Valentine’s Day, How Do I Hate Thee?

Karen BigmanMoving forward


How do I hate Valentine’s Day?  Let me count the ways. Every year this ‘Hallmark’ made day takes on the significance of a religious holiday. For those in a relationship, there’s pressure to make it special, to buy roses or make a special meal or get engaged. For those who are single and just beginning to rebuild their life, it’s one of the most depressing days of the year. All you see around you are ads for ‘special menus’ of oysters and champagne or ‘perfect gifts’ that you know he/she’ll love.

I am single and freshly divorced this year. I’d like to crawl into a cave and come out on February 15th. My mother always said there’s Mother’s Day and Father’s Day because every other day is kid’s day.  Shouldn’t a relationship be loving and romantic everyday? Why do we only have one special day? Why do we put so much meaning into this made up holiday? And if it’s not that significant to me, why does it hurt so much to be alone?

I got divorced after 25 years hoping to find a partner that would be compatible with me in so many ways. Intelligent, warm, emotionally intelligent, financially successful, kids out of the house, interested in travel, exercise, cooking, restaurants, fashionable, handsome, etc. If you look on dating sites, just about every guy looks exactly like that and likes walks on the beach, making out, romancing you blah blah blah. Why haven’t I found him yet?

There are so many “supposed to’s” when we are dating. We aren’t supposed to respond too quickly or too eagerly. We’re supposed to pretend that we don’t really like the person and that we’re too busy to meet to close to the inquiry. As women, we’re not supposed to ask the men out. With all this feminism you’d think that the male ego might’ve shrunk a bit, but there are still rules.

We want to dress sexy but not too provocative. Enticing enough to get interest but also in a way to show distance. We can never be sure he is who he says he is so we have to ‘google’ him before we go on a date. Then we find out too much information and there’s no mystery since we know everything before the date.

This year, I made sure to make a ‘date’ with my girlfriend for February 14th, she will be my ‘Valentine’. We’re going to go out and have fun, somehow, somewhere. We’ll likely compare notes on failed relationships and crazy dates and have a few drinks and a few laughs and then we’ll go home, alone. No roses, no chocolate, no pressure.

I have some amazing friends and honestly, they are the best company I could have right now.  I’m working hard on enjoying Valentine’s day everyday with what should be the most important love of my life-me!