It’s okay to be lonely on Valentine’s Day


Staff Photo by Emily Dudash

Valentine’s Day is a day full of romance and gifts, like candy, for many people. But, for some it’s a day of great loneliness and anguish.

Valentine’s Day is a day of romance for many. However, there are also plenty of individuals who don’t enjoy the same experience. Instead, many feel a sense of immense loneliness. It’s easy to see why this is, especially in today’s world of social media. People have become so influenced and affected by what they see on their phones. This has seriously affected the way people perceive themselves such as thinking they’re not good enough, or they’re not popular enough. The point is, Valentine’s Day can be tough for many people, especially because of the loneliness epidemic in America nowadays.

So, what’s the deal with loneliness? Well, following the lockdowns of 2020, people’s social skills went down the drain. Not seeing people has had a significant effect on the way our society sees one another. According to a study done by Cigna, loneliness often stems from a lack of social interaction and mental health support structures. Considering the lockdowns cut off most, if not all, social interactions for many people, mental health around the country has been affected dramatically. Adding onto this, Cigna also concluded that poor physical and mental health are also key causes for loneliness, which harkens back to the 2020-2021 lockdowns. People generally became lazier, because they didn’t have to go anywhere to do anything. People also didn’t have the same support structures available to them for their mental health as they did when they were going to school or work and interacting face-to-face with their friends, colleagues or teachers. The mental health of the American people is already broken, and holidays like Valentine’s Day don’t typically help. Instead, they give people an even deeper feeling of loneliness. Being surrounded by people who aren’t experiencing the same lonely feelings can only make one feel more lost and broken, which isn’t solving any problems, but rather, making pre-existing problems worse.

So even without a significant other or romantic partner, friendships play just as important of a role in our lives, so making sure friends know they’re appreciated is a great way to cope with loneliness.

But, a holiday such as Valentine’s Day is supposed to feel lighthearted. It wasn’t intended to make anyone upset, but unfortunately, negative feelings are natural, and no matter what we do, they’ll always be around. So, the best thing to do is make light of a typically unfortunate situation, and the best way to do this is to find a coping mechanism. For Valentine’s day, letting a friend know that they are loved, even if it’s as simple as a text or a short encounter between classes, can really mean a lot. The importance of friends in day-to-day life is sometimes overlooked, but according to Dr. Messina and Associates, a Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Psychiatric Service office, the important friends we have in our lives are equally as significant as any partner. So even without a significant other or romantic partner, friendships play just as important of a role in our lives, so making sure friends know they’re appreciated is a great way to cope with loneliness. No matter what, knowing there is always someone there for them is a comforting fact for many of the lonely people in today’s society.

Valentine’s Day has the ability to be sad, but really, it doesn’t have to be. Emphasizing mental health and self-care will limit the sadness of Valentine’s Day for many of the lonely and unhappy people in society. People often don’t realize the mental health resources that are available, and that simple actions like caring for a friend, can mean a lot more than many may realize. Remember, all it takes is a simple act of kindness to brighten someone’s day.