(Disclaimer: these are my feelings. I know they don’t pertain to every singleton out there.)
Valentine’s Day always brings out the worst in me. I have never, in my adult life, had a good Valentine’s Day. Romance was not in my ex’s vocabulary and though I initially tried to make it special with my own thoughtful gestures, they were tossed off with a careless “thanks.” Needless to say, between that and never having a boyfriend on this holiday, my enthusiasm has been slightly dampened for the day of “romance and love.”
For all of you “happily married” or “happily in a relationship” people, let me remind you what Valentine’s Day is like for the single woman over a “certain age.” (This may also be why some of your friends may not be jumping up and down when you tell them all about your romantic plans.)
If the day falls on a weekday, we see many women with beautiful bouquets of flowers, chocolate boxes or other gifts. The chatter over the water cooler will be all about who is planning what for their special “amour” on this romantic day. For the single woman, we usually smile, nod, and act interested when we know perfectly well that we are burning up with jealousy.
Then comes the dreaded question “What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?” And we must admit that our plans don’t contain a significant other. My answers are usually “Oh, my friends and are hanging out” or something similar. Or, on occasion, I flat out lie and make up this wonderful story of what I’m going to be doing to celebrate the detested holiday. I also know that I will likely end up wrapped in a blanket with my Netflix movie and chocolate. (By the way, did you know that they started selling chocolates on Valentine’s day because of the single women? Women in love really don’t need chocolate.)
If Valentine’s Day falls on a weekend, everywhere you go, you are bombarded with canoodling couples while your arms are empty. One can often feel like they should be posting a sign on their foreheads that reads “reject.”
But the most painful experience is dealing with our own thoughts. In our heads, we often face the reoccurring thought that there is something “wrong” with us. This isn’t necessarily true, but when most other people around you are married, in a relationship or dating, you can’t help but wonder what you are doing that causes you to remain single as the years pass. Unfortunately, that’s a complicated answer and different for everyone. But being single during this holiday can often feel like a cruel form of emotional torture.
So, as a single woman over a “certain age” let me remind the happily-ever-afters that on this holiday, don’t rapture over your significant other’s amazing plans or gifts to your single girlfriends. We love you and we’re excited for you, but it’s a bit like rubbing lemon juice in a cut. We’ll be excited with you on another day, but for this day (unless we ask), just leave us be or talk about anything else other than Valentine’s Day.
And for all those single women out there reading this, remember…fluffy pj’s, hot baths, chocolate and the cuddles of your pet friends can soften just about any heartache. (Almost.)