February 14.

Valentine’s Day is a stupid holiday.

What’s my biggest beef with this heart-shaped day? The anti-valentine’s-single-girl trope. The whole Valentine’s night-in (or out), with wine, The Notebook, ice-cream, crying, and/or casual sex (not necessarily in that order).  And I get it. I’ve played this role–I’ve been this girl. It’s trendy right now to be a sad, sarcastic, single lady–sobbing not included.

And it’s funny–in fiction. It’s even funny in nonfiction, too. When the archetypal single girl is a device being deployed for a very specific reason (whatever that reason may be) it works. It’s cool. And I like it–I’m very excited to see Rebel Wilson tear it up onscreen in How to Be Single–but I think it sells women short (as most tropes do).

Because it’s not funny or cool or useful when it’s real life.

In real life it’s offensive, and unhealthy, and kind of sad.

I say this because I know, firsthand, when you take a small part of your identity and turn it into your entire self, you’re always going to sell yourself short. Humans are dynamic (we’re supposed to be complicated) and filtering your personality into a tiny, ironic shred is just wrong. And when you find yourself living life like it’s a movie, and having conversations like they’re a script… that’s when you know you’re not living life as a person anymore–you’re living life as a character.

And trust me when I say life is way more fun to live as yourself.

So, single ladies: eat ice cream. Drink wine. Watch The Notebook and cry. Sleep with whoever you want–I don’t care. But do it because it’s who you are not because that’s who you think you should be.