Single for Valentine’s Day Is Better Than Being In a RelationshiT

Valentine’s Day is approaching, and most of us have probably been sick of it since the stores started setting out VD items the day after Christmas. Being alone on “the day of love” isn’t the worst thing in the world. It’s a highly overrated Hallmark holiday, putting too much unnecessary pressure on people to show their love whether or not they mean it. If you really think you’re going to be missing out this year, consider these couple scenarios:

1. Tim met Fiona about a month or so on a dating site. It’s not exactly an established relationship, but since it’s a “love holiday,” he feels the pressure to do something for Valentine’s Day. Even though Tim likes Fiona, he thinks it’s too soon to go all out for dinner and flowers and the like, so he just sends a text with some flower and kiss emojis, telling her he can’t wait to see her again. Fiona, on the other hand, thinks that Tim is the man of her dreams, and the universe has answered her prayers. She’s been working all week, waiting for Tim to ask her to do something for Valentine’s Day, but so far nothing. But then she receives a text, thinking and hoping it’s a dinner invitation:

Fiona’s hopes are dashed. Is he at least going to send flowers to my work? she wonders — and she waits all day — only to be disappointed. Maybe he sent flowers to my house, she thinks. Again, Fiona is highly disappointed when she arrives home, because the man of her dreams has let her down. Tim had no intention of doing anything special for V-Day, and now Fiona feels confused. This is not how she’d planned Valentine’s Day with the man of her dreams!

2. How many times have you seen a couple appear absolutely miserable with one another? I’m talking about seeing them in person interacting, not the fluff and filters and #loveydovey hashtags on social media. Take a look at Joe and Jacqui:

Joe and Jacqui met in high school and have been together for 12 years but never married. They have two kids together and a busy lifestyle, but there are a lot of things missing out of their relationship, despite all of the beautiful and happy family and travel photos Jacqui posts on Instagram. Every photo is something spectacular — a beautiful scene, happy and smiling children, Jacqui and Joe kissing at sunset (“always in love”) — in other words — the perfect family. But everything is a facade.

No one knows Jacqui’s secret as she sips on vodka all day while she’s posting her lovely pictures and v-logging about her family. She hides it well on camera, but Jacqui is constantly yelling at her children, so getting smiling photos is very important, since the children are an extension of her. Even though she’s wanted Joe to pop the question for the past 12 years, Jacqui has to accept the fact that he will probably never marry her, just as his dad never married his mother.

Joe loves Jacqui, but he doesn’t want to marry her. He hates the way Jacqui acts in public, constantly filming and taking photos of everything they do and posting it for the world to see their fake lifestyle. He’s tired of coming home every night to drunk Jacqui, passed-out Jacqui, or screaming Jacqui. Joe hates it so much, they often fight about it, and he’s spent the night in their SUV a few times just to get away. Joe feels obligated to stay with Jacqui because of their children and because neither of them can afford to separate. What he really wants is to be that perfect family that Jacqui posts and brags about. Now it’s their 12th Valentine’s Day together, so he’d better at least come home with some flowers and chocolate, because he knows he might be sleeping in the SUV again if he doesn’t.

3. Marci has been with Tyler for two years. Things haven’t been going so well, but since it’s Valentine’s Day, she figures she’d give up the grudge she’s had since he cheated on her 10 months ago. She searches online for the perfect recipe and bakes him a heart-shaped chocolate cake with “I love you” in red icing. Tyler calls and says he’s going to be home a little late from work to finish a project, so he offers to pick up some takeout dinner tonight and take her out for Valentine’s dinner another night. Marci changes into some new lingerie and waits for Tyler, their dinner, and for the moment she intends to profess how much she loves him with her homemade cake. But what she won’t tell him is she stopped taking her birth control pill a week and a half ago.

When Tyler arrives home, he gives Marci a quick kiss and says he needs to shower before he eats. Marci follows him into the bathroom a few minutes later in steamy shower stall. Twenty minutes later, they’re both smiling and hungry. When they finish eating, Tyler offers to pick up the dirty plates and tells Marci to relax. While he’s in the kitchen, Marci sees his phone light up with the name Jill:

The text included a photo of Jill’s lips and nude body. Marci’s heart sinks as she runs to the bathroom, throwing up.

These are hypothetical situations of people that are stuck with people they truly don’t want to be with while feeling pressured on Valentine’s Day. At the same time, these circumstances are very possible, because these situations can happen to anyone. If you’re single for Valentine’s Day and feeling a little left out, think of it a blessing, because you could be in a relationshiT with someone you shouldn’t be with. Now does being single on Valentine’s Day sound bad?

I write as a means of self-therapy. More of my work can be found on my blog at FreeTheBurden.com.

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