Being at a school nicknamed “BYU-I do” on Valentine’s Day, a holiday that explicitly celebrates romantic relationships can feel lonely without a significant other to share it with. However, many students relate to feelings of longing and wonder how they have managed to stay single in the Rexburg dating hub.
The need to be in a relationship is likely a byproduct of religious and cultural expectations for young adult members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But for those who have yet to find a companion, Valentine’s Day often serves as a cold reminder of not having met the marriage milestone yet another year in a row.
Dear February 14th,
You have found me again in swirling winter snow
Within the dating scene of Rexburg, Idaho
These have been some trying months, still single as can be
I met a girl in school last week who married in just three
I am not desperate or vague, not even in the least
How dare you suggest that I pose and talk through gritted teeth
Pretending to be grateful when my roommates get engaged
Or fighting to feel happy when my crushes date teenaged
Girls with lovely locks of gold, fresh from Highland High
Your observation is absurd, judgmental, and a lie
Dear Valentine’s, please go away and stay away for good
Why must you come reminding me that life of singlehood
Is maybe not as glamorous, as loving, or as grand
As having someone smart and great to always hold my hand
To kiss me sweet and bring me flowers, a beautiful bouquet
Chocolates and an ugly bear, to live up to the cliché
Okay, you caught me Valentine’s, I wish he’d come and kneel
For more than just to tie his lace, to tell me how he feels
I’m sick of playing “hard-to-get”, of BYU-I do’s
Bring the ice cream Valentine’s, I caught BYU blues
Yours Truly XOXOXO
This Valentine’s Day poem capitalizes on the general reasons single students at BYU-Idaho may have mixed feelings about Valentine’s Day.
“Personally, I hate being single during Valentine’s Day,” said Chance Yost, a freshman studying mechanical engineering. “For this reason, it is my least favorite holiday.”
The silent desire to be in a relationship coupled with the inner refusal to be patronized for being single causes a mean internal conflict. All the while, the whole world throws a party every February 14th that you are uninvited to based on fluctuating relationship status.
This is ludicrous. While finding a companion is a desire for most, there are so many factors beyond our control that influences the whos, whats, whens, wheres, whys and hows of choosing a companion.
In her article entitled “Taking the Pressure Out of Finding an Eternal Companion,” Dominika Stoica stated, “The pressure to find our eternal companion as soon as possible can be so real sometimes. But there is no time limit on eternal relationships. There’s no need to stress over it. Life isn’t about getting married but rather becoming the best version of ourselves and letting God work His plan in our lives.”
As a single adult, how can you let God work His plan in your life this Valentine’s Day? Perhaps the answer is a change in perspective.
“I feel Valentine’s Day should be more about showing people you love them, not just in romantic relationships but also platonic ones,” said Melissa Stark, a junior studying communication.
What is the hype about anyway? Most of the plush stuffed animals advertised as Valentine’s gifts are either too cheaply made to be thoughtful or too large to be used for more than a beanbag. I am also convinced that all pre-boxed Valentine’s chocolates are just recycled from Christmas advent calendars, melted down and remolded into heart shapes for the holiday. Suspiciously, they have the same bitter aftertaste.
“I’ve felt quite a lot of pressure to date and get married, especially since I’ve been home from my mission for over three years now,” Stark said. “I’ve had friends who’ve said stuff like, ‘I still can’t believe someone like you isn’t married yet.’ I think they assume that I haven’t even tried to make things work just because I’m still single.”
Verbally projecting marital expectation onto young adults, which often happens near Valentine’s Day, generally has the opposite effect than is intended. Instead of promoting them to make friends and date, it fosters feelings of discouragement and can make them feel miles behind in the “race” to the sealing room.
Stoica said, “We weren’t meant to put constant pressure on ourselves for not meeting certain expectations or milestones in our own time frame. Truly, Heavenly Father’s time is different than ours—it’s eternal.”