Valentine's Day or any other, there is a leisure sometimes in being on one's own.
What if being single isn't a status to run from but to revel in?
That's the question these seven images practically beg us to ask. Idalia Candelas sketched a series of drawings depicting a content woman in solitude, capturing the free-spiritedness that being alone can sometimes afford. There will be times we are trying out a relationship, and there will be times we are neither in a relationship nor seeking one. So why not absolutely live life to the fullest in each of those times?
By and large, people aren't that down about being single, it seems.
I asked several single people about their feelings toward Valentine's Day, and refreshingly, so many indicated that the day for them is just about love — whether that love is for a significant other, friends, family, or themselves didn't diminish the meaning of the day. It's just another opportunity to make a fuss over the people they hold dear.
Most said that looking back on Valentine's Days spent alone or with friends compared to the ones spent with a significant other, they prefer the easygoing, expectation-free single occasions.
"I prefer my Valentine's Day ALONE! SO MUCH ALONE! There are so many weird traditions and expectations embedded in the holiday when you're dating someone. Gifts, money, awkward conversations about the stage of your relationship, crappy late reservations at an average restaurant that costs too much and is loud and covered in papier mache hearts. No thanks- give me my wine and my couch and call it a day!" — Bee S.
And yet, the majority of respondents also said they still believe in love and, while content being single now, do see themselves trying for love again someday.
"I like falling in love. I love love! I like being part of a team. And I like the idea of being with someone who I love and respect and laugh with, unfettered by petty resentments, etc. But I'm also willing to wait — maybe forever? — for this to happen." — Karen R.
When asked what one word sums up being single for them, these were the results. Most were mixed, but the ones that kept recurring were "content" and "free."
And maybe that's why these illustrations touch the chord that they do in viewers. Some of us are perfectly happy being on our own and are surrounded by love. Love of the simple pleasures in life, love of silence in which to think creative or serious thoughts, love for indulging in our favorite pastimes without worry about another's happiness.
Take a gander for yourself.
Soak up the utter luxury of alone time these images convey. Are we appreciating the current phase of life we're in as much as we could be? If not, drop what you're doing and do something lovely for yourself. Settle into your comfiest spot with a book you've been meaning to get to or take yourself to a movie. Eat something wickedly delicious. Call a friend on the phone and giggle about something ridiculous going on in your lives.
Being good to yourself isn't corny ... it's part of respecting yourself as a worthy human, no matter your relationship status or day of the year.