Sunday, 14 February 2016

The Only Valentine You'll Ever Need

Once again Valentine’s Day has arrived. I could barely turn a corner this week without seeing a bouquet of red roses or a heart-shaped balloon, and like many of my fellow twenty-somethings I’m feeling sad. But my Valentine-induced low mood probably isn’t for the reason that you’re thinking. My frustration was first triggered by something that we’re all familiar with: the meme. It made me genuinely frustrated to see people jokily sharing memes on Twitter or Facebook of their “lonely Valentine’s” that would be spent alone. There always seemed to be a sense of irony, or that this was something to pity, or at the least that it wasn’t something to aspire to.

Before I get to my point, let me explain something. Most of you reading this will probably be familiar with the idea that Valentine’s Day feeds us a romantic narrative: women wait for a chivalrous prince charming to arrive, sweep them off their feet, and then dote on them. At last the woman can feel special. It’s what a lot of the marketing surrounding this holiday encourages.

“Attention men!”

as I read yesterday in a shop window in an advert relating to Valentine’s Day. I’d like to think that most of the people who read my blog have thought beyond how limited this concept is.

What I mean is, I’d like to think that my readers recognise the importance of reciprocity: a romantic relationship is a two-way street. Secondly I’d like to think that you realise that you don’t need a partner to complete you. Galentine’s is one trend that I have seen rising in popularity this year. That’s the idea that a group of girl friends can get together to celebrate their friendship. Girl power!

But more importantly than that, I really hope that if it hasn’t already crossed your mind, then this year you remind yourself that the only type of love you will ever need to get by in this world is love for yourself. Yes, we just took the cheese factor up to 100, but this is the most important lesson that I learnt this year.

I’m lucky to have many types of love in my life. I’m blessed with some wonderful, healthy relationships. But I also recognise that those relationships have all become much more meaningful as I have learned to value myself. And if any of those relationships were ever to fail, as much as it would break my heart, I would be there to pick up the pieces again because I love me, I want the best for me and I will always take of me. And that isn’t much for anyone to ask of themself.

So I challenge all of you to take that pledge this Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re a fan of the holiday, or think that it’s nothing more than a capitalist ploy. Whether you identify as male, female, straight, gay or anything else. Whether you’re celebrating with a significant other, your friends, or by yourself. Enjoy whatever type of Valentine’s you are spending this year, but also remember to be your own valentine. And if you are spending Valentine’s alone, enjoy it. Do it with pride and bloody own it, without an ounce of self-pity or irony.

How are you treating yourself Valentine's Day?

Twitter // Instagram // YouTube // Bloglovin // Facebook

Follow on Bloglovin