It’s this time of year again. While all of your roommates are out with their significant others on romantic evenings, you are sitting alone wallowing in how lonely you are. You retreat to the refuge of Tinder to try to find someone who is equally as lonely as you are. But this year, you should just stay away.
On Valentine’s Day in 2015, Tinder recorded the largest number of people using the app that year. People look for relationships and connections because of the day, not because they feel they are ready for a relationship or because they think the person they find on the app is actually the right fit for them. Tinder users could hop on the app on Valentine’s Day because they feel lonely, but people will just go back to their old habits and previous lives once that day passes. Meeting up with people from dating apps on Feb. 14 is nothing but a placeholder for the significant other they do not yet have.
Valentine’s Day is about more than meaningless sex. Single people should take care of themselves and people they love on Friday instead of wallowing in their loneliness.
The holiday started as a Roman festival to pair off women to men by lottery, but it has turned into a commercial holiday intended to get couples to spend money on chocolates and flowers and inadvertently make single people feel lonelier than ever. The holiday should not become a damper on the lives of people who feel sad because they did not get gifts from a significant other. Expressions of love through material goods are only created by companies that want to reap the financial benefit of a day that is meaningful to only some people.
Despite all pressures and commercialization, Valentine’s Day should be about expressing your love for the people in your life and if you are single, giving love to yourself and your friends. Not being in a relationship does not mean that you are worthless or that you should be lowering all standards just to have some intimacy with another person. Your value is worth more than the material items couples give one another for the sake of the day.
Being single on Valentine’s Day sucks. But engaging in meaningless sex from a random person on Tinder to make you feel less lonely does nothing but lower your standards. Take time to yourself to recognize your value instead of running to the first person who will validate nothing about you except your looks. You could consider Valentine’s Day to be the best so-called treat yourself day of the year. Finding a hook-up on Tinder is not going to help you celebrate yourself.
Instead of swiping through Tinder and searching for another lonely person to hook up with this Valentine’s Day, consider doing something for yourself and loving yourself. Give your best friend flowers, cook or pick up a nice meal and watch a movie. Take yourself out to a museum or go for a walk around the monuments – anything to avoid the lonely realms of dating apps.
Having sex is great, and it is nothing to be ashamed of, but using sex as a substitute for someone or something else in your life is detrimental to your value and worth. The more you take time to care for yourself rather than search for the validation of others, the easier it will become for you to be OK with your single life. Before you know it, someone could come along and like you for both your looks and personality. That time does not need to be Valentine’s Day.
Hannah Thacker, a sophomore majoring in political communication, is the contributing opinions editor