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With 14th February falling on a Friday this year, it kicked off the weekend earlier than usual, for most at least. At the age where most friends are already married, few engaged and some soon heading down the same path, I am flooded with conversations centering on couples and their plans. This article isn’t about me getting all Scrooge on V-Day and gloating about my single self while ridiculing couples and their ‘cheesy’ plans, rather the celebration of love in any form, which to me is always a very welcome and heartwarming idea.
The weather on this day happened to be quite the provocation to all. For those who planned to bask in the glory of this day, the morning rain followed by the cold created the perfect setting for a romantic stroll or just an excuse to cuddle. The same weather may have cast a dull pallor over those who are in the throes of singlehood, perhaps even cursing their single status or those who most unfortunately may be dealing with a divorce or a breakup.
I happen to be in the quest of celebrating my singlehood. With enough people and things to keep me busy and occupied throughout the day, it fills my day with love and friendship regardless of the ‘single’ tag. Much to the shock and horror of all feminists, I admit that as much as I enjoy my life and appreciate each and every day – the experiences it brings to me, there is a pulling at the heart strings when you see others around in love. A yearning for the same.
This feeling though is not a causal factor to jump into relationships or towards a fix-up carefully orchestrated by well meaning friends or family, but it does bear reminder to the fact that as much as there may be love within and around me, which is given expression in an unrestrained manner, the idea of a ‘special someone’ does cloud the mind.
I heard a line in a movie years ago, when the female protagonist is asked – “Why do you think people get married?” To which she replies, “So that we have a witness to our lives. Someone to watch over our lives daily, through the good, the bad, the mundane, the ordinary. Someone who can tell us that – your life will not go unnoticed as I would notice it.”
I do not see reason to delve into identity crisis and self worth issues, where one may feel the need to psychoanalyze such women and find reason to believe that they consider themselves as incomplete if without a significant other. But the truth to her answer is in the context itself. She doesn’t speak of passion and humour, rather a love so strong that two people genuinely want to be by each other’s side, through it all.
A popular theory by psychologist Robert Sternberg talks about the context of interpersonal relationships which are governed by 3 main ingredients. These are intimacy – which talks of attachment and closeness, passion – which centers on attraction and need for reciprocation as well as commitment – the conscious decision to be with one another. It was indeed a beautiful sight, not to just have couples celebrating but seeing friends and even families come together, with this day being reason enough to meet the special and important people in their lives.
Human nature tells us that there are various relationships an individual requires in order to grow and flourish. Abraham Maslow spoke about a hierarchy of needs which we all strive to fulfill; self actualization followed by Self Esteem and Love and Belongingness.
These are called growth needs and explain the concept that in order to fulfill the higher order needs, the preceding need must first be fulfilled. We all require love and a sense of belongingness which sets the foundation for our self esteem and self worth.
As much as we talk about this day being blown out of proportion – in a commercial and materialistic world, one needs to sometimes focus only on the emotion that drives this day – LOVE. I love the idea of people walking hand in hand, enjoying a candlelight dinner over wine or laughing at some inside joke.
Why must we ridicule this day? We cry out in outrage when we see negativity and suffering around us and thus speak of loving and respecting one another. But a display of affection around us especially on this day causes us to cringe or feel that one is making a spectacle of this day or merely making their lives out to appear better than it truly is. Why must we be so cynical? Why can’t we all as individuals thrive upon seeing happiness and love around us? Love in any form it may be, is never overrated.
This year I made the conscious effort to celebrate all that am preaching here! Planning an evening with 2 friends where one bailed (the engaged one, no less!) and the presence of the other which turned an otherwise ordinary Friday night to a five hour evening – wonderful company, a fabulous place, tinged with 2 other loves of mine – music and dance, led to snapshots which created some of my finest memories.
I might seem like a hopeless romantic or an idealistic fool, but oh well, better a fool than a cynic!
Pic credit: jmcphers (Used under a Creative Commons license)
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