Essay: Valentine’s Day sulking needs to stop

Women are taught throughout their entire lives to dream about being in love. From romantic comedies to advertisements on TV, the onslaught of messages telling us to desire love are hard to avoid.

If the convincing has worked and you find yourself yearning for intimate date nights and big romantic gestures, Valentine’s Day can be rough.

But this year, say goodbye to crying over tubs of ice cream, anti-Valentine’s Day gifts and cynically unromantic playlists.

When I was a freshman I gave in to the temptation of spending the day pitying myself. I spent the day and night writing a paper, getting bitter and more frustrated as the night wore on. It got even worse when I tried to procrastinate and opened up my phone to dozens of Valentine’s Day date photos posted on Instagram.

That year I wasn’t lonely because I didn’t have a boyfriend. I wasn’t even upset because I was struck in the library working through the night. I was lonely and upset because I chose to sulk instead of spending the day loving myself and celebrating with friends.

Concepts like Galentine’s Day, which was popularized by fictional character Leslie Knope from “Parks and Recreation,” celebrate women before Valentine’s Day. Even though it has been nine years since “Parks and Recreation” introduced the holiday, it remains relevant and women need to take this day to celebrate each other.

It is easy to feel down when society tells you to be in a relationship on Valentine’s Day, but we must take the time to celebrate women.

I may not have someone to spend Valentine’s Day with romantically this year, but unlike my terrible holiday two years ago, I am not going to spend the day feeling sorry for myself.

I’m going to make an effort to reach out to as many of my female friends as I can. I’m also going to eat whatever I want for dinner and buy daisies from Whole Foods because I don’t need a boyfriend to enjoy my favorite flowers or feel loved. I can love myself and you should, too.

Natalie Prieb, a junior majoring in English and creative writing, is a Hatchet columnist.

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