February 14th. It’s the day that brings either great sense of joy, anticipation and excitement to people or disappointment, large consumption of sweets and/or alcohol and sense of loneliness. Couples, go on ahead and spend large sum of money to shower each other with love; you clearly have it all together. Singles, well, go gather with your friends and binge watch rom-coms and complain about how lonely you are (or have a good old alone-time doing the same thing.) There must be something wrong with you to be single on this day, so maybe go get yourself a new make-up tool, or sign up for the gym membership. It’s the day that decides who the winner and loser in life is!
Or is it? Hopefully, you’ve picked up that I was being sarcastic. In the modern society, we have commercialized, commoditized as well as idolized “romantic love” and implied and insinuated through various ways that romantic love is some sort of achievement that one should have attained at certain point in time, and failure to find one somehow points to one’s failure as an individual. And of course, I’m very much against what has become of “love” in today’s society and is indignant about the aforementioned notion of finding love. At this point, maybe you’re thinking “This is just a sad little single person ranting about sour grapes.” Well, I’m single, I’m little (I’m 5’2”), but I am neither sad, nor am I ranting about sour grapes. First of all, I’d like to point out that it takes two to tango; if you haven’t found someone to tango with, it may just be that the people who you met weren’t really right for you. There’s nothing “wrong” about a puzzle piece that won’t fit into an empty space; it’s just not the right fit, and that’s okay. Also, it may just be that you’re not looking for a relationship or a romantic attachment – maybe you’re focused on your career or education (yes, I know this is one of the break-up clichés, but it just may well be true), maybe you’re recovering from a recent break-up and want some time to yourself, or maybe you’re just not into that sort of thing. And that’s perfectly fine as well.
But most importantly, who said that “love” has to be romantic?
Love does not have to be confined to a specific category, nor can it be. Merriem-Webster dictionary (most of you probably rolled your eyes at the mention of this name – that’s fine) defines love in many different ways, and our idea of “romantic love” is only one of the many. It could mean “a strong affection for another arising of kinship or personal ties” or “warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion,” or even “unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another.” In other words, there are various ways you can exhibit or demonstrate love, and it most certainly does not just have to be about “romantic.”
If there’s someone “special” in your life, by all means, go ahead and show them how much you love them, how much you appreciate them and all together have a great time. (Although I don’t think there be a need for a very specific day where people show their loved ones of their love – they should do that all the time – but that’s a whole another story I can get to some other time.) If there isn’t someone that you can love on, find someone else to love, a friend, a family member, or even a stranger, or something to love, a hobby, a pastime, a project.
Define your own love, and experience it in your own ways; the world is your oyster!
(And no, oysters aren’t just aphrodisiacs.)
Author wishes to remain anonymous.