Every February 14th, social media explodes with pictures of gifts, chocolate, engagement rings, and statuses proclaiming and declaring love. It also explodes with “Single Awareness Day”. Memes about being alone, eating chocolate by yourself, posting about all the things you’re going to do while you’re on your own. It also explodes with “Dating Jesus”, sharing Bible verses on Love, and people reminding us we are loved.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve shared those “single life” posts, and liked them, laughed at them because I feel the same way. I also think it’s grand for people to proclaim Jesus’ love on that day, and share their happiness that someone is loving on them.
What I don’t like is the complaining. I don’t like how people go into this binge of “woe is me, I’m single and I hate everyone posting about their awesome love life, because mine sucks!”
I don’t like it when people do that….because it hurts.
Instead of making me feel like I’m not the only one not “celebrating” Valentine’s Day with someone, it makes me more aware of my loneliness. It reminds me of how I do hope, and sometimes ache for a relationship, marriage and having a family. It brings all of those heart aches into one day and I suddenly feel like a claustrophobic failure at life. It doesn’t make me go “singles of the world, unite!” to me it says “singles of the world, we stink!”
It also makes me hurt for those people. I’m sorry that Valentine’s Day hurts you so much. I’m sorry it brings it hurt, bitterness and loneliness. Those are awful enemies to deal with. I’m so sorry that right now it feels like no one notices you, or even cares.
I admit that I have those Valentine years when I did go into the “hurt feelings” lonely heart depressive state. I admit that I do joke about my singleness and I also have days when I cry about it.
When things you started to hope for fall to ground and you feel like a disappointment. When everyone is trying to be encouraging and helpful in matchmaking, but it’s only putting more pressure on you. All those things seem to swell and crash onto you on February 14th. Why do we want to celebrate that?
I don’t celebrate Single Awareness Day because I’ve found that it brings me into a dark place. That is not what Valentine’s Day is about. That’s not what life is meant for. I think it’s totally okay to laugh and joke about it, but why linger there in misery?
Bring yourself to the places where you feel loved. Go hang out with your other friends who don’t have plans. Go eat, laugh, watch a movie. Love on your friends and let them love on you. Go love your family, whether it’s hanging out with them or just shooting them a message saying hi. Celebrate with your friends who are being loved on by a significant other. You don’t have to third wheel or anything like that, but show love for them as well.
If you’re a lover of Jesus, be reminded that He loves you. Even if this is a hard day for you, run to Him and just tune the world out for a while and hang out with Him. You don’t have to call it a “date”. But you can love on Him as He loves on you, His kiddo.
Even if Valentine’s Day is not your favorite, don’t allow the loneliness and depression get the best of you and bring you down. When I went through my first ever break up, a counselor told me these three things and I find myself telling these to others and speaking them to myself. Whether it’s hurting from a relationship that ended, or the want of one, or just hurt from other things….
Surround yourself with friends who build you up.
Journal a lot. Write your feelings out, don’t let them bottle up.
Pray. Bring your heart to the Father.
These are not always easy steps, and it’s easy to sidestep them because we just want to pout a little. When my students get upset, I let them cry it out. I give them a space to cry until they’re finished. Once they’re done crying, I ask them “Okay, you think you can get back to class now?” Usually they tell me they can and all is well. Not everyday, some days are just hard. I get that. Little do my students know that I have to ask myself the same thing at times. “Alright, ready to get back to life?”
We have two choices. We can just sit, cry and stay in our hurt feelings. We can give cry it out, take a deep breath and move forward. I guess what I’m trying to say, it that Single Awareness Day puts me in that “sit and cry” state of mind. I’m so tired of being there. I won’t go back to that. I will laugh about myself, I will still have those crying days, but I have to keep moving. I’m not stuck where I am, and neither are you.