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Why Having a Valentine is Overrated

Why Having a Valentine is Overrated

I'm sure all of us have heard someone say, "I wish I had a Valentine!" at least once in our lives. Maybe you've even been the one saying it.

For the first couple years that I understood the 20 kids in my class weren't all my actual Valentines, I thought people were ridiculous for complaining about not having a Valentine. I got so sick of people whining about how they didn't have a significant other for just one day of the year. But recently, I've realized that it's valid. Our society has shamed single people for years, and it doesn't just happen on Valentine's Day.

Throughout my four years of high school, there were about six dances I attended. I've heard so many people tell me that they didn't want to go because they didn't have a date. The idea that you need a date to go to a school dance has been perpetuated so harshly that some people are too self-conscious to go stag. Even after high school and college, people worry about getting married at a specific age. Those who have exceeded this age often feel like they're "running out of time;" it doesn't help that people ask them when they'll settle down like everyone else.

I have no tolerance for this antiquated societal standard anymore. It's unfair to make people think they need another person in their life to be complete or valid. Everyone is already whole by themselves; no one needs another "half that completes them." We need to make Valentine's Day more about love in general, not just to a significant other. Let's celebrate ourselves, our friends, and our family too. Our world is overflowing with pessimism. We need some optimism to defeat it.

As a society, we need to tell people to be their own Valentine. (And if you need to hear it yourself, take it from me: Be your own Valentine!) Many people have spent one February 14 or another feeling pathetic because they didn't have someone to love them in *that* way. But we don't hear enough that we're allowed to love ourselves. You don't necessarily need another person to love you.

We need to start spreading more positivity around instead of immediately criticizing everything. Criticizing is exhausting. Empower, compliment, do whatever you can to uplift. It will go a long way in our world if we better spread the idea of platonic and self love. Love is not just restricted to two people in a romantic relationship, it can also apply to friendships, family, and yourself.

In the words of Donna Meagle and Tom Haverford from Parks and Rec: "Treat yo self."

By Gabby Frost, 19

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