My previous experience with Valentine’s Day is broad and vague. When relationships have conveniently fallen on this “holiday” my sentiments have ranged from too cool for school, oh dear why limit ourselves by celebrating Valentine’s Day when we are so in love every day of the year, to thrilled simply for the privilege of having somebody willing to spend their time with me; from alone and miserably cursing the happy couples that seem to swell in magnitude, to completely denying any need for human interaction whatsoever. I look back and laugh, not because I am any wiser, but because I recognize how very little I know about love.
My previous use of quotation marks when describing today as a holiday was not intended as bitterness. I simply know little about the history behind Valentine’s Day or why we celebrate it in today’s culture. Wikipedia (the unconditionally non-judgmental friend who I refer all of my dumbest questions to) goes into extensive detail of the origins of Saint Valentine, who was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers and ministering to Christians, and then my brain gets lazy with information overload and there’s something about bidding farewell before his execution saying from your Valentine, it continues about other legends from other parts of the world. I quickly discover that I am much less interested in this topic than I first suspected.
Whatever the origins, somehow Valentine’s Day became what it is today – a day reserved for the celebration of love. It is also argued to have become highly commercialized and far too superficial. But in an attempt to prolong the time until I become a martini-glass slinging, cat-loving spinster, I acknowledge the cynical part of my brain but move on.
I can’t say that I understand love. In retrospect, I don’t know if I’ve ever been in love. It is embarrassing to admit that I have said I love you to four guys. In all four situations the words were heavy with meaning and the thought of losing that person was inconceivable. Is real love really so fickle? Concerning the most recent guy that I loved – who I shall refer to as Four, no wait that’s horrible, I shall call him Manny – we knew each other for roughly two months before we said the words. We fought a lot, he fell out of love with me and I clutched onto him as hard as I could and went absolutely nuts doing so.
Why did I fall so hard so quickly. Is it because I was insecure and needed the approval. Is it because I got a small taste of love and became desperate for more. Was I so blinded by physical attraction that the rational part of my brain turned off. Is it all of these, am I just completely crazy? Haha, probably. My point is that I was attracted to him, I liked his personality, he saw something he liked about me, but at some point it stopped being about getting to know each other to see if we were compatible. I wanted love so badly that I filled in the missing information with my own, made him into the perfect person in my head and confessed my undying love for him. What a disaster.
I celebrate alone today. I acknowledge my previous Valentine’s Days without judgment. I see the happy couples in my life and I feel happiness for them rather than jealousy. I admit to myself that I do want love but that rushing it will be counter productive. Instead, I refocus and open my definition of love to include myself. Happy Valentine’s Day me 🙂