Singlehood doesn’t have to spell loneliness on Valentine’s Day

I once saw a graph drawn to show the self-esteem of people who are single and the alcohol intake of people who are single on the days leading up to Valentine’s Day. The results were laughable — the two are inversely related.

The closer the date gets to Feb. 14, the lower the self-esteem and the higher the alcohol intake.

It was meant to be funny, of course, but it sparked a thought in me: At what point in our sad, single lives does Valentine’s Day become a holiday to dread?

When we were little, Feb. 14 was magical: sweet cards from our classmates, little candy gifts from our parents and Hershey’s Kisses galore. Valentine’s Day was a day to love and appreciate each other.

But the older we get, the more depressing Valentine’s Day becomes. As college students, many of us dread the holiday, dubbing it “Singles’ Awareness Day” or a time to wear black.

Now, I’m certainly not the biggest fan of V-Day. For me, it’s an excuse to buy myself a lonely box of chocolates and watch a rom-com. This year, however, I want to try something radically different: celebrate by spending time with the people I love.

Let’s look at the facts.

Historically, Valentine’s Day actually originated as a festival. The middle of February was a time to feast and be merry. According to History.com, it is suggested that the Christian church deliberately placed St. Valentine’s Day “in an effort to ‘Christianize’ the pagan celebration of Lupercalia.”

Lupercalia was a fertility festival held on Feb. 15 that ended with men getting matched up with a potential wife. Their names were pulled out of an urn, and that was that. Your Roman love life was all up to the luck of the draw: “Sorry, Jim, looks like you picked your widowed Aunt Judy’s name. Well, you get what you get. Happy Lupercalia!”

Needless to say, the holiday was eventually outlawed and replaced by St. Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14. But the holiday wasn’t even “definitively associated with love” until many years later.

V-Day started as one giant party, essentially. And, as most parties do, it just so happened to end up with a little matchmaking. So why not spend it with friends, instead of wallowing in self-pity over your singleness?

The options for next Tuesday night are endless.

Your group could get dressed up and enjoy a stir-fry dinner at Flat Top Grill. Or you could opt for a pajama party, complete with Insomnia Cookies. Because, after all, calories don’t count on Valentine’s Day.

Of course, you could always test your luck at Country Nite. Your Valentine just might be that guy in the cowboy hat, embarrassing himself on the mechanical bull.

Fellow singletons, whatever you do, don’t do it alone. Valentine’s Day is a celebration of relationships. Call up your friends and do something special.

Melanie is a freshman in Media.