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If You Can’t Love Yourself…

By Team TOK

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It’s that time of year again. Shops are overflowing with roses, chocolate boxes fight for shelf space and you’re seriously contemplating buying your cat a card to say how much you love it. Yes, it’s Valentine’s Day.

If you’re in a relationship Valentine’s Day can be an amazing day. Extravagant, thoughtful gifts and dates so romantic they would put to shame Ryan Gosling’s character in that film, that I’ve definitely not seen, where he builds a house, to shame. It really can be a time to fall in love all over again and refocus on those who mean the most to us.

But what if you’re not in a relationship, what if you’re the dreaded s word: single? Well, Valentine’s Day can feel the opposite. Rather than feeling like a literal bouquet of flowers, Valentine’s Day can kind of feel like a giant dog doing it’s morning routine on your brand new shoes. Yeah, not so good.

It can sometimes feel like you’re doing something wrong. That because you are not in a relationship on all days like today, then there is something wrong with you.

It’s okay for you to be single. In fact, it is perfectly normal for you to want to be single.

Now I’m not some person who had their heartbroken and now has a personal vendetta against everyone who is in a relationship, I think relationships are amazing. Being able to share your life with someone you love and care about is such a special thing. But if you don’t want that right now, then that’s totally normal.

Being single can be a time for self improvement, to refocus on the most important thing in your life: you. Whether you want to be believe that or not, you literally need you to survive. When I became single after a long term relationship I focused on what I wanted to do, so I started taking guitar lessons and going to the gym more. Not so I could impress girls but because I had wanted to do these things for so long and just needed that bit of motivation to give myself a kick up the backside.

During Valentine’s Day there’s a lot of anti-Valentine’s Day campaigns. There’s Singles Awareness Day which spells out the acronym SAD… really!? You have Galentine’s day, where you go out with all your single gal pals and do whatever gals do…

And then there’s my personal favourite: International Quirkyalone Day. For me Quirkyalone Day gets it right. Quirkyalone Day is ‘a do-it-yourself celebration of romance, friendship, and independent spirit.

It’s a celebration of all kinds of love: romantic, platonic, familial, and yes, ‘self-love’…

Rather than being a day full of love and compassion, Valentine’s Day has become a bragging competition. Couples compete against other couple’s to see who can plan the most romantic date and buy the most thoughtful presents. It is a stress-inducing time of year, where it can feel like you have to show not only your partner, but everyone online just how much you love them. Whilst single people have to take the hint of “don’t you wish you had this?

International Quirkyalone Day throws all this out the window. It is not a marketing ploy to suck dry the wallets of people in relationships and it is not a way to feel bad for single people. It is about being present around the people we love and who mean the most to us. It’s a celebration of all things love and really, isn’t that what Valentine’s Day should be about?

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