I love love.
No seriously, I know people say that all of the time in defense of their complaints about Valentine's Day, but I genuinely like love and I champion it for a living.
I’m the girl who has had a Pinterest board devoted to her dream New Year's Eve wedding since high school. I don’t mind spending Saturdays binge-watching my favorite romantic comedies, while happily reciting every line I know by heart. I am, without a doubt, the girl on the train who tears up every time a sweet couple has a moment on my Instagram discover feed.
I wasn’t joking, I love me some love and I’m not going to deny that here.
But you know what I don’t love? All things Valentine’s Day!
Now hear me out, as the assistant love and lifestyle editor here at ESSENCE.com I live for writing our weekly Bridal Bliss features and covering the cutest celebrity couples moments as they happen. Talking about relationships, situationships and sex on a daily basis is a dream job for anyone on Team Love. What’s a girl not to love? But a day where I am supposed to, or dare I say required to, love love? Nah. I’m good. Let me explain.
It’s not that I’m not a romantic.
One day I saw a hat I knew someone I was involved with at the time would appreciate. I asked for his address, ordered the hat and had it sent to him. It was a random day in March and I did it just because. I’ve always been much more impressed with random acts of love rather than supporting the idea that society has placed price tags on warm feelings that comes to all of us naturally, organically and sometimes when we least expect them. The monetized nature behind Valentine's Day gives my side eye extra super powers, especially as I walk through the teddy bear and heart-shapped card lined aisles of Target. Trading romantic gestures should happen all days, and not be limited to just one day in the shortest month of the year that’s penciled in as a day of the week you should remember. Nothing about a calendar reminder screams sexy.
It’s not that I’m bitter about love.
I’ve gotten my heart broken before, but who hasn’t? The best part of feeling down, disappointed and devastated is the part where you get through it and can reflect and know you're better. Something about repairing yourself after a love lost is empowering— it makes your bones feel stronger, makes you stand a little taller and makes your skin glow a whole lot brighter. Being bitter has never been my cup of tea because liberation doesn’t come from holding onto ill-feelings, my grandma taught me that. I’m thankful for the hurt I’ve had along the way because it’s forced me to always demand happiness because I know what it’s like not to have it.
It’s not that I’m currently single.
Ok, I’ll admit it I’m not in a relationship right now. I’m single, dating and enjoying life as a twenty something millennial in New York City (even though I’ll be the first to tell you swiping right on Tinder doesn’t lead to a pot of gold). When I’ve been in relationships in the past, I always made one thing (among many) very clear—I don’t need the pomp and circumstance that comes with February 14th. You can save your $7 on a card that will end up in the bottom drawer by the end of the week. The red, white or pink themed whatever you saw in the store and were conned into buying by the sales lady can stay there. (I look best in black anyway.) My relationship status in the past or present hasn’t impacted how I feel about the day and it probably won’t change in the future. And before you say, i feel this way just because I’m young and haven’t met the one yet, know this. Had we already met, I'd still tell him to skip the frills too.
At 9 p.m. on Tuesday night you won’t find me at the table of a crowded restaurant eating an overpriced meal that would be $20 cheaper the next day. I’ll most likely be curled up in my bed, watching my new favorite show, NBC's This Is Us. Without a doubt, a glass of wine will be in my hand and the guy I like will be next to me laughing at me as I cry over the aww-worthy moments shared between a fictional family.
And the best part? All the chocolate a girl could ever want or need will all be half off in the morning. Now that’s my kind of love.