I've never really been in love.
The only thing that ever came close was an infatuation that ended tragically, for me at least.
Valentine's Day has always been a struggle for me, a hopeless romantic who wishes that every February 14th something crazy and magical would happen. But that never happens, and instead I've grown cynical to the whole holiday.
I think the only way for a single person to look at Valentine's Day is with a sense of humor. It's just a day. For The Gonzaga Bulletin this week, I polled some student's experiences and combined them with my own for a colorful commentary. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
for some, love is a jar of nutella
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GONZAGA BULLETIN
Remember when Valentine’s Day was easy? Like when your biggest worries were which ’90s cartoon character themed Valentine’s cards you were going to pick for your third-grade classmates?
Finding love was as easy as passing a note that said, “Be my girlfriend? Check yes or no,” while eating lunch out of your Power Rangers or Barbie lunchbox.
Then puberty hit and things got awkward, really awkward. Like zit-faced, braces and bad haircut level awkward. But somehow you (barely) made it through the hellish high school romances (or lack thereof) to become the poised, polished and mature college student you are today.
If polished, poised and mature are still not accurate descriptions of yourself, then you’re probably very single like me.
Valentine’s Day is a heteronormative Hallmark-created holiday meant to make single people feel terrible about themselves. Well, maybe that perspective is only true through my tired-from-sobbing-over-the-movie- “Titanic” eyes.
While most students here may spend their days eyeing the attractive opposite sex from across the classroom, in the gym, at a basketball game, during Mass or in line waiting for coffee, I’m doing the exact same thing. Only I’m using my severely damaged gaydar to scope a potential player of my team.
It doesn’t help that I’m picky, highly ambitious, difficult to please and have unrealistic expectations, but finding a gay Zac Efron lookalike with a winning personality here is extremely challenging. Like more difficult than finding a person who hasn’t read my article about UGGs.
Instead of whining about my almost 21 years of being single, I’m going to power through V-Day knowing there will someday be a tall, dark and handsome man waiting at the end of the tunnel.
Here are some tips to survive Valentine’s Day from a guy who probably doesn’t deserve love (me), a girl who swears by Nutella, a guy who now has a girlfriend as of last Friday and a girl who has a long-distance boyfriend.
It’s not about Valentine’s Day. It’s about the day after.
“The day after Valentine’s Day is my favorite day, it’s like Black Friday,” Jordyn Hudson, a single senior, said. “I go buy as much chocolate as I possibly can because it’s going to be at least half off.”
Take advantage of the only thing good to come out of the holiday also know as Singles Awareness Day by gorging on sugar, for it’s the only thing that won’t reject your love … because it’s an inanimate object.
Hudson sees every day as Valentine’s Day thanks to one thing.
“I sleep with a jar of Nutella next to my bed, so every day is Valentine’s Day to me,” Hudson said. “We’re going strong until I get diabetes tomorrow.”
Dump your significant other on Valentine’s Day.
“I actually dumped one of my boyfriends after he gave me the flowers and the teddy bear,” Hudson said. “Is that bad that that’s my favorite memory? I think I’ve always been single on Valentine’s Day whether or not I’ve had a dude in my life. Whoops.”
This advice rings particularly true if you’re not getting the proper love and respect you deserve from your significant other. Plus, if your boo has waited until Valentine’s Day to show they love you, make that relationship Facebook unofficial ASAP.
“I think if you wait until this day to do something special for them, they’re not that special,” Hudson remarked.
If you don’t follow tip No. 2, be unique on Valentine’s Day.
Oliver Mathrani, a freshman, recently became a member of the not-single population on campus by asking Leigha Warmer to be his girlfriend on stage at a Gonzaga University Theatre Sports (GUTS) show on Saturday that I happened to be at. The proposal of a relationship began unassumingly as a retelling of how the two met and the little romantic things they do all in context of a GUTS show. The crowd melted into applause when Warmer agreed to being Mathrani’s girlfriend after the grand gesture was over.
“I think it’s important that couples know that they’re not dating to please anyone but each other, so they should do whatever makes them comfortable,” Mathrani said. “If you want to avoid Valentine’s Day altogether, go for it! If you want to build up a layer of Cheeto dust while you watch Netflix in your underwear, go for it! If you want to serenade her with love poetry set to the sounds of your fingers plucking away at a harp while you hot air balloon across the Atlantic to land on the Eiffel Tower where trained doves spell out the word ‘love’ in the air, go for it! There’s no way anyone’s going to let you forget Valentine’s Day, so make it your own thing!”
“The best dates – no matter the day or occasion – are the ones that are fun, creative and thoughtful,” Christa Smith, a senior in a long-distance relationship, said. “I’d choose staying home and watching movies in a makeshift blanket fort that we constructed together while gorging ourselves on our favorite junk foods over going to an ultra-expensive dinner any day of the week.”
Smith’s boyfriend will be able to celebrate Valentine’s Day with her in person, the first time since their relationship began.
Don’t feel sorry for yourself.
If the odds aren’t ever in your favor, don’t pull out The Notebook and a tub of Ben and Jerry’s quite yet. In fact, it’s better to avoid the romantic movies all together.
“It depends, do you want to cry?” Hudson asked when I told her about seeing “Endless Love,” the romantic drama starring man candy Alex Pettyfer. “Because if you want to, go watch a romantic comedy.”
“Don’t take it too seriously,” Smith said. “Whether you are single or in a couple, the fact of the matter is, is that it is just one day. The sun is still going to come up tomorrow and you are still going to be the same rocking human being you are no matter how many Valentines you get.”
Love yourself, because a confident smile is a whole lot more desirable than tear-stained cheeks.
“Just make sure that your smiles are bigger than the couples’ smiles,” Hudson said. “Just to be like ‘You know what, I’m still happy even though love doesn’t exist.’ ”
Valentine’s Day may have seemed like a big deal when you were crushing on the high school quarterback or captain of the cheer team, but you’re a poised, polished and mature college student who sees more to love than roses and gifts.
“I think it’s a cool day to celebrate love,” Hudson said. “But I think love should be celebrated every day.”
And if none of that makes you feel empowered or loved, there’s a tub of Nutella calling your name. I’ll be eating my tub while waiting for Tom Daley, the openly gay Olympic diver from England, to show up at my door.