If you haven’t heard, if you haven’t seen the V-Day decor, Valentine’s Day is coming on up. She is making her presence known among us. Never before have I been intrigued (and slightly appalled) at the appearance of all the signs of her coming—the cold winter days and the cuddly couples, the teddy bears whose eyes seem to follow you around as you enter every single store and the love songs that play on repeat.
Over winter break, I watched Modern Love, a podcast turned anthology on Amazon Prime detailing love stories of friends, of lovers. It is a sweet show to watch if you want to enjoy some television without committing endless hours to the glowing screen (no judgment if you want to, though). Modern Love romanticizes meet-cutes and moments where the timing just is perfect. The thing is that if you haven’t experienced any of that (like myself), you’re kind of left wondering Will it ever be my turn?
And here comes the hordes of people in relationships giving me advice.
It’ll happen at the right time. You just gotta put yourself out there more. Join a dating app. Don’t join a dating app! I know someone—let me introduce you. You’re so young, don’t even worry about it.
And on and on and on.
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None of these people have malicious intent. Except for that aunt who really knows how to get on your nerves. In my case, I’m not so much bothered by this, this being my single status and other opinion’s of it as I am on the subject of timing.
If you know me, you know that I make playlists for everything and that one of them is titled sometimes timing is crappy (and yes, I did copyright it LOL). It’s a playlist littered with Trousdale, Florence + the Machine, and of course, Ms. Taylor Swift. You just can’t have a playlist on love or its absence without Ms. Swift. That said, what plagues me is that I don’t get to control how timing works.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for believing that everything has a season, but it begs the question how long do I have to wait? I’m a little bad at the waiting game. I can be impatient, eager to rush into my own agenda while listening to some Aly & AJ.
Or Delicate by Ms. Swift. *cough cough go listen cough cough*
Modern Love’s depiction of romance is that it happens right on time. There’s an episode that plagues me. It’s a story about a boy and a girl meeting on a train right as the world begins to shut down. Instead of exchanging contact info, they plan to meet back at the train station in two weeks. The pandemic stops that from happening. And in the episode, they never meet again. I get the sense that I tend to be plagued by things like this—unresolved circumstances like rocks in my shoes reminding me that some things aren’t just as perfect as I’d like them to be.
The waiting game is like that too. I’m not in the epilogue of what I’m waiting for. And there’s a possibility that I’m not
supposed going to reach the epilogue. Not to be morbid, but it’s like the feeling people get when they say they don’t think they’ll reach a certain age. I guess I have hope enough to be waiting, but not enough to feel certain of what lies ahead.
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This can be hard when it seems like everyone is getting married. Oh okay—it’s just the four couples I know from church, one of which includes my roommate, and the two fellow interns I work with. Like I said, I’m not plagued by not having a ring on my finger. I actually wear a silver compass ring to remind me of God’s Word, but I am plagued by the waiting for something that might never happen.
It’s like Einstein said—Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the same results. And yes, I know I’m young, and it is abnormal to know so many people getting married so young (not when you go to college in the south). Waiting feels like an impossible task if what I hope to receive is uncertain. Love isn’t promised to me. At least not romantically. V-Day just doesn’t acknowledge that side of life.
Though I am in what I call the Very single stage of life, there are more things I desire to do besides find a relationship. Like go to therapy. I need to go to therapy more than I n e e d a significant other.
And that’s not to say longing for a relationship is a bad thing. The image of singles waiting by the door in their pj’s waiting for the love of their life to walk in is mocked. While people should definitely go out and do the things they love with the people they love, there is no need to force yourself to downplay your desire for companionship. You’re human. You need other people. That’s okay!
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There is love expressed in other ways that is worth celebrating. V-Day is a romantic holiday but I remember a few years back when a friend of mine got Valentine’s Day cards for all of our friends. I still have that card now. A little reminder of a love a friend wanted to celebrate with me. Love in its purest form looks like hugs, my dad making me a hot cup of tea without me needing to ask, it looks like inside jokes only we can understand, more hugs, conversations about God, it looks like prayer, long walks together and it looks like enjoying silence in one another’s presence. Did I mention it looks like hugs? It also feels like hugs, a warm embrace that holds you step and steps back to look you in the eyes. Love is. And Love does. (Thank you, Bob Goff.)
There’s a poem I listened to a few years ago, and every now and again I’ll listen to it and be reminded that the beginning of love and the end of it don’t really matter as much as the middle. Here’s Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye’s When Love Arrives. Just thought I’d mention it.
Until next time, folks. I’ll keep waiting to meet someone on a train and maybe someday I’ll write that story.
Thanks for reading, friend!
P.S. I made a V-Day playlist. Listen here!
Share with me your thoughts on Valentine’s Day and singledom. I would love to hear them!