(Photo by Selma Komisky)
Overcoming Single’s Bitterness on Valentine’s Day
At least five of my friends became engaged or married this year alone and most of them date someone. I’m one of the few people who’s still single, plus I haven’t ever dated anyone and I’m almost 22. While my friends receive a dozen red roses, Russell Stovers chocolate assortments in pink heart boxes with red ribbons, and Hallmark cards, I usually watch a movie that fits my bitter mood––Valentine’s Day or I Hate Valentines Day.
I constantly ask myself, “Why?” People often tell me I’ve got the brains and beauty, yet I’m still alone on a day designated for love. I’ve answered that question––God’s got the right guy for me if I remain patient––but it still doesn’t change the fact I don’t receive special gifts like my fellow friends.
So, how do us single people fight cynicism on a day when we acknowledge our loneliness?
First, remember you have lots of other friends––some probably still single––who’d love to hang out with you. Valentine’s Day usually celebrates romantic love even though it can celebrate any kind of love, including friendship. This is an opportune time for a movie night, dinner out, or a singles party. Another way to fight this is through a white elephant party with friends. This way, everyone gets a gift and feels celebrated.
Second, remember (unless God has called you to a life of celibacy) there’s someone out there for you. Valentine’s Day will feel even more special when you meet your perfect match because you’ve waited that long and will genuinely appreciate the occasion.
Third, congratulate your friends on their relationships. In a world full of Instagram pictures, it’s easy for people to upkeep facades and make people think their relationship is perfect when in reality it isn’t. Relationships take work and your friends will probably appreciate any support or reminder about how love is worth the effort.
Fourth, if you just feel like spending the day alone anyways, take some time for self-care––an area many of us neglect. Get a pedicure. Watch a happy movie instead of one that reminds you of your singleness. Eat a whole box of chocolates, even if it means you’ll gain a ton of weight––just don’t make it a habit.
Fifth, Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Take some time, pull a journal from your desk or bookshelf and ask God if there’s anyone he wants you to forgive. Instead of a day of loathing, Valentine’s Day can become a time for showing mercy. Perhaps someone hurt your heart long ago and that’s part of the reason you feel bitter on Valentine’s Day. Make it a day of amends and rekindle broken relationships.
Sixth, God calls us to care for widows in James 1:27: “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” A few widows from church or the neighborhood around you probably sit at home alone on Valentine’s Day and would love some company. Invite one of these men or women out for coffee or even a walk around the block.
Seventh, some couples with large families probably need a night out, but they need someone who can watch the kids. Volunteering your time for them can take your focus off bitterness and also help a couple enjoy alone time essential for a healthy marriage.
Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to become an abomination. Avoid single’s bitterness through one of the aforementioned suggestions and love others around you instead of developing an attitude of self hatred. Yes, it’s hard when all your friends have a mate, but a change in perspective can brighten a dark day.