I'd Rather Be Alone On Valentine's Day Than Be With Someone I Don't Love

by Zara Barrie

I will be SINGLE on Valentines Day, 2016.

Like totally, SINGLE. Like super single. Like the most blazingly single girl creature to ever grace the pavement of New York. (OK, that's dramatic, but what do you expect from me? Apathy? NEVER).

F*ck you. I'm SINGLE.

At first, I was sort of bummed. I mean, I WANT to be in love, you know, babes? I know it's embarrassing to fess up to something as controversial as "wanting to be in love" in this cruel, cold, modern world, but alas, I've already embarrassed myself enough on this website -- what's another moment of humiliation at this stage in the game? That shame ship has sailed.

To be honest, I haven't spent Valentine's Day solo in quite some time. I was linked up with an ex for an exorbitantly long time, and even though we were broken the f*ck up, I spent last Valentine's Day with her. It wasn't even romantic, really, but we still went to dinner and were super co-dependent as per usual. (Lesbians, so goddamn co-dependent!).

In fact, I feel like I've been coupled up on V-Day for most of my life:

The first Valentine's Day I can remember was in the sixth grade; I dated this super cute boy named Winston. Winston was a hot little 12-year-old skater dude who bought me fake emerald studs from Claire's to commemorate the day of love.

I was a smitten, adolescent kitten, and now that I THINK about it, his sweet gesture set me up with some pretty sky-high expectations for V-Day. I mean, lez be real, it was Claire's, not Harry Winston, but come ON -- poor boy was only 12!

I got jewelry (my BIRTHSTONE, nonetheless) from a lover before my 13th birthday. No wonder my therapist thinks I have overly high expectations when it comes to dating. Winston, if you're reading this, this all your fault. You set me up for a lifetime of delusions of grandeur followed by piercing stings of chronic disappointment. I solely blame you for ME being a lesbian (HA!).

Throughout the duration of my teen years bleeding into my early 20s, I always seemed to have a little romantic something or other in full swing by February 14th. Maybe it's because I'm a total basic Hallmark bitch and subconsciously made sure to be locked in by mid-Feb, but I don't really think that's it. I think it's the combo of sheer happenstance peppered in with a healthy dollop of good ol' fashioned co-dependency (SERIAL MONOGAMIST ALERT. SERIAL MONOGAMIST ALERT).

That being said, sadly, I've experienced more than one dismal, dark Valentine's Day spent out of love with a lover.

See, I used to stay in relationships far past their expiration date. My relationships were like sour milk rotting in the fridge of a neglectful household (Pro tip: When you're love life conjures up the image of "rotting milk," it's time you flew the coop).

"Why would you stay in a relationship with someone you DON'T LOVE ANYMORE,?" You're asking right now, screaming at your computer.

Good question, Kittens. (I can always count on you for good questions).

When I was a younger entity who was ridden with a slew of unresolved traumas, I was terrified to be alone. I was a self-destructive, self-medicating, alcohol-abusing, over-partying, wispy little thing, always so fiercely co-dependent and deeply afraid of what I would do if I was "left to my own devices."

When you're in a relationship solely because you're sh*t scared to be alone, that's not love. If you're in a relationship because you don't trust yourself, that's not love. If you're in a relationship because you're terrified of what your partner might do if you were to leave, that's not love.

If you're in a relationship because it's easier to love someone else than it is to love your broken, sordid self, well, Kitties, that's not love either.

I couldn't wrap my sorry brain around this concept for far too long.

Those of you who have endured painfully LONG, LOVELESS relationships like I have know that every loveless day with your partner blows, but Valentine's Day blows especially hard.

I mean, what's worse than having to get all gussied up (hair, makeup, eyelashes, the WORKS) only to go an over-priced dinner in a lackluster restaurant with sh*t service when you know in the deepest pit of your gut that you're living a total farce? The rest of the year, you can sort of stew in your own lie, pretend you're still in "love." Live the numb life. Paint a pretty little description of your "love life" on FB while you secretly fantasize about f*cking the cutie pool boy.

"Oh, we just don't have a lot of SEX, but how important is SEX really?" You will enthusiastically fib to yourself, as you brush your hair and smile at your blank reflection in the mirror like a psychopath. (FYI: I believe sex and intimacy are a direct reflection of our raw feelings toward our partners. If we no longer want to f*ck our partners, we're no longer in love with them.)

When gushy love songs relentlessly play on the radio and the bright red color of passion is adorned on every girl fingernail, and all you see is authentically in-love couples holding hands in the city streets -- it really rubs in your face how out of "love" you actually are.

It holds up a mirror to what you don't have: passion.

It's awful. I believe there is no worse feeling than being fake about anything -- let alone your romantic feelings toward your partner (though faking orgasms are a close second).

So this Valentine's Day, my gorgeous single VIXENS, let's celebrate not having to wake on February 14th living a f*cking dark, dirty lie! Let's celebrate the beautiful fact that we aren't forced to say "I love you" to someone we don't love anymore.

Because I swear to the higher power up above that I would rather be alone on this freezing cold Valentine's day than be stuck in a relationship built on the frail bones of co-dependency, fear and attachment over pure love.

I don't want to be that girl. I'm not that girl (anymore).

In fact, I'm so genuinely happy and proud that I've broken OUT of that viscous cycle that I could sing my song of glory from the highest, sunshine-grazing rooftops! It was a long, painful journey to get here, lovelies.

But damn... I got here. I am here. I finally cultivated a healthy relationship with myself, and I couldn't have done it tethered to someone else. I'm not sure about a lot, but this is something I'm pretty damn certain of.

So yes, I DO want love. I believe in the authenticity of love. I believe in the magic of love. I've witnessed the powerful feelings it can stir up in even the most cynical person. I'm not (contrary to popular belief) dead inside (though I'm good at pretending to be).

But hell -- I don't need all those extra relationship things to make me feel whole anymore. Because I am whole.

See I've had this big, life-changing epiphany only very recently: Most of my past relationships were mainly just a repetition of what was familiar. Dysfunctional, controlling love was the kind of love that was familiar to me. It was all I ever knew.

And as human beings, we tend to be drawn toward the familiar, even if it's bad for us. Think of all the amazing women you know who are cuffed to f*ckboys; a lot of them had f*ckboy dads or a history of dating f*ckboys from an early age. It's hard to break away from these patterns. We feel safe in patterns.

But the problem with falling into the safety net of patterns is we are depriving ourselves of meeting someone we actually like.

Because if we were to strip away all the co-dependent, f*cked-up issues and toxic reasons we're drawn toward screwy people, we could find someone we really connect with. Not just someone who is just feeding our dysfunction. We open ourselves up to the possibility of finding someone we can love for real.

And that's the only kind of love that I think is sustainable, in the long term.

So I'm proud of us single kittens. Let's celebrate the fact that we aren't letting our past dictate our present relationships. Let's celebrate the fact that this Valentine's Day, we can be real. We can be ourselves. Let's celebrate treating ourselves. Let's celebrate NOT relying on anyone else to treat us. 

Personally speaking, I'm going to celebrate the fact that I broke out of the cycle that almost ruined my the possibility of me ever having a real love life, forever.