The pain of Valentine's Day as a single person
Updated: May 2
I can remember very clearly sitting at my desk in high school on Valentine's Day and looking up sharply when the classroom door opened and two students walked in the room. They carried with them with a bucket full of single stem roses and a sheet of paper with names on it. The teacher would pause his/her lecture and the one kid would read out the names one at a time while the other picked a rose from the bucket and ceremoniously walked it over to the girl whose name had just been called(this was the 80s, it was always only girls receiving them). In my memory, it seems like this all happened in painstakingly slow motion. We all sat and watched the joy and happiness on the lucky girl's face when she received her rose. I never had a boyfriend in high school so I knew I was never going to be one of those fortunate recipients, yet somehow still I held false hope each year that maybe somehow, someway I would have a secret admirer buy me a rose and I would get to feel what those other girls were feeling. Inevitably, though, the drawn out process would come to an end and the students would pack up their roses and walk out the door. I would be left feeling that crushing sense of disappointment that yet again another year had passed without anyone interested in buying me a rose.
You would think that this public humiliation in the classroom would be the end of it, but it never was. At lunch on Valentine's Day, all the girls would got roses would bring them to the cafeteria and prominently display them at the table in front of them. They would walk down the halls with their roses all day long carried on the top of their stack of books like a shining beacon of proof they were loved. In chem lab they would make a big deal of protecting their precious token from the flames of the bunsen burners. And at the end of the day when exiting to the parking lot, without fail every year some smart ass would look me up and down, searching for any sign of a rose before saying to me in that pitying tone, "Oh you didn't get a rose today?".
No. I didn't get a rose today. Thank you Saint Valentine for making sure and pointing out publicly each year that I was alone, yet again, on the ultimate day of love.
While I have often feel sad about being single and alone through out different points in my life, I was pretty much always able to keep that on the down low, not let others see that it bothered me. But on Valentine's Day there is little ability to cover it up and not feel the pain of that internal wound. It feels like a scab that is just constantly being picked at all day long, everywhere you go. Even the days leading up to the big day of love can be brutal. Consider all the jewelry store commercials of women being surprised and delighted to receive a special gift from her lover in the form of a diamond sparkly something or another. These constant reminders all around seem to whisper, "if you were special enough, you too, would be receiving such gifts on February 14th". Valentine's Day, I decided was made up by some sick fuck who just wanted to torture people who did not have love in their life. After all, those who already had love in their life were happy weren't they? They didn't need a day to remind them of their happy coupled life. At least, that's how I looked at it. It seemed to me that Valentine's Day created much more suffering for those who didn't have love than joy for those who did. Clearly, the Halmark people or whoever responsible for turning Valentine's Day into what it is today, were sadists...
I share all of this to say, if you are struggling with dread and sadness right now each time you walk into an office where there are heart decorations everywhere, know that you are not alone. So many of us struggle with not feeling loved and more painfully, not feeling lovable. The irony is as long as you think and feel this way, the reticular activating system in your brain will continue to seek out and bring your attention to evidence of these beliefs you have about yourself, reinforcing those beliefs and doubling down on your internal emotional pain(I go more into this concept in my book!).
So this year, I would like to propose that instead of allowing Valentine's Day to deepen your emotional pain and internal suffering, you use it as a gift for finding and clearing out old wounds. How you ask? With EFT tapping of course!! Tapping works best on negative emotions when you are really in touch with them and feeling them deeply in your body so it's a perfect opportunity to clear some big things that may be coming up for you.
When I wrote my book, "Find Love Again: Learn to Date Like a Goddess" I had just one message I wanted to convey- love will come to you in your life once you clear whatever is blocking it from coming in. Let's use Valentine's Day to help guide us to those blocks and clear them out once and for all!