"Single people: please stop making Valentine's Day about you."

It’s logistically impossible to have a conversation about Valentine’s Day without having to address one, ubiquitous question:

Ummm… what about the single people?

People joke that February 14 should really be called ‘Singles Awareness Day,’ and there’s no shortage of memes, statuses, and articles lamenting the stupidity of a day where you make the person you love feel special.

It’s commercialised, it’s materialistic, it’s historically bizarre, and god, if you love someone you should tell them every day – you shouldn’t need a holiday to remind you!

Well you know what I say to that?



Stop. Give me this one goddamn day.

For eight years I've been with my partner, and for eight years we've done something FRIGGIN' CUTE for Valentine's Day. This year he's overseas, but he sent me a gushy, romantic message about LOVE and FEELINGS.

My twin sister, who's single, obviously hates it. Every year she goes on and on about how the huge displays of love happening all around her make her feel lonely, and as though she's missing something.

I understand that. Especially for women, we're exposed to a very clear narrative when it comes to love. Movies and books and songs and TV shows make it seem as though you're not complete until you "find someone," and as though life is fundamentally less interesting and less valid if you don't have someone to share it with.


Mia Freedman, Monique Bowley and Jessie Stephens discuss being single when you don't want to be on Mamamia Out Loud. Post continues below.

My sister says the displays of affection in the workplace and online are unnecessary and ridiculous - and hates the insinuation that the most valuable thing a woman can do is be loved by a man.

Obviously, I agree the discourse around love is problematic. I agree that being a single woman surrounded by messages about your inadequacy must be really, really hard.

But every year, I feel like I'm coming closer to actually apologising for celebrating a day about love, and being in love in the first place. I feel like there's a voice hovering over me saying, "EXCUSE ME, being in a romantic relationship and being happy about it leaves people out, and that makes them feel bad, and that's not very nice."

This is where we need to draw the line. Because what I do, and what I celebrate, shouldn't have any bearing on anyone else.

My partner and I. Image supplied.

Yes, Valentine's Day is mainstream, and default, and not particularly 'cool.' Yes, it was probably designed by Hallmark to sell cards. But we need to stop with the idea that the way someone else lives their life is always offensive to us.


Being in love, and celebrating it on Valentine's Day, doesn't mean there's anything wrong with being single.

Being a mother, and saying it's the most important thing you've ever done, doesn't imply that people who aren't mothers are flawed.

Being a vegan, and caring about animals and the environment, isn't an attempt to tell everyone else they're falling short.

Let people celebrate this stupid goddamn day. Maybe it annoys you. Maybe you and your partner thinks it's silly. But it's not necessarily about you. (Post continues after gallery.)


Being in love, and being happy about it, shouldn't be anything to be ashamed of. No one should need to apologise for it. It's one of many beautiful parts of being human, and Valentine's Day gives us the rare opportunity to celebrate it.

If you have a problem with the concept of Valentine's Day, it's unlikely to have anything to do with the romantic gestures of the people around you.

Instead, it might just be an opportunity to realise that people loving each other is never a bad thing, and how they choose to express that is their choice - not yours.

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