single on Valentine's DayValentine’s Day can be such a cliché. Flowers, chocolates, and love-struck couples, year after year. Not that I have anything against flowers or chocolates, and love-struck couples can be unwittingly entertaining.

The holiday, though, is just so narrow-minded and unimaginative in the kinds of love it deems worthy of celebrating. Just the sex-based couple. If you are single, you are invisible at best or pitied at worst.

Not this year.

All around us, there are signs that we are not going to play by the usual rules any more. Big-time media outlets are asking single people how they really feel about their lives, rather than presuming to know that we are all miserable. (We aren’t.) More and more stories are about single people who are living their lives fully and joyfully. You will even find the phrase “single at heart” in places other than the title of this blog. So here are five signs that we are awakening from our typical Valentine’s Day stupor.

  1. Occupy Valentine’s Day.  Brainchild of wise and clever Samhita Mukhopadhyay, Occupy Valentine’s Day is based on the premise that “Celebrating love is a beautiful thing but should not depend on if we are in a relationship or not, our sexual orientation, our class background, our citizenship status or our marital status.” Check out the Occupy Valentine’s Day tumblr for some great images and quips.
  2. survey respondents do not provide matrimaniacal answers. USA Today just published the results of a survey of single people. Only 34.5% said that yes, they want to get married and they are sure about that. What’s more, only 12.7% said they were actively seeking a (romantic) relationship. Those are not the kinds of results that support a pity-the-poor-single-people type of story, and happily, that’s not the story Sharon Jayson wrote.
  3. Single and happy. That’s the theme of a story in See Magazine that really gets it about what it means to love your single life. It also acknowledges all the unsingle people who just don’t understand the concept of being single-at-heart.
  4. Single beyond a certain age. Coming to the Washington Post on the Sunday before Valentine’s Day will be a story about people who are single beyond middle age. I bet that won’t be a matrimaniacal story either.
  5. The Washington Post wants to hear from single people. The paper is conducting a survey of people who are single, asking them things such as how happy they are and what they like and dislike about their lives. Here’s the link if you want to participate. [CAUTION: For some of the questions, one of the alternatives is already selected, and usually (though not always) it is one that says something bad about being single. Once you record your own answer, that’s the one that gets counted, so it is only a problem if you skip an item and end up getting recorded as saying that living single is a bad, bad thing.] The survey results will be described alongside the article mentioned above in #4.

On a different topic: Judging by the page views, many readers seemed to like my previous post on the 12 things you didn’t know about living alone. Other singles bloggers are also discussing that topic. You can find those posts (and more) at Single with Attitude.

Red heart photo available at Shutterstock