Here’s what every person who’s single on Valentine’s Day wants you to know

It’s almost February 14th, and that means love is in the air — but it also means we’ve reached peak ‘annoying couple’ season, and so friends, we’re going to have to have a talk.

Valentine’s Day means a lot of things to different people. Some people don’t celebrate it at all. Some people look forward to it every year. To some, it means an elaborate romantic gesture from a loved one; to others, it means your mom is going to mail you some chocolate. Some people rush to make sure they have a date for the day, and some even re-evaluate the relationship they’re in when approaching the holiday.

What ever your plans are or aren’t, one thing is for sure: Valentine’s Day, traditionally, is not for single people.

Single people get a lot of pity and bad jokes around Valentine’s Day. Galentine’s Day celebrations are nice and all — yay female friendship! — but, more and more, there’s this weird sense of obligation that you have to be doing something on Valentine’s Day, even if you don’t have a date to publicly declare how not bitter and sad you are about not having a date. And then, the third option — sitting in your pajamas and binge-watching Netflix — also sets up a weird set of guidelines and expectations as to how you’re supposed to treat this holiday.

The more you think about it, the more it starts to feel like as a woman, you have this culturally dictated script you’re meant to perform for Valentine’s Day.

And not only is that, y’know, icky and uncomfortable, it’s also just not true. So here’s what single people wish you would take into consideration on Valentine’s Day before encouraging us to do one thing or another, and certainly before trying to set us up with your creepy coworker.

It’s also totally fine to spend Valentine’s Day on your couch in your pajamas. It’s totally fine to feel sad and upset that you’re not on a date if you’ve just broken up with somebody, or are pining for somebody, or haven’t ever had anybody at all. It’s totally fine if you don’t understand what the fuss is about and treat it like any other day. It’s totally fine to celebrate with your girlfriends. It’s totally fine if you love hearing about your friends’ dates, if you want to help your friends plan their dates, if you want to play matchmaker, if you want to ask your friends to keep their romantic exploits to themselves, if you want to find yourself a one-night stand, if you want to spend the night memorizing the Hamilton mixtape, if you want to do LITERALLY anything you want. Take yourself out to a nice dinner. Dance alone in your underwear. Find a date on Tinder.

Holiday traditions should belong to you, not the holiday.

Valentine’s Day might not be ~for~ single people, but that doesn’t mean we want pitying friends or other traditions imposed on us or awkward blind dates with somebody’s brother who has a nice personality. What single people want most from you, dear friends who aren’t? To do whatever they want for Valentine’s Day, without any expectations or congratulations or judgment.

We’ll do us, and you do you, and we can all eat chocolate while we do it — that’s basically the best holiday ever, right!?

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