Tomorrow, friends, there will be discounted chocolate in the stores. It’s an exciting day for us all, isn’t it? The anticipation of discount chocolate that’s emblazoned with cheesy slogans or wrapped in red aluminum foil is killing me! But with the discount tomorrow comes the spectacle that is today, and the spectacle that is Valentine’s Day is one that brings out rejoicing from those who are in love and that rejoicing is beautiful and good and exciting. It is also a reminder for others of what they don’t have, and that reminder can hurt and make for a miserable day that those of us who are in relationships don’t notice because we’re too busy being excited about love.
Now, don’t hear me condemning people who celebrate Valentine’s Day. Do your thing, guys and girls! But since this is my first Valentine’s Day where I’m not actually single, it’s hard to forget the sting of the years gone by.
And so, this is what I want my single brothers and sisters to know:
Single is your status but it is not your reality. We’ve been fed a lie that intimacy and community are only found in that special other but that’s so very wrong. You are not standing alone, not today and not ever. You’ll never stand alone as long as you are known and loved and today I hope you know how known and loved you truly are. I hope that you find joy in community and that you sit around with friends and good food and good wine and enjoy each other because you weren’t made to be alone and you are not alone. You’re not.
But today hurts and that’s okay. It’s okay to hurt because when we live in a world that tells us that singleness is failure it gets really hard to do anything but think that you’re defective if you’re single. It’s okay to hurt and you need to make sure you let yourself feel that hurt. At the same time, please don’t shut others out in the process. Let others speak truth to you about who you are, and let those who cheer you on every other day cheer you on today. You are enough! You are loved! Your heart is amazing and your brain is fascinating and if you don’t mind me saying, that outfit is freaking great on you. Yes, you. Feel the hurt but also listen to those who love you. It won’t take away the pain but maybe it’ll chip away at the lies a tiny bit.
Today ends. Life goes on. And tomorrow will be better. Your worth is in the image that God made you in – his own – and that’s where it should be and stay but it’s so hard to believe that and I want you to hang in there. I don’t want you to hang in there waiting for someone to come along and tell you that you’re not defective and that they want to sweep you into their arms and be with you forever… I want you to hang in there and know that your status isn’t single because you’re not alone, and I want you to know that if someone gets to marry you one day, they’re damn lucky for it, and I want you to know that I adore you and wish you could see yourself through the eyes of those of us who love you because maybe then you’d feel as loved as you are.
And tomorrow, if you like, we can go buy some cheap chocolate that the Valentines rejected and have it for dinner alongside a giant pot of tea and make fun of Hallmark card slogans.
Your Married Friend