This Girl's Perspective on Valentine's Day

I'm not going to lie, friends. It was a little bit sad (is a little bit sad) getting through Valentine's Day without a romantic love in my life. And I don't think I'm special or extra-deserving or anything. I know lots of people don't have romantic love in their lives on this day and I saw a lot of thoughts about the day -- good, bad, and indifferent -- scroll across Facebook. These are my thoughts and reflections, in general, on this particular Valentine's Day.

I, myself, went to bed last night feeling rather unhappy with the scene. But maybe I was just over-tired. When I woke, though, I felt differently. Maybe it's the clarity those early waking minutes bring. In that first hour I was up, before office telephones started ringing and legal documents had to be reviewed and created, a distinct feeling washed over me. And that feeling was one of gratitude for having always felt love from my friends even when romantic love was not in my life. I recognize that many people spend their lives steeped in greater loneliness than I.

So I decided to honor the day and the idea of love and companionship. I put on a pink plaid shirt. I bought a heart-shaped breakfast biscuit. I turned on my "Love" playlists on iTunes. The point: to keep my heart open to the idea of someone with whom I can share that part of my soul, maybe to even manifest such a blessing. To be clear, I am one of those who believe that if you look for love, you're much less likely to find it than if you let fate kind of take the wheel. So I don't look...but, yeah, I dream.

And it made me happy for my friends when I saw their thrilled posts scroll across Facebook, posting pictures of flowers and cards or checking in at restaurants for lunch or dinner with their significant others. I wondered about the slight anxiety or discomfort -- or excitement! -- of those friends in relationships too new to post something with confidence. I wondered if anyone out there still got anonymous love notes or gifts (the last of which I received, I think, in maybe my sophomore year in high school) or if the relative anonymity of the Internet eliminated the need for such pre-planned, tangible offerings.

In the end, I think what gets people is not the fact that they're "alone" (in that certain context) on Valentine's Day. I think it's that being "alone" sort of feels...well...underlined on that day. But tomorrow that underline will be erased and those of us without partners can all get back to the business of being happy, single adults...with our hearts open to the modification of the "single" part.