How Not To Let Valentine's Day Ruin Your Valentine's Day

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Did you know that, along with being Valentine's Day, more people contract chlamydia on February 14th than any other day of the year? Of course you didn't know that. Because I'm making it up. I have no idea if this is true. But that doesn't matter. (Well, chlamydia matters. But the specific day you contracted chlamydia doesn't really.)

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What does matter is that Valentine's Day is less than two weeks away. Which means that, while you might not get chlamydia, maybe 37% of the people reading this are less than two weeks away from making the worst decision they'll make all year; a decision that can usually be narrowed down to three options:

1. Start or continue a shitty relationship you have no business being in because you need someone to go to brunch with you the day after Valentine's Day

2. Decide to get upset with yourself because you weren't able to wrangle someone into a shitty relationship in time to have a post-Valentine's Day brunch partner

3. Decide to get upset at a not-shitty-at-all partner for not giving Valentine's Day the same level of importance you do

Look, I get it. Bellinis and egg-white omelets taste a little better when sitting with someone else. And, if you attend a bottomless brunch by yourself, you're not just lonely. You're an alcoholic. Beds are a little warmer when shared, movies are a little better with someone to discuss them with, and sex is a little better with more than one hand. I get it.

I also get that expressions of love — even contrived expressions of love — matter. Because who doesn't want to be loved? Who doesn't enjoy receiving tiny chocolates wrapped in reams of tissue paper and half-assed cardboard? Who doesn't want a "Luv U" text that makes you wonder if your mate is either too lazy to spell "Love" or too dumb to know how to? Shit, even roaches have date nights.

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Still, if you happen to be single on this Valentine's Day, and you happen to feel a certain way about being single on this Valentine's Day, remember this; singledom is, if not anything else, authentic. You can fake liking someone so they'll go out with you. You can fake enjoying a date. You can fake an orgasm. You can fake a relationship. Shit, you can even fake a marriage. And, if you happen to leave the house during Valentine's Day, you'll witness many of these fakes in action. Those flowers delivered to your manager's office? Fake. Her husband's secretary ordered those for her; which her husband's other secretary reminded her to do because he was too busy sniffing coke off his other other secretary's shins to even know what month it was. Your friend who just uploaded a pic of a bunch of balloons and shit to Instagram, tagged #ilovemybaby? It's the same friend who, just a week ago, uploaded a meme saying she'd rather be a sidechick to a loyal nigga than a mainchick to a cheater. (You need new friends, btw) That couple shoving bacon-wrapped scallops in each other's mouths at Red Lobster? Well, they're in love, but they're spending Valentine's Day at Red fucking Lobster, something you haven't done since you were in 7th grade.

You, on the other hand, don't need the machinations. You don't have to wonder if the relationship you're in is going to last past this season of Black Ink. You don't need to make sure your bank balance has enough to cover an appetizer at Ruth's Chris. Shit, you don't even need to make sure you're wearing good drawls. While (an estimated) 71% of the people you'll see on Valentine's Day are either attempting to be someone else or attempting to convince someone the "relationship" they're in is something else, you are free to be you, and there's no better person or place to be.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)

DISCUSSION

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Nicholas Peters

This is the first Valentine's day that I have been single in Years…how thirsty do single women get during Valentines day week? and I think Valentine's day is most valuable for single men…