Being single on Valentine’s day is usually a tough experience. Being single and alone is quite another. Sure, I called my mom, a few friends, you know the works–those attempts to fill the void. But when I step back and realize that even if I was home, even if I was back at Dickinson, every single one of my best girlfriends are in relationships. All of them. The cynics have found their Romeos and I, the eternal romantic, even gave up the façade of enjoying my era of being blissfully free of romance… all of this just in time for Valentine’s Day.
If I’m being honest, I didn’t even realize it was going to be Valentine’s day until sometime yesterday. The one nice thing about being abroad is that you don’t really notice because for Europe, right after New Year’s, the next celebration isn’t about cupid—it’s about Carnaval. The streets are full of venders, people in elaborate costumes, and the temperature here in Andalucía, is finally tempting enough to consider going down to the beach. All of this combined really distracted me from that one day of the year, no matter how content you might be with your hookup situation or lack thereof, where you wonder if you’re going to be alone forever.
As I stare out at the Mediterranean, I can’t help but think of that old adage, “there are plenty of fish in the sea.” Are there though? Every woman I admire and look up to, even my peers, they all have one thing in common. They all had met, and were undeniably steady with their partner at this age, 20. For me, in my mind, that time is fading quickly. In 4 months and 6 days, I will be 21, which I’m aware, will hardly make me an entirely hopeless case. Yet, that doesn’t keep me from wondering if I’m worthy of a connection, or questioning my ability to attract and keep someone interested. Do I even know how to date, let alone fall in love?
Still, in a way, I’m glad I haven’t been in a relationship since I was 18. The last two years have been critical in how I’ve developed my sense of self outside of another person, especially with this abroad experience. But now I’m at a point where I’m ready to share all of this with someone and to have someone looking out for me.
Maybe one day I’ll know what that’s like, but until then I’ll be happy to stay here on the Costa del Sol, where the sun is shining and the wine is cheap.