So, I actually did pretty good vis-a-vis Valentine's Day this year. I didn't sit around and mope, or feel sorry for myself. I just kind of...did what I needed to do. Independent of the day, however, I'm starting to feel like I have some icky Single's Disease, such that my married or almost-married friends ought not come near me, for fear of catching it. Of all of my married or almost-married friends, I can count 3 (couples) with whom I feel comfortable, welcomed, not pitied, and having value independent of my relationship status. I say this not to sound pitiful or pathetic, although that's probably how it's coming off.
I say this to those with other halves, on behalf of singles everywhere - cultivate real, actual friendships with your single friends. Let them know that, in a world that defines you by who you last kissed, and in a church that defines you (especially women) by your marital status, you love them for who they are. Let them know that you love the gifts God has given them, that you cherish their heart and soul and personality. Let them know that when you see them, you see them not as single, or an old-maid, or a Norwegian bachelor farmer, but as a real-live person with contributions to make to the world, interesting things to say, Christian love to give, neat experiences to be relayed...someone who is valued for his or her own sake.
Invite us to birthday and anniversary parties, encourage us to meet your kids or join you for dinner, let us know that you refuse to ostracize us from society. We'll celebrate and laugh and weep and mourn with you. We'll meet you for coffee after church, and discuss current events over the dinner table. We'll go Christmas caroling with you in the snow, or stay in and watch A Christmas Carol if it's too cold to go out. Don't worry - we won't latch on and become an awkward third wheel to your family. We won't rely on you to fulfill all our emotional needs, or expect you to be our only friends. But we will be your friend, if you'll be ours.
Happy Valentine's Day - next year in Paris!