What My First Truly Single Valentine’s Day Taught Me About Life And Love

Andrew Phillips
Andrew Phillips

This may come as a shock, especially since I write about getting drunk and having sex with random girls…but I have been, and probably still am, a “relationship guy”.

I LOVE getting drunk, flirting with girls, learning about them, learning their body, having great sex, and keeping it casual. That is fun for me, there is no denying that. However, I also have a fondness for intimacy, cuddling, sharing secrets, inside jokes, and just generally having a partner in crime. Someone to navigate this thing called life with me.

I know, I’m a walking contradiction, but in all reality I have spent more time in long-­term monogamous relationships than I’ve spent single…since the day I started dating girls. I met my high school girlfriend when I was a sophomore and she was a freshman. We stayed together until a year after we both graduated. It was my first time getting to really experiment sexually, we experimented with drugs, and we learned a lot together. We also learned a lot from each other. But, like many high school flames, we eventually burnt out. We were together for almost 5 years.

Within 6-­8 months of that split, I met one of the girls I will forever love in some way, shape, or form. It was truly a “right person, wrong time” situation, and it took me years after we broke up to realize this. This was the girl who made me believe in love at first sight, as I can remember the moment she walked into the room like it was yesterday. I was mesmerized the first time I laid eyes on her, and thought about her constantly until we actually hung out and built a connection. Well, she built the connection…I was already emotionally invested before I knew her name.

We had our ups and downs, towards the end we were like oil and water, but I still cherish the memories. I guess if I’m being really honest, towards the end I became the fire to her gasoline. I was young, dumb, overconfident, and thought I had so much living left to do that settling down was a hindrance. I was wrong. We were together for more than 6 years.

There was about a year and a half or so after we broke­up where I was able to figure out who I was, make my mistakes without hurting anyone, and I was starting to really get used to the single life. I was able to almost embrace it towards the tail end of that period. Then I met my most recent ex. That statement is not entirely accurate. I actually met my most recent ex in 8th grade, we went on one date, and we lost touch for many years until I ran into her (while smashed) at a local watering hole. From that point on, we were inseparable. Until we weren’t.

It may have been due to clashing opinions, a personal tragedy we faced together but responded to differently, or just that we burned too fast and too bright to last. We grew apart, we grew hostile, we treated each other badly, then we were finished. A week before Christmas officially, but we were off and on while fighting constantly for months prior. We were together for a year and half.

So, if we round the numbers, I was in committed relationships for 13 years. I probably started dating girls at age 14 or 15. Needless to point out, I’m not exactly used to being single on Valentine’s Day. So, what’s a guy to do when Valentine’s Day weekend rolls around? Text his exes and attempt to find a shred of intimacy? Buy a case of beer, a bottle of whiskey, and try to find Tinderized love for a night? Watch porn and jerk off while simultaneously crying, wiping my eyes with the same tissue I’m supposed to wipe up my wasted swimmers with? Fuck. No.

I got together with 2 of my single friends, took a couple shots, smoked somethin’, and went to an Anti-­Valentine’s Day event: The Screw Cupid Pub Crawl. That night I realized that as long as I can have fun, I can be single in February without getting emotional about it. There were hundreds of people, guys and girls in their 20′s and 30′s, who were also out there grabbing the single life by the ball sack and making it their bitch. Together, we were all empowered to say “fuck those happy couples, let’s get wasted and NOT have to impress anyone”. It was magical in that sense.

I wish I could turn this into a story about an epic hook­up, one of those “ended up fucking her while she hung from a chandelier in a hotel lobby” type of stories, but that’s just not the point here. This story is about what I observed, what I felt, and the enlightenment that came with it.

I realized it was ok to be single.

I realized there are so many lost souls, all looking for love but dealing just fine without it.

I realized that I can have fun on a romantic holiday without being romantic.

I realized that I have all the time in the world to meet the right person.

I realized there are some experiences I would miss out on if I wasn’t single, and they’re things that I’m not willing to sacrifice.

I realized I don’t need female validation as much as I thought I did.

I realized that I wouldn’t want to meet anyone I really like on that day, because for some, the feelings of lonely desperation come out.

I realized it’s a great night if you are just looking to make out or hook up with a stranger for a night.

I realized I need to love myself more, and right now I can be my own valentine.

Most importantly, I realized that I would have used any excuse to turn that night into a party. It just so happened that “single on Valentine’s Day” was the most convenient excuse to use. That justified my need to go out, go big, get drunk, say dumb shit, and just throw caution to the wind. Next year, if you’re single and dreading that time of year, it’s time to change your way of thinking. I know I had to change mine. Get a group of single people together, and just go out with the intention of having a blast. Don’t go out with the primary goal of meeting “the one”. Don’t go out with the primary goal of meeting anyone, period. Go out to go out, go out to have fun, go out to spend time with your friends, and go out to make memories.

Those are the primary goals. Meeting someone else is a subordinate goal at best. Once you can grasp these concepts, you can start to look forward to the holiday that most single people despise. Be your own valentine if you’re not someone else’s. Is there anyone more worthy of your love than you? I didn’t think so. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

I’m a 29 year old aspiring writer and musician, who drinks too much and hooks up with morally questionable women.

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