I know very very little about love. Everything I know about romantic love, for example, I learned from romantic comedies, YA novels (specifically Sarah Dessen that shit was my jam) and via proximity to my friends’ relationships.
I used to whinge non-stop when I was in high school about the fact that no boys liked me. Where was my dream boyfriend? Where was he?? Never mind the fact that I had to continuously face the extended-family line of questioning on holidays. (“Still no boyfriend?” “Noooope.”)
When I went to university, I became a lot less focused on getting a boyfriend. I was busy with school and new friends and honestly, didn’t need that drama. I got enough of that by listening to my friends’ relationship problems. I would be asked advice and, knowing absolutely nothing about dating, would always answer pragmatically, logically and clearly ripping off dialogue from Degrassi.
To this day, I’ve never been in a relationship (save for one two weeks long in the 9th grade which I don’t really believe counts). I’ve spent every Valentine’s Day alone or with friends. And I’m absolutely fine with all of that. Sometimes, particularly when I’m cold/hungover/watching a cuddly-type movie, I do wish I had someone to cuddle with and kiss and junk. That feeling is always outweighed by the fact that, like every other woman, I have bigger goals for myself than just getting into a relationship.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to have a boyfriend or girlfriend. It’s normal to seek out human companionship in a romantic way. But sometimes the fear of being alone overshadows the actual feelings one may have towards another. To put it simply: dating for the sake of dating. I had a friend in high school who did this all the time. To me, it’s just too much effort.
The thing is, pop culture has a habit of singling out romantic love as the most important kind. Magazines geared towards teenage girls put getting a boyfriend above all other priorities. And that’s ridiculous. There are so many other types of love that are just as important: love for the world around you, love for your family, love between friends and self-love.
Self-love and friendship are the two types that I find are sometimes the most elusive for young women. There are industries built on not liking how we look. There are such high standards for appearance that feeling comfortable in your own skin is a rarity. And never mind trying to figure out if you actually like the person you’re becoming.
The classic narrative of girl vs. girl over boy puts romantic love above friendship. Its a cop-out to say things like “girls are mean” and “girls are catty” when more often than not, I’ve discovered other girls are friendly, insecure and want to be accepted and loved just as much as I do.
Whether you have a partner or not, embrace these types of loves. Love yourself. Take time to appreciate yourself. Love your friends. Let them know how much you care about them. Don’t be scared or embarrassed to be alone on Valentine’s Day because you won’t be. You can organize a classic Galentine’s Day filled with chocolate and movies (my personal fave for V-Day is horror movies.) You can take yourself on a date; buy yourself a coffee and cupcake, sit down and enjoy being in your own company.
Either way, there’s a whole lotta love everywhere you look and while Valentine’s Day is the official day of love, it’s something that you can celebrate every single day.
Since it is Valentine’s Day, though, I styled a look that I would wear out on a V-Day date (to a more casual setting) or on a Galentine’s day/night out. Like to mix up the female and masculine, and combining a pink romper with a black leather jacket seemed like a good way to do so.
(Fake) Leather Jacket – Zara
Romper – Urban Outfitters
Boots – Topshop (Similar)
Necklace – Anthropologie