Ahh, Valentine’s Day: An overrated Hallmark holiday designed to make us singles feel like we're missing out on everything in life. Or am I being a little too cynical? 

Let me take a step back. I'm not against anyone finding their happiness. I'm pro-happiness! 

What I am against, though, is the pressure to meet societal expectations. 

In the case of Valentine's Day, I'm against the idea that relationships are the center of the universe; that they are the paragon of fulfillment. I'm against the notion that the ideal state of existence is one in which you are neatly paired off with a mate on February 14th. A mate who will, no doubt, lavish you with chocolates and roses and whatever else is being sold to you as the image of L-O-V-E this year. 

Whether by coincidence or design, holidays come fully loaded with the potential to make us feel bad about some aspect of our lives. We are bombarded with images of an "ideal" — an ideal family situation, an idea financial situation, an ideal group of friends; the list goes on. Valentine's Day is just another day that we're presented with a picture of society-approved perfection. Even the pink and red and white lilies clipped and wilting in the grocery store circular seem to taunt us: 

"I DARE you not to compare your life to this staged and photoshopped image of a happy couple playing in the park!" The lilies scream about the greeting cards. "I DARE YOU!"

How can you avoid internalizing this message of perfection when Valentine's Day shit is everywhere? 

So, I'm against the pressure. I'm against the feeling like a failure because you aren't living up to society's expectations. I simply don't agree with it or like it. And I want you to remember that you don't have to pretend to like it either. 

If you're in a relationship this Valentine's Day, that's awesome! If you're single, like me, celebrate Singles Awareness Day on February 15th instead. Get together with a few friends. Have a LOT of laughs and just feel fucking good about your life. Why waste time pining over someone else's idea of contentedness? 

The relationships we have with ourselves are the ones you can guarantee will last a lifetime. And that's definitely worth celebrating..