When I’m single I tend to like making disparaging yet somewhat comical comments about Valentine’s Day. Yes, while calling it the semi-bitter name of Singles Awareness Day or referring to it as just another Hallmark holiday.. I can joke about dying alone and the cobwebs on my womb and I can talk about life solo with the best of em but honestly, deep down, I really wish I had a date. And I’m going to go out on a limb here to say that I’m not alone in this.
So what does one do on February 14th while the whole world is sitting at tables for two? Besides shoveling handfuls of cinnamon hearts into our mouths and buying valentine’s chocolates for ourselves.. drinking a little too much wine and complaining to our single girlfriends about how all the guys we know are losers or too short.. how do we honestly handle this day?
I think we put on our brave faces. I think we strive to fight bitterness, disparaging comments and self-deprecating ideas about why we are dateless on V day.
It’s one day.
I think this day is one where the strong single girl mindset is very important. Yes, we are single. No, we don’t have a date and maybe there are no immediate prospects. Yes, it’s sad and yes it’s a bit scary. Yes, it’s easy to be jealous of people in other situations BUT.. why waste energy thinking like that? The fact is, we serve a good God. If we’re meant to be with someone, He will bring him to us when we’re ready or when he’s ready. He’s the author of time and so His timing is perfect. We MUST remember this. And so if we’re to go through another Valentine’s Day alone.. so be it.
I am particularly trying to be mindful of my attitude about Valentine’s Day because I work at an all girl’s school. It is very easy to start murmuring depressing things about how there are no good men in Japan, I’m going to be the weird crazy aunt, how many cats is too many cats (the correct answer is 1) and so on. But my students have ears and they are watching me. Most of them know that I’m single too and I must show them that it’s really not that bad. They need to see what contentment in circumstances looks like and that finding a man is not the key to happiness.
But how do I actually do this? How do I adopt some form of happiness in this situation? Well, it’s quite simple: I look at the love I have in my life now. I do believe that God is so good when it comes to giving us what we need when we need it. True, I may not have a guy paying for dinner but I have an incredible family, some amazing friends, I have some great colleagues, I teach some awesome girls and my life is pretty full. I must not waste time thinking about what I don’t have when I have so much to be thankful for. I may not have a man-friend but I do have a lot of love around me.
Another thing that I’ve been thinking about is how I think about myself way too much. How am I going to feel on Valentine’s Day? Why am I alone? Why don’t I have a boyfriend? Why am I sad? Blah blah blah STOP IT! I remember going to my youth group at church as a high school student and having a particularly bad attitude and voicing some of my insecurities to my mom. She told me to stop thinking about myself so much and to approach the night with the idea of “how can I make sure s0-and-so has a good evening”? Those words have stuck with me. Of course, if I hang around thinking about how alone I am, I’m going to have reasons to indulge in an entire box of chocolates but if I shift my focus onto those around me, making sure others are feeling loved and esteemed and happy.. well.. we know how that goes!
Lastly, I will think about how I serve a God who is the definition of Love. The Bible endlessly speaks about His steadfast love, His undying love, His perfect love. Spend some time thinking about that.
We single ladies really have no reason to dread or feel sad on Valentine’s Day. So instead of wasting the day trying not to think about ex-boyfriends or missed opportunities or wondering what is wrong with us… let’s use it to celebrate the all the kinds of love we do have in our lives!