Face it, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. You might be one of many thousands of people who don’t have a date or a mate for the special day. Some people panic at this realization. What happened? Did they procrastinate? Are they socially awkward? Do they feel worthy?
We are inundated with advertising for chocolates, flowers, restaurants, greeting cards, diamond jewelry, and motor vehicles pushing the idea of the perfect Valentine’s Day. For folks who don’t have a spouse or lover, the ads can only increase the feeling of desperation and loneliness. Sure, we can switch off or ignore the ads, but deep inside, we know they’re still there.
A feeling of desperation can even exist today for people who are coupled. Perhaps their significant other is scheduled to work on the 14th or is stationed overseas on military duty. They may tell themselves that they’ll celebrate romance on a different evening. We know that feels like a second rate Valentine’s Celebration. It’s like celebrating Christmas on Boxing Day. It can be meaningful, yes, but much of the thrill is gone.
Most of us have been in this situation at least once in our lives. It’s a lonely, empty feeling not to have a special someone lined up for February 14th. Even though the committed, die-hard single person claims he/she doesn’t care about Valentine’s Day one iota, we know that deep inside they really do care. The fact is, that the more they insist that they don’t care, the more they actually do care.
We are social animals and even self-proclaimed hermits don’t like to be totally isolated for very long. Beneath the surface of a self-affirmed connoisseur of solitude, is the tiny voice of someone wanting to be loved by another.
Doesn’t this make you feel just a bit desperate? The clock is ticking and there’s not much time left before the time to line up a date is over. Who knows, will today be when lonely people find dates with other lonely people? The need to pair up with a mate is a deeply imbedded primal instinct that cannot be fully submerged. I think this instinct manifests itself in many ways. If it is ignored, feelings of desperation return to the surface.
One major drawback about desperation is that people instinctively avoid desperate people. It’s also often true that desperate people avoid other desperate people. Do we think we might catch cooties from desperate people? Does desperation trigger some sort of self-protective emotional mechanism?
The thing is that the more we try to ignore desperation, the more it comes back. There’s a balancing act some people do. They find themselves becoming good at thinking themselves into endless loops of desperation. Then they focus on other people to get themselves out of the spiral.
Of course there are varying degrees of desperation. People who intuit the need for professional counseling should follow up on that message. The rest of us will be OK if we simply accept the fact of desperation. Knowing that everybody on Earth can feel and has felt desperate, does help us get on with life.
If Desperation Day is something you relate to, you can either soldier through it or go out and find somebody. After all acknowledging and accepting our desperation, eases the burden and allows us to realize the day was invented in order for us to enjoy the humor within our predicament.