The scent of roses hangs on the air. Teenagers hurry to the shops to pick up last minute gifts for that special someone. Shy glances, blushing cheeks, secret notes passed in class. Girls giggle as they cling to the arm of their boyfriends; hugs and hand holding galore. Yes, Valentine’s Day is in full bloom. That day of flowers, gifts, hearts and winged babies. A day of surprises, secret admirers and crushes. That special day celebrating love.

But amongst all the happy couples, a girl walks alone. She doesn’t have any flowers, or chocolates, or stuffed animals. Her thoughts aren’t focused on a certain boy. Truth is, she’s single…

… and she is feeling so loved!

Valentine’s Day may be a celebration of love; but that doesn’t mean you have to be in a romantic relationship to celebrate it.

When you’re single, it can be all too easy to become bitter about Valentine’s Day. It can become quite a lonely day - especially when it seems all your friends have their own special relationships. Valentine’s ends up becoming less about love and more about trying to make it through the day without becoming an emotional wreck.

For years I used to hate Valentine’s Day – especially when I was in high school. I mean, I was quite happy being single every other day of the year, but Valentine’s Day was always a struggle. Seeing my all my friends walking around with roses, talking about their boyfriends or trying to guess who their secret admirer might be – I often felt unappreciated. Invisible. Forgotten. Lonely. The odd one out.

Every Valentine’s Day, a bucket of roses would be delivered to the classroom. A list of names would be called out, and students would go up to collect their gift. Each bud a symbol of love – a reminder that someone cares. Every year I would wait expectantly, hoping to hear my name called out. To know that I was on the mind of some unknown admirer, or that a friend was thinking of me. But every year I would have to swallow my disappointment as the empty bucket was carried away and I was once again left without a rose.

It wasn’t until after I finished school that I was challenged by a different view on Valentine’s Day. Instead of focusing on my singleness, or feeling bitter and jealous, I realised that I could instead focus on building others up. I could send encouraging messages to my other single friends. I could show my appreciation towards couples I knew. I could thank my parents for everything they had done for me.

Valentine’s Day really is a great opportunity to encourage others and to show them how much you appreciate them. It doesn’t take much to send an encouraging message or speak a kind word to someone, but it can really make someone’s day. And as you encourage others, you yourself will feel encouraged. Whether it’s getting words of encouragement in return, or simply the knowledge that you’ve helped build up a friend. Sure, I still find pangs of loneliness and bitterness creep in as Valentine’s Day draws closer. But now instead of focusing on myself and the things I don’t have, I can focus on others – being thankful for my friends, family and everyone else God has put in my life.

Valentine’s Day can be quite nice when you have boyfriend, but it can be even better when you’re single!

Image by Isabelle Taylor from Pexels

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