Being Single on Valentine’s Day
You may have noticed there has been more ramblings than reviews on my blog lately.
I’ve found sharing more personal thoughts, feelings and experiences to be so cathartic. When I write a post, I don’t even consider who may or may not read it; it’s the act of getting it off my chest and into the world that is important. If it happens to get a positive response, then that’s a bonus.
I’ve been thinking about discussing this experience for a while, but it’s extremely personal and there is always the fear of putting something so private online. Not only that, but it is painful to relive. But, I’ve been considering it for too long and there’s no better time than today to reflect upon it.
Valentine’s Day has always been a difficult day for me. While it is important to remember that it is just a day like any other, it’s the expectations (and disappointment) that go along with it that are hard to deal with. I often find there is a lot of single shaming around this time of year and accusations of resentment towards couples, but that is a conversation for another day.
I will say this – I have never had a ‘Valentine’. I’ve never exchanged cards or flowers or gifts; I’ve never gone on a dinner date or had a night-in to celebrate; I’ve never declared my undying love for my other half on social media. But, that is not what makes this day difficult. It is the reminder that, like every other day of the year, I am single.
Unlike the majority of my friends, I do not have someone by my side to share my life with; something which has become harder to accept the older I get. The most frustrating part is I keep thinking I’m close to finding that person, but it never works out. I can’t describe how tiresome it is to constantly believe you’re on the verge of something good, only to realise you’re no closer than ever before.
Let me take you back to Valentine’s Day last year. I was seeing someone. I had been seeing him for about three months. I remember so vividly that it was a Sunday, as he had stayed over the night before. For the very first time, I woke up with someone I cared about on Valentine’s Day.
But, then he woke up.
We weren’t ‘official’. But, I thought after three months of dating and waking up together on Valentine’s Day, this might have the makings of something. My mistake. I waited for him to acknowledge what day it was. Of course he didn’t. So, I dared to bring it up.
I can’t remember what he said, but I can remember his indifference so clearly. He didn’t care that he had woken up with me today. Just like he didn’t care about waking up with me any other day. It was a moment of realisation that I don’t wish upon anyone.
The thing is, as much as I liked this guy, he often did things that reminded me of an abusive situation I found myself in previously. And the thing about abuse is, it doesn’t leave you. Those thoughts, feelings and memories are still in there. All they need is a trigger. I can’t express what triggered them exactly, but I had what I can only describe as an emotional breakdown.
I just remember sobbing, my heart racing as I tried to rationalise how I had ended up in a situation like this again. There is nothing quite as gut-wrenching as realising your feelings are unrequited, and not for the first time. We were nothing; I meant nothing to him. Three months down the line and he was still talking to other girls without a shred of loyalty to me. I might as well have woken up alone on that day because that’s what I was.
That was the last time he would ever stay. He ended things with me that day and I was too distraught to realise it at the time. What’s more frustrating is I should have been the one to call it quits the moment I found out he didn’t feel the same. But, I couldn’t deny the fragment of hope I had that things would work out. The worst part is, I remember him saying these very words to me; “I’m not going anywhere.” But, then he was gone.
Can I say that I was broken up with on Valentine’s Day? I guess not if we weren’t ‘official’, right? Can I say that I was traumatised on a day that already had negative connotations for me? Yes. Can I say that it further damaged my mental health? Yes. Can I say it still hurts? Yes.
But, can I also say that I was glad to wake up alone this morning? Yes, I can. Because for the first time I wasn’t plagued by anxiety over someone who didn’t want me back, or sad about being on my own. I would much rather wake up alone on Valentine’s Day than with someone who doesn’t care enough about me to even acknowledge what day it is. As painful as it is to go through experiences like this, my past has taught me to respect myself and accept no less than I deserve.
So, today I am single. Just like I will be tomorrow and the day after. But, I haven’t given up on finding someone to spend my time with. I’ve just realised my time is precious and I shouldn’t waste it on those who do not value it.