The Daily Gamecock

Column: How to be single on Valentine's day


Valentine’s Day is famous for two things: celebrating romance and making single people feel terrible about themselves. Though most people recognize at this point that Valentine’s Day is a more or less made-up holiday, used to celebrate love and spend lots of money, it still has a lot of power for those soft-hearted romantics out there. The only thing that makes Valentine’s Day more notable, it seems, than a candle-lit dinner is spending it alone.

But I don’t buy into the idea that every single lady on Valentine’s Day should be feeling sorry for herself. Forget that negativity. Instead, every girl should be celebrating Galentine’s Day.

Every year for Valentine’s Day, I get together with my best girlfriends, single or not, and we have a fun afternoon together. It usually starts with brunch, because what great girls’ day doesn’t start with brunch? Then we’ll watch our favorite movies, go on a hike, paint our nails, go out for drinks, whatever it is we feel like in that moment. Because that moment is about us.

We treat Valentine’s Day like International Women’s Day has come early. Yes, single men will be sad, too, on Valentine’s Day. But women are definitely hit with the stigma of singleness much harder. Especially in the South, ideas of what it means to be single are very different for men and women. For a man, being single means not being tied down, freedom to go sow his wild oats. For a woman, it means she hasn’t found someone to be with yet, and that must be really sad for her.

But there is nothing wrong with being single. The social prototype of being “married with 2.5 kids by 30” is a remnant of 1950s suburban America. That’s not us anymore. Be that kickass, happy, girl power  millennial who doesn’t care about whether or not she’s got a honey to come home to. As long as you’ve got good friends to keep you company, love comes in all forms and all kinds should be celebrated. Who have you sent the most ugly Snapchats to this year? Who have you had lunch with most this year? Who has always been there for you? Your best friends. Don’t give up a great day to celebrate your love for them just because that type of love might not fit easily into the mold.

So if you’re feeling lonely on Valentine’s Day, don’t let it be because you don’t have a man or a romantic partner to spend it with. Turn it to Galentine’s Day and celebrate yourself as a woman who is whole and sufficient, breaking stereotypes wherever you go.


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