Show some love

Valentine’s Day can be full of love, even when you’re single

Every holiday has its critics.

There are the Christmas scrooges who need to watch Elf and be kept under close surveillance. There are sober, redhead-hating people who I’m sure St. Patrick’s Day is a living hell for.

I think everyone can agree Easter kind of sucks: it’s cold, the food is lame and it’s a little weird that our spring break still revolves around a Christian holiday.

But no holiday gets more undeserved hate than the day of love.

We get it, cynics, having other people’s happy relationships thrown in your face for 24 hours can be trying, especially if you’re not at a great place in your love life.

It can be a hard perspective to have if you’re genuinely going through a hard time, and I don’t mean to be insensitive to heartbreak. But really, Valentine’s Day is an amazing holiday. Shame on all of us for taking it for granted.

It isn’t about being in a monogamous, perfectly tidy, ideal relationship. I’m allowed to say that even though I’m in a relationship. If you’ve bought clearance Valentine’s Day chocolates (24 piece) and eaten that bad boy in a single sitting, alone, you’re allowed to pass along collective V-day wisdom.

It’s a pink and red pick-me-up, streaking happily through an otherwise long, gray winter. Chocolate is suddenly more accessible than basic health-care and it’s a chance to show some love to everyone in our lives.

After chocolate, that’s the most important part. The love. I don’t say this to hurt my current boyfriend, but some of my most special Valentine’s Day memories were well before he entered my life. These moments made me realize how sweet this holiday can be, no matter what our relationship status looks like.

One year stands out in particular; I was a senior in high school. I can’t remember the juicy details exactly, but some typical, awful “high school” type of thing happened to me involving a guy right before Valentine’s Day.

To make an angsty situation worse, I was the only single friend in a tight-knit group of girls. You better believe I reminded everyone of this crime against humanity on a regular basis.

So to recap: The guy I had nothing in common with didn’t want to marry me, I was tragically single at age 17 and, though most of the details are fuzzy, I’m 100 percent sure my mom didn’t buy me a chocolate heart that year.

Guy Fieri himself couldn’t have concocted a more perfect recipe for a hormone-induced Valentine’s Day pity-party.

But, knowing I was primed to have the worst Valentine’s Day of my young life, my friend left a package of salted caramel chocolates in my locker alongside a “cheer-up” note, making fun of whatever guy I was upset over.

It was that one simple but unexpected gesture that brightened my whole outlook. Suddenly, the guy who had threatened the integrity of my Valentine’s Day faded from my mind. I now had chocolate, so that wasn’t a problem and they were good chocolates, superior even to my long-time lover Russell Stover.

But most importantly, I was reminded that I was loved, even if it wasn’t how I thought it was supposed to be.

Valentine’s Day is like any other day, everything could be going wrong, but there are moments of love to be had if you remain open to them. This year, they might not come from some 6’ 3”, well built, charmingly bearded man who cares how you feel about equal pay and thinks football is overrated – and that’s OK.

But the moments and chocolate are there to be had. So text your single friend to let her know you love her, call your mom, buy yourself some high-quality salted caramel chocolates and enjoy your V-Day.

Sarah Crowley is the senior features editor and can be reached at