How To Deal With The Pressure To Be Coupled Up On Valentine’s Day

The month of February is synonymous with Valentine’s Day, and is also the love of my life (my little nephew, Emmett’s) birthday. But it’s also a month that brings up a lot of capital F Feels for many of us, no matter where you’re at in your life, romantic or otherwise.

Even reading the words ‘Valentine’s Day’ in conjunction, chances are you felt a physical reaction in your body. Be it a pitter-patter in your heart, a race of a thought in your mind, the sinking of your stomach, butterflies shattering your nervous system, a nonchalant ‘whatever’ shrug in your shoulders, or worse, a choking feeling in your throat.

Because try as we might to say it has no effect on our psyche, we all seem to feel some sort of way about it. And for those of us who have lived the past year in a self-care-centric, more mindful way, we know that our thoughts are directly correlated to how our body physically responds.

Valentine’s Day is all about love. Whether it be romantic love, the love we have with our friends, our family, our pets, and ourselves. Over the past handful of years, Instagram has been filled with posts using the hashtags #couplegoals and #galentinesday where everyone seems to be shouting from an endless mountain how #happy, #loved and #blessed they are.

Which is fine. If you love where you’re at right now, or if you’re being spoiled AF, or even if you’re at a chic hard-to-get-into resto c/o your other half, I’m happy for you. Hey, I may even be a little jealous and start comparing my current situation with yours in a yearning, perhaps even motivating way. But my concern this time of year comes down to those of us who are straight up kidding ourselves.

That is, if you’re hanging onto a relationship that’s no longer serving you, only because Valentine’s Day is coming up and you don’t want to go it alone.

Case in point: If you’re partaking in sneaky sexts and a textual relationship with the ghost of boyfriends past, (who are in a relationships with others), in the hopes that you’ll get a piece come the 14th.

Or: If you’re dragging on a very much “over” relationship with the knowledge that post-Feb 14th, you’ll peace out and ‘finally’ walk away.

For all of you, let me be clear:  You may be fooling others, but lovely lady, you’re not fooling yourself.

Faking it in a relationship (a term I like to call, having a “fakelationship,”) is doing more harm to you than good. If you know you need to end things with the person you’re seeing but you’re “Waiting for the right time,” be aware that there is no such thing as a right time.

Breaking up is hard to do for a reason. Whether you’re the dumper or the dumpee, having The Talk and ending things and actually keeping to your word and cutting them off cold-turkey is one of the hardest things you’ll have to do.

But you can do it.

Think about where you’re at and the person you’re with. Do they make you feel better or worse? Happy or sad? Behind closed doors, would you be embarrassed if others saw how they treated you? How you treated them? Are you no longer sexually active with them because they physically repulse you? Do you not even like who they are as a person?

End it. End it now.

Cut off that ex that keeps creeping into your life at just the same time you finally seem ready to move on. They aren’t different. Things won’t be different this go ‘round.

Cut off that guy you’re hoping will leave his other half, who tells you he’s unhappy in his relationship. You are better than taking scraps from people, baby girl. Honour yourself.

Cut off your partner who is treating you like shit, talking down to you, who doesn’t celebrate you or listen to you or treat you like you want to be treated.

Do it without excuses, because I’ll tell you something: Many relationships end on Valentine’s Day for a reason: because the idea we have in our heads, namely, our expectations, fail to be met.

All we have is ourselves at the end of the day and you don’t need another person to make you whole. Do what you want another to do for yourself. Cut off those shackles, and I will guarantee you, you’ll feel an immediate weight off your shoulders. You’ll finally feel like you’re breathing for the first time.

Main photo: Insecure/HBO

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