Valley Girl With a Brain

Questioning, like, everything

To be or not to be (in love): That is the question

What's love got to do with it?

You all know what's happening. You see it taking over the supermarkets, the florists, even the dentist's office: Hearts. Everywhere.

We call this epidemic of red and chocolate, Valentine's Day, and it can either be a source of bliss or agony, depending on your fragile state of mind.

Despite the plethora of books out there that declare people to own their single status, let's face it, most people aren't completely satisfied with their vibrators or Youporn.

The trouble is Valentine's Day stigmatizes this one group rather cruelly. This scarlet lettering has inspired restaurants to hold anti-Valentine's Day themed dinners for bitter women. Chocolate cake and sorrow for dessert. I've been to a couple. Imagine restaurants filled with grimacing vodka-infused women and confused bus boys.

In Japan, it's worse. Instead of one day of emotional suffering, the country celebrates a complementary holiday called "White Day" on March 14. Valentine's Day in Japan is exclusively for men. Women will buy ludicrously priced chocolates for their true loves, who will hopefully return the favor on White Day, with even more lavish presents. The first White Day, celebrated in 1978, was concocted by a delicious candy company that has been earning very sweet profits since.

I love relationships, especially with good, sexy people. But I have never really been the type of person to agonize over being single's on Valentine's Day. I'm certainly not a subscriber to those endless survival guides that teach lonely people how to cope with the day's bittersweet-flavored loneliness. Why do they need to be called survival guides? Do we really get that close to death if we spend this day alone?

If you want to be in love, you should want it. And I think it's perfectly okay to admit that you like love.

On the other hand, if you want reasons to embrace your singleness, I just happened to jot down a few perks right here:

1. A new study of couples found 56 percent of young adults in new sexual relationships were infected with HPV. The risk of contracting a disease has always been my favorite reason for not hooking up. And who enjoys the awkward, "Can you please just not get that into me?"

2. None of your friends will resent you. For those of you in loving, committed relationships that resemble picture frame stock photos, single people hate you, sorry.

3. Most people don't care about Valentine's Day. You'd think with all the hoop-la surrounding the holiday, that it was the second coming of Christ, but really, it's mostly Walgreens that exaggerates the holiday. Valentine's Day used to be a big deal in 5th grade when we made valentines for our classmates and ate heart-shaped cookies. As Chet Baker once eloquently crooned, "the thrill is gone."

4. There's no pressure. I've always felt an incredible amount of pressure to celebrate amazing Valentine's Days with guys. I helped my friend's boyfriend plan an insanely romantic hullalbaloo for her, complete with Tiffany jewelry! When a partner's sentiment doesn't match yours, or if it's simply a letdown, there's really nothing worse.

5. You can be with someone if you really want it. As of 2002, there are 904 dating service establishments all available to serve you and find you a potentially suitable mate. Apparently it works too: $489 million in revenues. Or if you're a millionaire, you should really visit the Millionaire Matchmaker, who is the most entertaining crazy person I've ever seen on t.v. Apparently, she has a 99 percent success rate, which makes about as much sense as this astrologer who has a money-back guarantee if a spell doesn't work.

Still I personally don't advocate singledom.

I love being in love, and I think that there is nothing more ideal than finding your soul mate.  More than the candy, flowers, and expensive four-course dinners, I prefer the free massages.

Because on the off chance that the chocolates are fruit-filled disasters, the flowers are carnations and dinner comes from the drive-thru, you can always ask for a massage to make up for everything else.

Follow me on Twitter! (I'll follow you too!) ThisJenKim

Jen Kim is a former Psychology Today intern and a graduate of Northwestern University.

more...

Subscribe to Valley Girl With a Brain

Current Issue

Dreams of Glory

Daydreaming: How the best ideas emerge from the ether.