Feb. 14 is Valentine’s Day, or Single Awareness Day as the bitterly brokenhearted people might say. Whichever you call it, it’s marketed as an intimate occasion, especially for romantic lovers. As someone who hasn’t had the chance to celebrate with a special date in mind yet, I can only imagine how much more difficult it is to spend the day apart from that person.
Admittedly, my upbringing was rather old school and traditional, and my mindset on love, courtship and Valentine’s were pretty much the same as what the media pitched to me—that this is a holiday only for those in romantic relationships. Boyfriends, girlfriends, spouses—you could spend any amount of money on them, and it is socially acceptable because you are in love with that person, whatever that’s supposed to mean.
Even if I had never celebrated Valentine’s with someone else, the date still got me to reflect on what love’s presence has been in my life, especially in this time of uncertainty.
It would be an understatement to say that our lives have been thrown off balance in the last year that we’ve been under quarantine. With those restrictions, upholding relationships has become increasingly difficult, especially with the online setup that is now the classroom, workspace and socializing area.
The fatigue brought about by the online platform leaves me with barely enough energy to interact with friends, let alone have a substantial conversation with them. It was only very recently that I’ve realized how much I truly appreciate the small, everyday interactions.
Though being online can be tiresome, the company makes it more worthwhile. Something as mundane as doing our own tasks while being on video call with one another has been so comforting, even if nobody says anything at all. In the last few months, I’ve realized that the love that keeps me going is the love I receive from the company I have.
So my biggest revelation this Valentine’s? Love makes itself known in consistency. The seemingly insignificant moments all build on the relationship, and that is what creates harmony. Love isn’t restricted to just its romantic form, and it can be just as, if not more, beautiful in its other manifestations—love for your family, your friends, yourself, your hobbies, everything.
Am I some love expert now that I’ve realized all of this? Absolutely not. If anything, I’m still leagues away from truly understanding what love is. I may have not had a date last Valentine’s, but I did have an endless stream of love coming from all directions around me. If there’s anything I’ve learned about love, it’s that love is a constant decision that only you can make. —CONTRIBUTED
The author is an AB Sociology freshman at Ateneo de Manila University.