Valentines Day can be seen as a silly commercialized holiday to sell flowers and candy to an incredibly romantic day celebrating love. And if you’re a romantic at heart and single on Valentines Day… it can be really painful.
I know this from experience because I am probably the most sentimental, romantic, emotional person you’d ever meet, who was longing to have a boyfriend from about the age of fourteen, and I was single almost every Valentines Day until I was married. (I had a boyfriend one Valentines Day when I was 20, and then Ethan and I were together for the Valentines Day when I was 24. He proposed the next day, knowing I was expecting it on the 14th, sneaky guy!)
I would always wallow in my single-ness on Valentines Day, dreading it as it came, and always so relieved when it was past. I stewed in bitterness and only saw my own frustration and single status.
Then one year I was living in North Idaho in my first apartment and had made wonderful friends, and my best friend’s then-fiance was deployed in Iraq. She was obviously very disappointed to be alone on Valentines Day, so I came up with the idea of us having a SADD – a Singles Awareness Day Dinner. (We always teased nothing makes you more aware of your single status than February 14th!)
Joined by a couple others who were alone that year, my friend and I set the best table, we made a fancy dinner, we ate copious amounts of chocolate, we had flowers, we watched movies, and instead of wallowing in the sweethearts that weren’t there or didn’t exist, we enjoyed the company of others that we could be with.
I had several SADD’s over the years and the ladies alone those nights weren’t always single in the traditional sense, but sometimes alone because of military deployments and husbands who had to work nights. Once a friend who just isn’t a romantic joined us because she and her husband didn’t celebrate with a date and she loved the idea of the girls night!
Instead of just seeing myself and my own frustration at being alone, I was able to turn this holiday into a time to love others who might be struggling.
Do you have other single friends who would be uplifted by an evening of good food and conversation?
Do you know a widowed person in the neighborhood who would be touched by a card and a friendly face?
Is your coworker recently broken up and hurting? A lunch date might mean a lot on a day that feels lonely.
Sometimes the people around us aren’t single in the traditional sense, but they’re lonely all the same.
Do you know a frazzled stay-at-home mom or dad whose spouse will be working on Valentines Day and they’d love another adult to enjoy conversation with while the kids run around like crazy?
Maybe you could go visit our greatest Love, Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, alone in a church.
And maybe you fall into the “this is a stupid commercialized holiday” camp and think Valentines Day is silly. I would encourage you to look outside yourself this Valentines Day and consider someone around you who doesn’t feel that way and is hurting in their singleness come February 14th, and make their day by an act of kindness.
I’m married now – I have a wonderful forever valentine, and this day is always very sweet with Ethan. But I still set an image of the Sacred Heart on our table on Valentines Day to remind me of a love beyond ours.
He is the One who will truly satisfy us. (It was for Him St. Valentine himself was martyred!) No boyfriend or spouse or movie-like relationship can fill the void that often drives us to really hurt on this holiday if we’re alone.
His Sacred Heart is literally burning with love for each one of us. And if that isn’t a romance worth thinking about this coming Valentines Day, I don’t know of one that is.