Don't let anybody ever tell you that you need to find a date for Valentine's Day. Being independent is just as good, fun, and important as being in a relationship can be, and Valentine's Day doesn't change that. But I get it — it's only natural to sometimes want a romantic date and get butterflies in your stomach at the sight of someone new. But if it doesn't happen this year, just know that everything happens for a reason. I know, I know. You're probably thinking, "How do you know?" But I do, because it happened to me.
Maybe it was my new go-with-the-flow sense of self, or maybe it really was fate, because the next thing I knew, a handsome young stranger sat in the chair across from me.
When I was younger, I used to fantasize about going on the most romantic Valentine's Day dates. There'd be a dozen roses, a fancy candlelit dinner, and a gigantic heart-shaped box full of chocolates that look delicious but never fully get eaten. I wanted it all. So tell me why, in my first semester of college, I blew off my hot valentine to study in the library? I honestly couldn't tell you except that it was fate. My date and I had reservations at a fancy steakhouse, and I wouldn't be surprised if his car was filled to the brim with roses and a life-size teddy bear. I never found out, though, because I never went . . . and met my future husband that night instead.
I don't know what came over me. Maybe it was that Valentine's Day date pressure. Maybe you've felt it. I didn't want this one night of the year — this one date that if on any other day would have meant nothing — to put a title on my relationship. I began second guessing if I even liked my date at all, so instead I made a bold move and asked for some space on the most romantic night of the year, and I probably crushed his heart at the same time. Also, yes, I did this all over a text message. Not ideal, I know.
So there I was, on Feb. 14, sitting in my athleisure at a small wooden table in the library, with my laptop in front of me and my headphones in my ears, as if to ward off anyone who wanted to approach me. In that moment, would I have rather been seated across from a handsome guy at a table for two, decorated with roses and candlelight? Not a chance. It was freeing to be able to beat the pressure of Valentine's Day and feel both content and in control of my life.
Maybe it was my new go-with-the-flow sense of self, or maybe it really was fate, because the next thing I knew, a handsome young stranger sat in the chair across from me. I wouldn't call it a date, but we did spend that evening studying together and talking, and we've been enjoying every Valentine's Day together ever since. I will always be grateful that I didn't succumb to the pressure that Valentine's Day seven years ago and listened to my heart instead, because it brought me exactly where I was supposed to be. If you're just not feeling it this year, do yourself a favor and don't force anything. You never know what will happen.