With Valentine's day around the corner I decided to talk about other people's expectations on how our life should be, and why being alone or single is completely fine.
Love undoubtedly plays an important role in our lives, but sometimes it can be forced because of social pressures like: why are you still single? When will you find your significant other? Don't you feel lonely? All those questions can be bothersome, because under them the notion "something is wrong with you" is hiding. I guess we can all agree that 14th of February can be a very hard day for those of us who are single, because not only we may be questioned more about our personal lives on that day, it can also trigger us to question ourselves: maybe something is wrong with me if I am still alone.
I never really talk about my romantic relationships with other people, as I think it's something sacred between me and my partner. So for a long time some people assumed that I was single. That caused a lot of unnecessary questions and comments. I am not usually the person to try to justify my lifestyle, so I went with it, but I will be honest, it did make me anxious, as deep inside I could not accept the fact that if I am single people will automatically feel sorry for me. I find it absolutely unacceptable in the society where individualism and independence are praised, and at the same time "aloneness" is stigmatized. There are definitely pros and cons to being single and to being in the relationships, but I think it's time to move to the direction where we set ourselves free from predetermined notions and societal pressures. Are you with me on this?
Being single, or being alone is not a bad thing. It's unfortunate that many of us are so scared of loneliness these days that we are trying to excape from it by making poor decisions. Instead this time could be used for self-reflection and for getting to know ourselves a little bit better, as most of us have no idea about who we really are and what we want in life. My biggest concern is that escapism often leads to very bad consequences, that are much worse than being alone on Valentine's day, such as drug abuse or falling into toxic relationships.
Desperate search for love often comes from inability of one to love themselves. I myself used to try to fill the void by staying in the relationships, that didn't make me happy. I never really knew what it was like to love myself and needed other people to confirm I was worthy of love. Deep inside I was still suffering from low self-esteem and constant anxiety that I'd be abandoned. Truth to be told: if you don't love yourself, it will be hard for you to see someone can love you either. It's sad, but true.
So I think instead of encouraging us to find "love of our lives" society should provide a healthy environment for self-love and our growth as individuals. By healthy I mean balanced, because too much of individualism can be bad as well. Human-beings are social creatures and it's important for us to be connected to others. But I think those connections can only be good when they are deep and meaningful, and preferably when we already have pretty good relationship with ourselves.
Valentine's day can be seen as something positive and also negative. Negative because it's another holiday to give us a reason to stop and question our aloneness or to make us spend money in order to prove our love to someone. Of course you don't need to do this, but there are often some complications if you refuse to conform. Many people just don't want to even bother with it. And positive because we can have a moment to reflect and see what we can improve about our relationship with ourselves and others.
When I was single, I used to view 14th of February as my day of self-love. It might sound cheesy, but who said that showing love to ourselves can't be a thing? I usually give myself a present for my Birthday, but for Valentine's day it can be a quiet evening with delicious dinner, a dessert and a movie. I don't really watch TV, so having a movie night sounds special to me. But it can be anything that sounds special to you.
I think we shouldn't be ashamed of feelings of sadness or loneliness that we have during holidays either. It's important to let them be and speak to us, as if they are our friends. Sometimes we want to complain to ourselves and share what we don't like and what we would like to change. But it's only when we become capable of listening to our inner voice something good comes out of it.
Last but not least, I try to use any "uncomfortable" time during the year for spending time in nature. It reminds me of how important our connection with it truly is. We are social beings and need love, but we also need fresh air and silence in order to hear our inner voice better. Again and again it comes down to pillows and trees.