The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Every time this international holiday comes up on my calendar, my heart sinks into my chest. Each year, I am reminded that I don’t have that desired significant other to share my Valentine’s Day with. In addition, I am reminded that my heart is still a little broken from the last attempt at love I put it through. But what if the way I saw and chose to spend this romantic day changed? What if I spent it loving myself and the people that do care about me?
Nothing happens overnight, or is easy to overcome, even if you have a breakthrough moment. This is especially true for me. But, on Tuesday, February 14th, 2023, I woke up with a grateful heart. I realized that I didn’t want to mope or turn away in disgust from a couple who seemed in love. I wanted to spend my day happy and joyful. So, I did!
Missing out on the events of this love-filled day affects so many people in our society today. And the truth of it is… just because you are single, doesn’t mean you have to miss out. It just means you have to define your own way of loving people on this day – and every other day. I still had moments throughout the day where my longing heart wanted to share a romantic and blissful moment, but I reminded myself that I have been blessed with so many other people to appreciate and show love to in my life.
The choice to move past the negative feelings of loneliness is something only you can choose. It has to come from a place of understanding and loving yourself first. Because the truth is, you cannot truly love others and invest in them until you invest in you.
One thing I have learned is that learning to love yourself doesn’t mean it’s always going to be about how much self-care you do in your daily weekly routine, but actually acknowledging the way you feel and letting yourself feel all of the emotions. As humans, we tend to bottle up and hide our emotions, but this is not healthy in the long run. Through my personal experience, I’ve found that the most helpful way to begin the healing process is to give everything I have to God. I didn’t truly feel peace until I identified myself as a daughter of the one true God. It was only then that I was able to realize that I felt best when I talked to God about whatever I was experiencing, whether it was a moment of sadness, weakness, or even celebration, instead of bottling it up or pretending that it wasn’t there.
Now when it comes to celebrating Valentine’s Day, I don’t feel disappointed or sad about what I don’t have, but I instead feel overwhelmingly thankful for what I do. I spent my Valentine’s Day this year excited for my friends who had their significant other, and I made sure that my loved ones knew how much I valued their friendship.
This is why my holiday turned from a Valentine’s Day to a Galentine’s Day. The essential idea about Galentine’s is to celebrate your friends, especially your girls. I think that showing appreciation for friendship is just as important as showing appreciation for a romantic relationship. We often neglect to put the same effort into the friends we see or hang out with every day as we would for a significant other, and Galentine’s gives you the opportunity to show them how much they mean to you. Although what is called “Galentine’s” is not an official holiday, it can be honored and acknowledged as if it is.
Never underestimate what you can learn from being single. It doesn’t mean you are alone; I promise that you never are. Learn to love where you are and who you are in life. Valentine’s Day at its core is about love, so make sure you let everyone – including yourself – know that you care and appreciate their existence.