Being single in a world that’s in love with romance

An awful day is approaching and my anxiety levels are rising just thinking about it. February 14. It’s a day you don’t really give a shit about when you’re in a healthy relationship, but when you’re single it feels like the entire planet is flipping the bird at you.

For me, the build-up is always the worst. The day itself is fine. And so is the next day. And the next day. That’s because I’m happy being single. Would I like to be in a relationship? Sure, I love the thrill of a new attraction, and all the wonderful getting-to-know-each-other stuff that follows – but only with the right guy (who will appear in my life when he's supposed to). But for some reason, the lead-up to Valentine’s Day makes me feel really really crappy about my single status.

Our society romanticises (pun intended) coupledom, and long-term relationships are seen as a measure of success. What if you’re not in a relationship – does that make you a failure? Sometimes I feel that way, even though I know it’s not true. I know a lot of people who’ve settled for mediocre or unsatisfying relationships, because they’re too scared or just unwilling to be on their own. I’m proud that I haven’t succumbed to that pressure.

From a spiritual perspective, there's no requirement to have 'another half' - we are all perfectly complete on our own. That said, we all have various soul contracts with various people who will accompany us from one lifetime into the next. That includes family members as well as significant others. Through my spiritual learnings I know that the most important relationship we all have is with ourselves, and that's the primary relationship we're here to develop.

So here's where I come unstuck: with the amount of hype around relationships on Valentine’s Day it’s easy to lose sight of this and feel like the world is participating in a party you didn’t get invited to. Because you weren’t good enough. Because no one liked you enough. All bollocks, I know. But, still.

This year Valentine’s Day will be really cool – it’s a Saturday, and I’m going on a picnic with a bunch of my single friends. We will eat, drink, laugh and celebrate the awesomeness of solid friendships. (I highly recommend this for any Saturday, not just Valentine’s Day.)

This Valentine’s Day, look for me in the park having a laugh with my friends. I’ll be the one shouting ‘Happy VD!’ to smug couples. And giggling inappropriately when they don’t get the joke.