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From Our Readers: Why I Am Saying No to a Valentine's Date

All feels about the season of love.
PHOTO Millennium Entertainment ART Clare Magno

Call me bitter but there's no such thing as a Valentine's date.

All this time I was wondering why people crave for special emotions and fantasies wrapped around a special someone on this special day. Then I realize the next day that those 24 hours just passed. Why in the world do we feel bizarre on this day? Others who have that someone are lucky, but for most of us who don't feel pressured to have at least someone to spend those hours with, it's a bit hard to belong.

They say, "She might have had hurt so much before to be this bitter" or that "She should have a life and don't infect others of her bitterness."

First, I may be single but not bitter. Second, never will I be bitter because of my past or whatever complicated situation I am in right now. I only believe in one thing; everything happens for a reason. Whatever that reason may be, I will always be thankful for how it makes me what I am right now—stronger, wiser and bolder. This is not about me not believing in Valentine's Day. I'm just saying no to Valentine's date.

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I actually don't believe in Valentine's date. I don't believe in the flowers, chocolates, stuffed toys, and all those couple-y things that are very popular this season. People are going to all these "special places" that are ordinary on regular days. The price of flowers go up, public places get chaotic, and gift items get so expensive. But the real reason why I don't believe in Valentine's dates is because of you.

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I don't believe in Valentine's dates because whenever we're together, I don't need any butterflies in my stomach because it's like you're giving me the entire zoo. I don't believe in dates on February 14 because we have February 13 and 15 to do things that other people are reserving to do only for that date alone.

I don't believe in dates on February 14 because we have February 13 and 15 to do things that other people are reserving to do only for that date alone.

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I stopped believing in Valentine's date when I loved you. Days are gone when I needed constant "I love you" just to be assured that you really do. You know that actions speak louder than words and somehow, that's enough for you. This love is unconditional that never will I trade it for any other labeled relationship. However, after all those acts of service, physical touch, quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, those three words are still important for me.

I still don't believe in Valentine's date even if you tell me you love me. These aren't the only words I want to hear from you. I also want you to treat me nice. I don't believe in Valentine's date not because I'm bitter or I'm single or in a complicated relationship or because of my ugly past. Aside from all the hustle and bustle of this day, I don't believe in that because I know I can be with you even before or after February 14, and we can make any date a Valentine's date.

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I don't believe in Valentine's date because I believe in love, I believe in you, I believe in the magic we can do together. It's a time to be better instead of being better, whether you believe in having a date today or not.

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Serene Fae A day ago

"The paradoxical idea of attaining a happier life and how to withstand these beliefs."

The Revolting Truth About Happiness by Theserenefae

If people ask you about your vision of a happier life we automatically envision ourselves having more money, true love, a better job, Instagram-worthy vacations, etc. But let me break this to you this, According to Dr. Laurie Santos, Professor of Psychology at Yale University and the voice behind The Happiness Lab podcast, "Most of the goals we think would make us happy do not really make us happy." And why is that? Simple, being happy is all in our minds. The human mind ploys us with these lenses on how we envision ourselves and our lives to be happy. The perception of "having" or "gaining" is the exact opposite of what will truly make our lives better. So how can we really be "happy"?

• Seek happiness inside you. This is a quintessential reason for our vision of happiness: misconceptions about having a lot of money would make me happy; owning this and that would make me happy; entering a relationship would make me happy. This is not the case, if you want to be truly happy with your relationship, you have to be already happy on your own. If you want satisfaction from others, you have to be satisfied with yourself. And so on.

• Fill that hole righteously We all have that tiny hole inside our hearts, tampering it with temporary band-aids. Fill this hole with purpose. Have you ever heard about The Three "M's"— Master, Mission, and Mate? Define who will be your Master, is it God? If that's so, your Mission could be following his words and will. Mate would be the last for they will be the best companion to fulfill your mission. Now hear me out, it is important to do this accordingly. We often times jumble it or invert it which can lead to failures.

• Give gifts to others. The wonderful grace in giving. There’s nothing like the rush of pure joy when you get a chance to give. However, this may not be something that we're used to. But apparently, openhandedness is our soul's true shape. As Eugene Peterson put it, "Giving is what we do best. It is the air into which we were born." This doesn't necessarily mean we have to give away our stuff but we can also present love, kindness, gratefulness, etc. in our own simplest ways to anyone such as giving time, encouragement, helping hand, or even forgiveness. Try giving and you'll receive inconceivable gifts in return.

• Savor moments. Savoring deeply intensifies our positive emotions while doing something that we love the most by simply stepping outside of the experience to review and appreciate the moment. You can practice this by having a delicious meal, reading a good book, or any activity that you enjoy and love. It can also be enhanced by sharing these experiences with others, appreciating such amazing moments, or staying present the entire time.

• Choose to Love Deeper Today's society relentlessly pressures all of us to have this "perfect" lifestyle such as pursuing careers that drain you, finding value through virtual world and purchases, letting achievements become your whole identity, and yet after all that you still feel empty and failure inside. Consumption is just skin deep—a shallow perception of happiness. Deep life brings the best out of us and others. It is about nourishing what you already have, focusing on the relationships than material wealth, becoming vulnerable at times, and being self-aware.

• Understand that Sufferings and Pain are part of Human Being. Always remember that loneliness and sufferings are inevitable. That is completely how life goes. You may be happy for a moment or a month but sooner or later great tribulation will start to kick in. Combat despair with graciousness. Count all the blessings that you have (and will have in near future, claim it!) by writing it down on a piece of paper or typing on your phone. Viola! an instant boost for happiness. We all know the fact that this superficial happiness won't work, but why do I keep on wanting? I already have all this wisdom about how to be happy for ages, but why can't I apply it to my own life?

First, you have to understand that simply knowing doesn't change your behavior. Care to realize that all the tips that I have mentioned are all verbs? Because at the end of the day, it is all about how you choose to be happy and initiate actions towards success. Know, reflect, visualize, believe, and do something about it. All of these are Actions! This is the secret of all the happiest and most influential people in the world—actions. Furthermore, do know that some of these tips do not work instantly most of the time. It requires a lot of time, motivation, consistency, and effort. I do know it's easier said than done. Take each of them slowly, one step at a time.

If it wasn’t for pain, I wouldn’t be alive. It may sound contradictory, but it’s true. Pain reminds me that I can feel, along with other emotions. Pain reminds me that I can heal, just like how I did in the past. Pain reminds me that I am strong and I can do better. It reminds me that life can be bitter, and it is up to us to make it a little sweeter (or saltier, depending on what the person wants).

With this epiphany, I take pain in a positive light. It’s normal that it can break me and make me want to stay in bed all day, but having someone or something remind me that there is hope is enough. It’s normal that I cry my heart out, but it’s important to remember that there’s a calm after the storm. If it wasn’t for pain, I wouldn’t be who I am now. It has shaped me and how I look at things. It has changed the way I approach circumstances that can challenge me and my beliefs.

Pain, back then, made me cower in the dark. Pain used to be my biggest fear, and I used to do my best to avoid pain. However, I realized that avoiding pain is like avoiding life. Because of how I wanted to protect myself, I closed myself off to people and opportunities. I used to tell myself that “this will end badly”, or “this is going to hurt in the end”. I always focused on how much pain I might endure in the end that I forgot to enjoy the process.

It’s inevitable, you see? Endings, most of the time, may hurt. It’s natural for us to grow attached to someone or something, and their disappearance might bring us a lot of pain. However, one should always remember that the pain is a reminder of how close you became, how many memories you had. If it wasn’t for pain, life would be pointless. If it wasn’t for pain, we would be nothing.

margaux marie A day ago
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