Let's face it. Valentine's Day can be hard to ignore. If you're single, it might make you feel sad, lonely or simply excluded. We get it and we're here to help. Today, we're reposting a blog from ReachOut Council member Brandon. Find out how he addresses the common challenges and how he plans to navigate the holiday.
Walking past the Valentine’s Day section at the store can be really depressing when you feel have no one to celebrate it with. Sometimes you may feel like you’ll never find anyone, that you'll end up like the popular internet meme, “Forever Alone.” My name’s Brandon, and just like many other teens, I will be spending this holiday alone. It’s totally understandable why we get ourselves bummed out. There are the cards, flowers, chocolate, and fancy dates. And for some of us, it's just about feeling wanted. Well, when next week rolls around, try to gain a different perspective on the holiday. I know I have.
Although the history of the holiday has been masked by greeting card companies, it can generally be described as a day where you show your appreciation for loved ones. How we interpret "loved ones" is completely up to us. It could be your boyfriend/girlfriend, or it could be a family member, a friend, or anyone really. Instead of us focusing on how we don’t have the former, we should take that time and thank our friends and family for how much they mean to us and how much we love them.
Here are some valid (and some comical) reasons why being single can be beneficial:
- You can concentrate on doing things you enjoy. You don’t have to worry about pleasing someone else, so you can focus on yourself. Maybe finish reading that book you’ve always wanted to read or start up a new activity.
- Your decisions only affect you and don’t involve a partner's wants, needs or contradictory opinion. If you want to go to a certain restaurant, go for it. You have no one holding you back, no one you have to consult with first.
- You can save a lot of money. Let’s face it, relationships cost a lot of money. The dates, the presents, the clothes to look good, the gas money; it all adds up. When you’re, single you get to keep it all for yourself.
And when February 14 does roll around next week, here are some ideas thought up by all of us at ReachOut of what you can do instead:
"Make a date with friends!" –Chloe
"Buy those corny little kid valentines for your friends. It's not just a celebration of romantic love!"–Catherine
"Give your parents or best friend flowers and tell them how much you love them! Do something nice for yourself!" –Nich
"Do a nice thing and baby sit for a couple that can't get out that night because of kids." –Catherine
"Have a’ Single’s Awareness’ party with your friends where you just hang out, eat, and most importantly, have fun." - me
So just remember, no matter how you spend your Valentine’s Day this year, remember that you ARE loved by more people than you know, and just because you haven’t found the ‘right’ guy or girl yet, doesn’t mean you won’t!
Finally, you can check out these fact sheets and real stories that may also help you get through the holiday:
I'm single and I'm happy
Having difficulty finding the right person for you
Boys are confusing
Focus on who you are
Photo by Mandy Sousa
How do you plan to celebrate (or not!) Valentine's Day single or with your sweetie?
My name is Brandon. I am 17 years old and am currently a junior in high school. When I am not occupied with my part-time job or on my social networks (Facebook, Twitter, & Tumblr), I find myself active in National Honor Society, Rotary Interact, and Big Brothers Big Sisters all through my school. Outside of school, I volunteer at our local food pantry, am a student election judge, and am a worship leader at my church. I look forward to helping those who are going through things similar to what I did, and to help then realize: I’ve been there. I’ve made it through. And I am now stronger than I ever thought I was before.