Single vs. taken for Valentine’s Day


Kate McCartney

This perspective was inspired by the 2018 Statesman story, “What it is like to be single/in a relationship for Valentine’s day” by Chloe Crissman and Somer Luitjens.

Kate McCartney and Bella Engebretson

Single – Kate

For my sixteenth year of being single on Valentine’s Day, I decided to go all out. 

First, I bought myself a well deserved pink-themed gift at Target (of course). I purchased some Orbit Bubblemint gum, a book at the top of my reading list (Live by Sadie Robertson), a relaxing face mask, body “butter” and a body wash for some self-care, along with a giant bag of M&Ms; all of which helped me prepare for the cutest holiday of the year.

Since Feb. 14, 2021 fell on the Sunday before Presidents’ Day, I was in Omaha visiting family. I woke up at around 9:37 a.m. at my Grandma’s, ate some over-easy eggs, put on a cliché pink sweater with jeans and straightened my hair for the first time since Thanksgiving. My parents and I decided to meet my aunt for lunch at the Cheesecake Factory, my favorite restaurant. I ordered an iced tea, Asian chicken lettuce tacos and a banana cream slice of cheesecake. After lunch, I was promptly picked up by my friend, Anna. I spent the rest of the day with her family watching her volleyball tournament, which ended around 8:30 p.m. Since Anna’s boyfriend unfortunately has COVID-19, the two of us decided to grab a late dinner at Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen where we shared a bowl of chicken alfredo. 

All in all, my Valentine’s Day was pretty great. Although I did not have a boyfriend to spoil me with gifts and affection like Bella, I focused on loving myself and spent the day filled with the people and things that make me happy.


Taken – Bella

Even though I was taken this Valentine’s Day, I spent it alone. I was stuck in the below-freezing weather while my boyfriend was soaking up the 80 degree sun. This was my first year having a boyfriend on this love-filled holiday, yet I still felt single. Instead of going on a fun dinner date at a nice restaurant, I went to Target to look at the Valentine’s Day section. Coincidently, the shelves were almost completely empty. Eventually, I found a nice, warm blanket for him, along with some little items as well. I arrived at home and started to put his gift together. I threw a note in there because who doesn’t love a hand-written note from the heart? Cheesy, I know. Shortly after, I unexpectedly received a call from my boyfriend. We talked for a while about his trip and my very uneventful day, and then he hung up abruptly to go on the jetski. Can you tell I am jealous? Valentine’s Day itself was kind of depressing this year because I had to spend it alone, but on the bright side, we ended up celebrating later. And yes, I got pampered with gifts, unlike Kate. 

I may have spent Valentine’s alone, but it was alright because I got to eat all of the candy I wanted without being judged. It was exciting to buy each other gifts and spend time with each other once he was home. His being gone made the holiday more special for us because we were able to celebrate on our own time.