“I’m spending my Valentine’s Day alone, and yes I am miserable.” With these words RD started her story about yet another Valentine’s Day passing by while she’s single, and how the only thing she has in mind is how much she wants to feel loved and be in a relationship to celebrate this event.
Spending a normal day on 14 February means facing every shade of red throughout the day, including red ads in newspapers about restaurants and places offering special celebrations for the couples who want to spend their night in a unique way, the huge red teddy bears holding “ILlove You” signs in most of gift shops, and the red roses found everywhere.
For some, the idea of not finding true love is a misery, on a day when everyone else is celebrating being lucky enough to find the one. But, to others, it’s just another normal day, with just a burst of red running through it.
“Yes I’m spending my Valentine’s Day alone. But I’m celebrating it!” says Mohammed Nassar, a 23-year-old student. “I’m going to a party with my friends and I won’t let something like being single on Valentine’s Day affect me.”
Nassar believes that being sad because of not being in a relationship does not necessarily mean not feeling love, and being loved by those around you.
“People’s views on Valentine’s Day are a reflection of what they see inside of themselves,” says Mona Faiz, a therapist and life-coaching instructor. “Their self image affects their needs of receiving and providing love to others.”
Faiz believes that societies are affected by many stereotypes, that people grow to believe they are unquestionable facts. Relating happiness to being in a relationship is one of them.
Though the main objective of humans on earth is to love and be loved, to receive love from others should not be the main source of passion in anyone’s life; “if you don’t love yourself first, you won’t be able neither to love nor to be loved by others,” Faiz says.
Many of the reasons behind relationships failing are due to not being able to love one and waiting for the other partner to provide the appropriate amount of love for both, says Faiz.
She added that anyone should be self-enriched and capable of providing love to them self, which would definitely enrich their relationships with others.
“Look at yourself in the mirror, remind that person you’re seeing how pretty they are inside and out and admit that this someone is not in need of anyone but themselves,” Faiz encourages.
According to her, for someone to love him/herself does not mean they’re full of positive characteristics, but that they have dealt with the fact that they are not perfect and accepted their flaws.
As a way of showing self appreciation, Faiz suggests getting yourself a gift on Valentine’s Day, saying “complete the things you miss having by yourself; don’t wait for anyone to complete the feelings you miss having. You wish for a gift, get yourself one.”
Being strong is one of the steps towards happiness, and fighting the society’s stereotypes is a way to get there.
Also, she believes that in the path of life, most people concentrate on developing themselves in the materialistic sides, by improving their income and education, while very few people see the importance of developing their souls and spirits to find happiness.
While there are people seeking their happiness in a day such as Valentine’s Day, whether through spending it with their partners or with their families and friends, others survived being stereotyped by the Valentine’s celebrations and do not believe in the importance of it in the first place.
“That day is the pure meaning of consumerism,” says Sara Alaa’, a 24-year-old journalist. “Showing love isn’t by a fancy dinner and expensive gifts, and it doesn’t need a specific day to celebrate it.”
Walking the same path, Adham Youssef finds Celebrating Valentine’s Day is a form of commodifying love by presenting it in materialistic gifts, such as jewellery. He says: “The very emotions that connect human beings together cannot be limited to a single day or valued by material goods.”