, then you ARE blessed.