By Kelly Seal
I was never a fan of Valentine’s Day. It didn’t feel like a “holiday” because it seemed too exclusive, meant only for those in relationships. I watched my co-workers and friends get flowers and candy, reminding myself it was just another day. Why should a lame Hallmark-inspired celebration bring more attention to the fact I was single?
Usually I chose to spend Valentine’s Day with my single girlfriends. On one of these occasions, my friends reserved a table at an Italian restaurant in Venice—a very romantic spot—just to be ironic. There were 12 of us. I was looking forward to having a loud, fun time while tables of couples glared at us. It would be like a Valentine’s Day revenge.
When I arrived however, I saw groups of women just like ours sharing bottles of wine and garlic bread with each other. In fact, they outnumbered the romantic tables for two. Apparently, most of the single women in L.A. had the same idea we did. But instead of making me feel better, like I was part of a community of independent women, I felt more alone than ever. Where were all the good single men? Was everyone having as hard a time as I was?
I went home that night depressed and frustrated. I was looking for a fun night out with my friends, and instead I saw a roomful of unattached women. If none of us could find a man, what was the problem? Surely there wasn’t something wrong with all of us.
Then it occurred to me. Wasn’t the point of Valentine’s Day to bring a little romance into our lives? Then what about romantic potential? That didn’t require me to be in a relationship. If I wanted to attract romance into my life, why not do it myself, even on Valentine’s Day?
So this February 14th, I have a proposition for all you ladies. Instead of getting together with your girlfriends, swigging wine or cursing the dating scene, ask a guy you’ve been eyeing to have drinks with you. Or go to the dating website you joined and ask one of your matches. If you don’t have someone you’d like to ask out, go to a sports bar with a friend and buy a drink for the guy in the barstool next to you.
Instead of wishing you were with someone, why not reach out to the single men who are around you? Valentine’s Day is not about just about being romanced with candle-lit dinners. It’s about introducing the chance of real romance back into your life and psyche, one small gesture at a time. With every new date, there is opportunity. Shouldn’t we celebrate that on Valentine’s Day?