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Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day!

No. You are not just waking from a six-month sleep stupor. It’s still the middle of February and there is still snow on the ground…and it’s Valentine’s Day. Yes, that single day each year where singles grapple with their singlehood and couples panic about creating the perfect romantic experience to end all romantic experiences—at least until next year.

This year I happen to be swimming in singularity, flying solo, homo-alone-o. The difference this year as opposed to other years when I have been on my own, I don’t care. I can recall Valentine’s Days of yore where I fretted and felt panicked to find a mate so I wouldn’t be the lonesome loser standing on the sidelines while the romantically entwined danced circles around me.

You’d better be…so filled with joy you’ll need an emotional colostomy bag to make it through the day

Thanks to effective advertising and marketing, Valentine’s Day has become less about a celebration of love and more a cattle drive to florists, chocolate mongers and even jewelers for folks to find the ultimate expression of love and devotion. It’s become a stampede of romantic gestures that somehow manage to ring mostly hollow.

Now, that’s not bitter, single me pooping all over everyone’s love parade; that is an observation from the vantage point of someone who has looked at love from both sides now. Valentine’s Day has almost taken on the total false sincerity and hysteria of Christmas. As in, you’d better be happy and smile and be so filled with joy you’ll need an emotional colostomy bag to make it through the day. You’re heart isn’t racing because of love and lust; it’s pounding with the pressure of financing another romantic equivalent to Gone With The Wind. But I digress.

For the first time in my life, I can say that being single on Valentine’s Day is actually a relief. I don’t feel like a loser for being single. I don’t feel a celestial tug on my heartstrings to rush out the door, arms and loins flailing trying to find someone to ‘love’ before the stroke of midnight lest I turn into a the social equivalent of a pumpkin—that would be pariah. I actually don’t care.

I’m at peace with my singularity. I will be celebrating my Independence Day.

I’ve tried dating and poked around for a partner but always came up empty when I reeled in my line. Then it dawned on me: I didn’t care. I was trying to retrofit my life into a societal expectation of what and who I was supposed to be. And that was a person who was attached to another person. Thing is, I really didn’t want that.

I’ve realized I love being single. I love to ‘date’ when the mood strikes. I love to be alone to flop on the couch and watch a movie or read. I love the independence of being able to go out where and when I like without reason or explanation. I love having the bed to myself. I love inhabiting my space. I love the freedom of singularity free of guilt or sadness or the feeling I’m missing something.

Maybe it’s divorce hangover. Maybe it’s coming to terms with decades of failed relationships. Maybe I’m delusional. But I can honestly say that this Valentine’s Day I’m in love with my oneness. I’m at peace with my singularity. I will be celebrating my Independence Day. And if you’re single and reading this, I hope you will, too!

photo credit: ecstaticist

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