Don’t be bitter on V-day, embrace love that is everywhere

Don't be bitter on V-day, embrace love that is everywhere (credit: Eunice Oh/) Don't be bitter on V-day, embrace love that is everywhere (credit: Eunice Oh/)
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A month ago, I couldn’t wait for Valentine’s Day. I had an amazing boyfriend, it was our first V-day together, and I was going to buy him a nice new wallet — since I had accidentally put his old one through the laundry. It would be so romantic because we were so in love.

Then, out of nowhere, he broke up with me. I was completely devastated. My heart was crushed, and I thought that my Valentine’s Day was ruined. I went through alternating phases of moping, ignoring that anything was wrong, and harassing his friends. That lasted for almost two weeks.

Then I had an epiphany, an important part of any good story. It came on a Thursday night when I was driving my Big home from Greek Sing rehearsal. Ed Sheeran’s disgustingly cute love song “Thinking Out Loud” came on the radio, and my first instinct was “DEAR GOD TURN IT OFF,” as I had been avoiding anything remotely romantic at absolutely all costs.

Then, some foreign instinct awoke in me, one that I had never really known before. It whispered to me: “Gutie, don’t be so bitter.” I whispered back: “Ew, no thank you.” But this weird little cupid on my shoulder insisted, and I yielded. I thought to myself, “Ed Sheeran is truly a god.” Instead of changing the station, I kept listening to the song, and even though I didn’t have anyone to sing it to me, it didn’t make the song any less beautiful.

Think about how many people out there have the kind of love that Ed Sheeran loves to sing about. You can see it everyday, all around you: a couple holding hands on their way to class, your parents or grandparents or aunts and uncles, strangers sharing dinner in a restaurant.

When you’re single, it’s so easy to look at all of that mushy gushy love and let it get to you. It’s easy to be jaded and to give up. What’s hard is to see love and recognize how amazing it is.

But when you let yourself take on that perspective, it’s actually hard to be bitter. I’m only twenty. I have my whole life ahead of me to find love (or conversely, to be bitter about it). Seeing so much love in the world gives me hope that I won’t be watching from the sidelines forever. One day, when all the stars align, I’ll find the love that’s meant for me.

But just because I’m choosing not to be bitter does not mean that I won’t be sad. I’m not entirely through with sorting out all of my hurt feelings, and to deny myself that time I really do need would be just as big of an injustice to myself as having a bad attitude would be. I’ve decided that it’s okay for me to be sad, but it’s not okay for me to let it take over my life.

So, for the time being, I’m going to keep surrounding myself with all of my friends who love me, and making sure that I keep seeing the value in the special kind of love that only friends can give. It’s not the same as romantic love, but it’s just as amazing. To my friends, who know who they are, I wouldn’t have made it to this place if it weren’t for any of you. I’ll always love you for helping me see my own worth.

My parents mailed me a Valentine’s Day card this week. The inside says: “Today is all about matters of the heart ... and you totally matter to mine.”

In addition to being adorable and making me feel appreciated, it made me realize that this holiday is for everyone, not just couples. I don’t need to have a boyfriend to be allowed to celebrate! This year, I’m going to make sure all the people in my life know how much they’re loved, and it will be just as special.

I have so many more Valentine’s Days left in my life to spend with a boyfriend or a husband. I’ve made the choice for myself and my own happiness not to waste this precious time dwelling on the possibilities that will only make me miserable. I’m going to embrace the love that I have and be happy for all the people in the world who have been lucky enough to find love, too.