this blog creepily had roughly 3x its usual daily views the day after valentine’s day. For all who looked here expecting something, here is a mediocre essay i wrote for the internet for v-day, which i of course submit ever so slightly too late.
“Love is all you need”, the beatles sing to us as we pine over loves already lost or opportunities missed…and it seems most plausible that love really could be all you need precisely when love is exactly what you don’t currently have. As another Valentines Day approaches, those of us who are single lament the fact either inwardly, outwardly or both, and try to cope by employing alcohol, netflix, and/or self-deprecating humor. However these by no means indicate a tragic fate, considering that those of us who are spoken for, debatably have it even worse. Productivity comes to a screeching halt as we wrack our brains over how to give a gift that’s romantic while still being personal, thoughtful and decidedly not cheesy, meanwhile becoming obsessively preoccupied by myriad cliché valentiney topics such as “How do I tell him I wish he were more romantic without precluding any chance of him ever surprising me?” or “How will I live down my disappointment if she should say valentines day is a fake holiday, as if it were any more fake than Christmas?” Now that I’m itemizing these endless concerns it seems rather fortunate to be unattached. At least you’re still free to dream of one day finding the Perfect Person instead of forced to face the daily reality of the imperfect person you’ve already found, hang-ups, latent mental illnesses and all. In honor of yet another holiday that has been known to cause feelings of relative goodness or badness based on reasons equally artificial, here is a brief and oversimplified look at the pros and cons of being in love. Sure, it’s theoretically swell to be in love, to have a person whose mission is to learn the specific language of understanding you. Somebody to keep you standing upright at the bar, and to make sure you get home safe. In a way, it can affirm you—“what I have to say matters because somebody loves me. I am valuable because I am loved” (flawed logic, of course). A lover is for having transcendent sex with; and for . Being in love (or at least partnered) is even linked to longer life—provided that person doesn’t first crush your will to live. With love also comes a heavy burden. This is explained most easily by citing how often the brain of a person in love is compared to the brain of a person on cocaine—love is without question, habit forming. It also causes you to want to spend enough time with someone to allow them to become a credible witness to your personal character. In a way it authorizes someone’s opinions about you, and in turn it’s another opinion to have to consider in any decision you make. However much of yourself you’re willing to give is liable to be taken, misunderstood and spit back at you chewed up and meaningless. Of course it’s impossible to ever weigh the pros and cons thoroughly enough to form an actual argument that one way is a better idea than other—there is no way to factor in the small surprises, both happy and sad. The fact is, both loving someone and being single can make you equally crazy, in the throes of couple-centric holidays or not. Both romantic states of being can give you the exact same fleeting feelings of self-worth or worthlessness. But maybe we’re conditioned to want love even more than we physiologically need it. My point is, nothing that makes you feel bad, inferior or unworthy is worth assigning any value to. It’s only love, which is really only someone else’s idea. Love is essentially a store-bought journal into which you write the words, which are ultimately dictated by your perception alone.