Valentine’s Day Massacre Your Own Heart This Year, For a Change

Lila Miller, Arts & Entertainment Editor

“Love is in the air. So is the flu. Wash your hands.”

Most relationships appear to follow a formulaic structure beginning in Autumn, referred to as “cuffing season.” Cuffing season describes a phenomenon where a lot of peers scramble to find an ‘insignificant’ other to bear the brunt of the psychological torture of winter holidays with. Valentine’s Day is no exception.

“Stained with your love,” Romeo and Juliet, sexting with Pablo Neruda, books boasting relationship advice, “Why Men Marry Bitches.” It is nearly impossible to not be accosted with themes and symbols of love at every turn, scroll or click.

“Love is everywhere you look.” “It comes when you stop looking for it.” “You have to love yourself if you want someone else to.” There are countless platitudes people use to comfort the lonely, console the broken-hearted, or just offer shreds of hope to the perpetually single.

The reality is that life does not come pre-equipped with a soulmate. Unfortunately, there is not always “someone for everyone” and that notion only furthers disappointment. I’m sure many of my peers would call me cynical at best or a miserable future spinster two cats shy of crazy at best.

Still, I pose the question: in this strange timeline that constitutes present-day, is playing the dating game even worth the effort? You go out for drinks with a date. Acquaintances see you out and about. Suddenly, rumors fly that the pair of you are engaged in the horizontal tango and you don’t even have the hickeys to show for it.

The sad truth is that you go home alone, your thumb grows tired of left-swiping on Tinder and you fall asleep watching reruns of “The Office” on Netflix, again.

Then, there are the couples that make you grateful to be yourself on your own terms. The couples who break up every few weeks just to get back together, your friend that harps about how she “just isn’t happy anymore” but refuses to leave, lesbians that move in together after three weeks of dating, they’re all the subjects of countless jokes and premises for sitcoms and movies.

Or worse yet, they bridge the divide between fiction and reality.

You go to the same places. Meet the same people. Is that where you’re going wrong? Is online dating the answer, after all? You match with someone and FaceTime each other every evening. There are no red flagsuntil they’re already in your apartment, wearing your old socks when you realize that while they may be beautiful, they are also insane.

Are these experiences few and far between or are they just illustrations of a symptomatic chronically lonely society? With Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Linked-In, and even Craigslist’s Missed Connections, there are more ways to connect than ever before. Are there too many choices in a partner, that indecision and uncertainty cause one to “drown” in the proverbial dating pool?

Maybe loneliness is just a condition. Maybe there is someone for everyone. Maybe I’ll look back on this article at some point and laugh at myself. Until then, I’ll be waiting for the sweet savings of half-off chocolate and writing stories where the hero saves themselves in the end.

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