It’s Valentines Day here in New Zealand- look forward to that tomorrow, North American readers.
Today is my 24th consecutive Valentines Day spent single. Sitting here alone again, I wonder if I should share some immensely personal stuff about why I remain like this, or if that’s better kept to myself (for now). Maybe today I’ll give you something a bit lighter.
I know a lot of people see Valentines Day (or V-Day, for the sake of space) as some consumerist holiday, created by capitalists and ad-men to get us to buy diamonds and flowers at a time of year where the economy could use the boost. To which I say: “could be.” Despite my feelings about consumerism, I choose not to neglect V-Day entirely. V-Day is simply a reminder to show others that you care.
For the past few V-Days, I’ve made a point of doing 3 things.
- Calling my mother, and sending my father a quick e-mail.
- Reconnecting with my exes.
- Not mentioning V-Day.
So, when you wake up on the day of love, who should you call first? Maybe your partner, if you have one. In lieu of a partner you should probably call the people who brought you into this world (kicking and screaming, no doubt) and will love you no matter how much of a screw-up you turn out to be. Hopefully, at least, you haven’t screwed up that much. Call them for a chat, tell them you love them, don’t mention V-Day. If they ask when the grandkids are coming, coyly tell them about how you’re working on it.
“I’m building an army, mum.”
Next up is a bit of an odd one, and I can understand if you want to skip it. But I get in touch with my exes. Don’t contact the ones that left pissed off at you, contact those romantic connections you’ve made traveling. The almost hads, and the what ifs. Contact the people that shared something with you, and because of the way you live never got to see where it would have gone. It can be as little as a quick message: “long time no talk, what’s going on?” but sometimes a chat like this can make their day. The trick here? Don’t wish them a happy Valentines Day.
Step 3, if you haven’t realized it yet actually has a purpose. Don’t be that person who out of the blue feels this obligation to use Valentines Day as an excuse to contact people, and jump into their love life. It makes your outreach seem far less genuine. If you need a holiday as an excuse to reach out to someone, you might be an asshole. If you use a holiday as a reminder to reach out to someone, you’re human.
P.S: I dropped #4 from my list, but isn’t Valentines Day the perfect reminder to think about the last time you got checked as well? Stay healthy friends.