Unpacking the Reality of Love: Valentine's Day for the Modern Woman
The month of love unpacked - Valentine's Day for the sisters.
Whew. Sis, we made it.
We just about scraped our way through Valentine's Day. You might be a spurned single trying your best to stay unbothered by the flutter of soppy social media posts. You might be 3 years into a blossoming relationship and can finally wipe the sweat off your brow, after the pressure to, ahem, 'perform' well throughout the day. You might even be in a long-term relationship and so over Valentine's Day as a concept.
Whatever resonates most with you, pat yourself on the back for making it through. The holiday of love can pose be both exciting and challenging, but it also is an opportunity for us as women to reflect on love, the love in our lives, and they way in which we incorporate love on a daily basis.
The Modern Woman on Desiring Companionship
When we think of Valentine's Day, many of our minds go towards our spouse - or lack thereof. We conjure up images of happy couples and doting partners going the extra mile to demonstrate their love to their better half.
Social narratives around Valentine's Day can put women under a lot of pressure, or can trigger unwanted anxiety around romantic companionship. Formerly, we were bombarded by social narratives which heralded romantic love as the pinnacle of women's development, with single women seen as spinsters, failures, or simply just not yet 'lucky enough' to be chosen by a man.
Fast forward to the 21st century, and we now have the icy independent boss babe. The woman does not need a man under any circumstance. The woman who is capable of experiencing the fullness of love without depending on a partner. Surely, there has to be a middle ground?
Finding A Middle Ground
There is nothing wrong with desiring companionship. If you're a single lady, enjoy the season you have to be unapologetically selfish. grow, develop, and by all means - do you. But, if you do want to be with someone, that's okay too. You aren't crazy or weird. Desiring companionship is normal - it's the obsession that isn't.
For my ladies who are cuffed, the season of love might be an opportunity to reflect on where you are at. It's not uncommon to feel nervous, trapped, or bored with your partner. It might even conjure up feelings of overwhelm, and even feelings of resentment towards being committed. This is a great time to focus on how to improve your relationship, and really express your love to your partner during tumultuous emotional times. Even when you are in a relationship, there's always a middle ground.
Finding a middle ground means appreciating your current status and level, whilst actively working towards where you'd like to be. It means watering the grass on your side, where it actually grows, rather than watching the grass at the expense of your crops dying.
Investing Holistically in Relationships
It is not good to do life alone. That much, we know, is true. Human beings are relational creatures, and as much as social media can push narratives around self-love and self-trust, it's equally important to acknowledge the immense impact relationships can have on our wellbeing and experience of life.
This is also an opportunity to show love to those who exist in your life beyond romantic relationships. Think of your parents, siblings, friends, and children. Have you taken them out for an experience, called to let them know how much you love them, or sent them something to let them know they're on your mind? What are the ways that you've invested in the love you share in more platonic contexts?
Happy belated Valentine's Day sister. Whether you are in a relationship or not, remember that there are people in your world, who love you. Spend more time focusing and appreciating on the holistic, loving relationships you have, rather than idolising that which does not exist.
And irrespective of your situation, just know that we love you over here at TMS.