This archived article was written by: Cj Evans
There’s a rare phenomenon that happens in the month of February. The stores fill with candies, balloons begin to dot the rooms of students and multiple people bend a knee. Indeed, Saint Valentine’s Day is a time when young and old everywhere celebrate the joyful feeling of love. An emotion so powerful that it lifts you up where you belong, makes you feel safe in someone’s arms and on multiple occasions has been said to be all you need. At least, that’s what I’ve heard on the radio.
Instead I have been a participant of Singles Awareness Day which, ironically, arrives on the glorious day of February 14. However, what makes Singles Awareness Day so pleasurable is not the day itself, but rather the days and weeks leading to it. I would often spend time watching random people scramble so they don’t have to spend the most important holiday of love alone. Through it all, I was quite content and even a little happy that I was excluded from the festiveness of the love crazed. Unfortunately, not all shared my simple joy, and more than a few deeply regretted it. So for both sides, I now present you with life lessons learned from patient watching to make this Valentine’s Day a happy one, regardless of your status.
Your Situation: Forever Alone (Single)
Don’t wait for the world to come to you. The ‘Everyone gets a Valentine’s Day Card’ was left behind in grade school along with blankies and naps (although I still miss my nap). It’s time for you to be proactive, stand on your own two feet and go for true love. If you fail in this aspect I find it’s best to come up with a new reason to celebrate the 14. Personally I’m a fan of my halfway through Black History month party, as it gives you a not so depressing way of eating a carton of ice cream in one sitting.
Your Situation: Dating Someone Casually
You’re in those fun early stages of new relationship where no matter what, your significant other is on your mind and as a result you can’t help but over analyze everything they do. So naturally, when they forget to talk to you for a single day the week before, your over analysis can’t help but point you to one conclusion: What a Jerk. But hey, no worries, if it’s not that big of a deal to them it shouldn’t be that big of a deal to you. Once they finally come around to you casually mention that you don’t mind not doing anything on Valentine ’s Day, in fact you hadn’t even noticed that it was coming up. Worst comes to worst you’ll end up with a box of chocolates out of pure pity.
Your Situation: Stalking Someone Casually
You’ve been seeing that special someone for a while now, and to your benefit, they actually know about it. Whether or not they know that you exist outside of the lunch room or if you simply live at the library is another matter entirely. So in this situation you’re trying to determine how to get said love interest to recognize you as a potentially bigger part of their life. Maybe a part of their life that includes your number going into their phone and actually talking to them on a consistent basis.
So now the question is how do you work up the nerve to do that, have a real, actual, conversation with someone who could be your one and only Valentine? Personally, I’ve always favored the accidental dropping a quarter in front of them and bending over awkwardly. That way you’re starting on the lowest square possible and things couldn’t possibly get worse. But for those of you with an ego whose fragility rivals that of a snowball in July, it might be helpful to invest in a small analysis before taking your leap.
Check out that Body
In all honesty you’ve already done this but the next time you find yourself with your potential valentine check them out. Except now your goal is to look at something other than your desire’s best assets. Yep, it’s time to put all that time not looking at eyes when you’re talking to them to good use. A study done by the University of Manchester found that while most people are skilled at feigning disinterest they are acutely unaware of a key part of their body: their feet. The study found that when a person was romantically inclined, their feet took a wider stance while if they weren’t they adopted a pose with knees close and ankles crossed. I’ll leave any symbolic meaning behind that up to you.
Look them in the eye and listen
While it may be debatable of whether or not the eyes are the windows to the soul, there is no denying just how much a person can learn by observing another’s eyes. A study by Science Daily showed that it was even possible to determine a person’s political tendencies as well as if a person was rich or not just by observing different “eye cues”. Let’s say you’re in a conversation with someone and you break gaze by looking slightly to the left of them, at say a passing car or winged man in a diaper. Those that follow your gaze are more likely to be flexible and content in lives and relationships than those who stare robotically at you. In this study it was found that those who continued to stare at you despite your attention being directed elsewhere did so because they, no joke, don’t like being told what to do.
Use their emotions against them
Everyone recognizes that it’s not so much what happens in a relationship but what you feel in one that matters. According to the Psychology Glossary “We tend to think that emotions such as fear and anger cause our hearts to speed up. According to the two-factor theory of emotion, it’s the other way around. When you meet a 15-foot-tall grizzly bear in the woods, your body doesn’t have time to ask your brain about feelings. Instinct takes over and turns your heart into an internal combustion engine. According to the theory, it’s only later that we come up with ‘an emotional interpretation of that arousal’ and decide we were scared.”
Here’s where it gets really strange: if you and your date experience feelings of fear together your brain will assume that your heart was racing as a result of being attracted to your date, and from that point will begin to elicit a similar reaction whenever you see them.