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I Am My Own Valentine
By Ghia Vitale
I always count myself as a valentine on Valentine’s Day. For autosexuals and autoromantics, Valentine’s Day is another opportunity to enjoy loving ourselves. However, you don’t have to be sexually or emotionally attracted to yourself to be your own valentine. All you need to do is embrace self-love.
I am autosexual and autoromantic. That means I am sexually and emotionally attracted to myself. As of next month, I’ll have been engaged to myself for a full year. This will be the first Valentine’s Day I’ll be spending while being my own fiancée. As such, I’m going to make sure it’s a great holiday.
However, Valentine’s Day wasn’t always a positive day for me.
Being autosexual and autoromantic as a fat person used to confuse me during my younger years. Growing up, I never saw my love for myself as valid. I thought my opinions didn’t matter because I’m fat. I knew I was attracted to myself, but didn’t think my attraction to myself “counted” as legitimate. Although I had friends, a lot of my peers bullied me or told me I was unattractive and therefore worthless in other ways. It was a confusing experience because I would think, “If I’m so ugly, why am I attracted to myself?”
Valentine’s Day used to remind me of my loneliness. I do empathize with people who feel sadness and pain on Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day can be an isolating experience if you’re not happy with your love life. In fact, I dreaded Valentine’s Day from kindergarten to middle school.
Middle school was when I had what would be my last shitty Valentine’s Day ever.
I remember I was in seventh grade when it happened. It was Valentine’s Day and everybody around me was getting valentines except me. It felt like everyone had someone who cared enough about them to get them something. I reasoned that I would be lonely forever because I’m fat. That day, the bullying I received was worse than usual. Kids were yelling stuff at me. One made it a point to say I’d be alone forever. (This was before “forever alone” was a meme.) All I could think about was how much of a fat loser I was. It’s hard to love yourself when people are constantly insulting you.
When I came home, my parents approached me. My dad gave me a bag of valentine m&m’s and said, “Happy Valentine’s Day!”
I immediately started crying. I was already fat, and now, I receive M&M’s to make me more fat. I associated candy with guilt. Later on, I would develop an eating disorder due to my guilt surrounding food.
While choking through tears, I told my parents what a terrible day I’d had. They understood why I was crying. In retrospect, I appreciate how my dad was my valentine and how “there for me” he was.
After that unpleasant V-Day, I began to realize other people’s bigotry destroyed my day. Their meanness got in the way of my self-love. If I ever wanted to enjoy Valentine’s Day, I had to stop hating myself for failing at my love life despite the fact I was 12. I also had to find a way to cope with bullies. So as the year progressed, I started standing up for myself and reporting bullies to the school more often.
Onwards, I was determined to never be sad on Valentine’s Day ever again.
By the time next Valentine’s Day came around, I was excited for it because I had a brilliant idea: I would be my own valentine. I gave myself candy and read love poetry I dedicated to myself. I spent time with friends and surrounded myself with positive influences on that day. I remember laughing with my friends and realizing I cherished the experience of enjoying Valentine’s Day. That’s when I decided I wouldn’t let haters rain on my parade.
Even after I met the boyfriend I’m still with in 9th grade, I still enjoyed being my own valentine. As years progressed, I grew to love Valentine’s Day. Sure, I no longer had to celebrate by myself because I’ve had a steady boyfriend since high school. Now, I use this holiday to be especially kind to myself and celebrate the love I have for myself. I also celebrate my love for my boyfriend, but I make it a point to appreciate my love for myself on Valentine’s Day.
After all, I myself was my first love.
My love for myself is valid. My connection with myself is among the most important connections I’ll ever have. It’s entirely valid to be your own valentine. You deserve to express love for yourself as well as celebrate it. If anything, it’s a good reason to buy chocolate and candy for yourself. At best, being your own valentine is a grand statement of self-love in a society that prioritizes romantic love above all other kinds of love.
Happy Valentine’s Day! Don’t forget to love yourself!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.