By: Amity Duke
You get an engagement ring! You get an engagement ring! You get a wedding! Wedding! Wedding! Wedding! Promise ring! Pregnancy! Wedding photos to post on Instagram every day for a year!
I don’t know if it’s because I’m 22, because I have a lot of friends in “that” stage of life, or because I’m single so I just notice it more. It seems to me, though, as if the onslaught of happy couples celebrating relationship milestones has grown enormous this semester—and that’s become a particularly difficult thing for a lot of singles to deal with, a constant reminder of their:
- relationship failures
- personal insecurities.
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I’ve heard girls saying they intend to stay off social media for a couple days so they don’t have to see all the gushing posts. While a break from social media is rarely a bad idea, it makes my heart ache too see how down in the dumps these singles get. It makes me wonder why single-phobia–more properly, Anuptaphobia–seems to be on the rise in our Corban community.
In an article for Elite Daily, Lauren Martin wrote, “A generation bathed in social media, we’ve created a culture that doesn’t support relationships,” a reference to popular culture’s emphasis on independence, individuality, and self-centeredness. Despite this, she says our generation “still holds the antiquated expectations of marriage.”
I would agree, and say it’s especially true for a Christian community.
“We’re living in our parents’ past,” Martin continued, “but are redefining a new dating future. We can’t feel whole without another person, but also don’t know how to be together.”
I think she may be right, and her comments spark a hypothesis of my own: our Christian ideals for godly marriage, combined with our generation’s self-important, yet extremely fragile ego, makes Corban University a hotbed for sad singles.
Many of us were raised to believe that a major goal in everyone’s life should be to find a partner who points them to Christ and supports them in their Christian walk… by age 25. Furthermore, women are taught that they should wait patiently for a godly man to pursue them. After all, if such a guy can’t lead in dating, how can he lead in a marriage?
I’d be OK with this if it were the only message we were consuming. But it’s not. On the opposite end of the spectrum, our society tells us that we should “live our best life” and “do what makes us happy,” regardless of anyone else’s actions or presence in our life. So play the field! Drop anyone as soon as they upset you! And above all, DO NOT make anyone think you need or want them more than they need or want you.
These competing messages combine into a wonderful mess, creating young men and women who want marriage more than anything, who have ridiculously high standards, who have excessive pride, who fear getting hurt and loathe getting tied down. So what do they do? They stay single and bogged down by their jealousy of the men and women who somehow escaped the cycle. What could possibly make all of this worse?
Regardless of its origins, Valentine’s Day has morphed into a mockery of romance and relationships. People in relationships get sucked into guilt if they don’t give a “good enough” gift or plan an “extravagant enough” date. Some just end up competing for who can make their relationship look the best on social media. To those who say, “I genuinely want to celebrate my significant other,” I reply, “Pick a different day to let your love flag fly.”
Honestly, it really would be better for everyone. If couples decided to spread the love out across the calendar, not only would they be sticking it to the man (sorry, Hallmark), but they would reduce the pressure of competition.
And just think about the singles. The singles! You know that feeling when all of professors decide to make big assignments due or give tests for all your classes on the same day? Yeah, that’s how single people feel on Valentine’s Day.
So, people, spread the load. Make us singles feel only a little bad about ourselves every once in a while, instead of giving us a one-day-only sale on soul-shattering loneliness and despair. I’m not asking you to stop celebrating; by all means, go ahead and enjoy your Martinelli’s and overpriced chocolates. Just don’t be deceived. The only ones who win on Valentine’s Day are the Bourgeoisie.
Down with the birds.
And down with Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day is More than Romance
By: Mari Lichtenberg
Love Valentine’s Day or hate it, you can credit (or blame) the original idea for the holiday on the Romans. They created a celebration known as Lupercalia, a fertility festival for a Roman god in which women got paired off with men by lottery.
By the end of the fifth century, the church tweaked the celebration to commemorate St. Valentine, a Christian martyr killed by the Romans. From about the 14th century, the day became a celebrated “day of romance,” and remains a popular date for weddings around the globe.
Even today, the holiday remains a fashionable time for love and chocolate. While Valentine’s day may have started off as a pagan holiday, a multitude of reasons suggest why we should celebrate it in its current form, particularly here at Corban.
First, let me address the elephant in the room. Corban’s standards on love differ from most other places in our society. Corban supports a traditional view of Christian marriage, as well as the proper ways to find such a marriage. This causes quite a problem for some of those who come to Corban, who either aren’t looking for marriage or can’t find it. These individuals often feel inadequate (if they care at all) because they cannot find what other see as a necessity.
While I have no desire to downplay a traditional view of marriage, I do want to address this issue in a way that insists all men and women already are adequate in Christ, and that the center of one’s life does not depend on whether one can find a suitable match at Corban.
That said, I want to address the singles on Valentine’s Day and suggest that all of us have good ways at Corban to celebrate the holiday without having a significant other.
Valentine’s Day can be a great time to show the people in your life how much you care about them. I am a big fan of treating people and giving gifts outside of any holiday, but for those who feel uncomfortable doing that, Valentine’s Day provides a perfect opportunity for treats and gifts. It’s also a really good time to offer encouragement to one another. Let’s face it: who doesn’t like getting candy or chocolate or even a small card saying you’re doing well?
Who says Valentine’s Day has to be only for those in a romantic relationship? Valentine’s Day is more than that. It is a great time to show love, and that love doesn’t have to be romantic. Our culture too often pushes platonic love to a back burner, especially here at Corban. But why? Let’s put more emphasis on showing love to those around us: our friends, our family, or that person in class who seems to struggle. Why not say to that person, on Valentine’s Day, “Let me build you up. Let me give you a card and some chocolate, just to show you that I care.”
If you’re in a romantic relationship on this Valentine’s Day, you have an amazing opportunity to celebrate the holiday in a beautiful way. Do something special with your significant other. Make a memory. Give a simple gift. Spend time together and refuse to make it about the size of the gift. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make the day something really special for both of you. Go ahead, convince your partner to watch The Notebook, pop some popcorn, and enjoy yourselves. Or go all out and buy a mound of candy and chocolate and make a giant gift basket. It really all depends on what you can manage and what the two of you will enjoy.
I see Valentine’s Day as a really cool day to show love. That’s the whole gist of it. Consider it a free holiday to show love–and that’s why I love it so much. I love the feeling of showing love to everybody. Valentine’s Day gives us a good excuse to have a really good time with those who need to see a little love from us. Valentine’s Day is really cool and all of us at Corban should celebrate it. Let’s use the day to show the love of Christ to everyone!