Column: Cupid is a killer


Photo credit: Azel Al-Kadiri

I have a message for Cupid from the Valentine’s Day Grinch. As this years Valentine’s Day season comes to end, I encourage young girls and women everywhere to not define their self-worth based on their relationship status!

By Azel Al-Kadiri, Columnist

If a bone arrow was shot into your heart from the sky, wouldn’t you die? Cupid is a killer. 

February: the month of chocolates, red roses and heart-shaped everything. I remember being a kid in elementary school with no concept of what Feb. 14 was really about, just that I got to eat a lot of candy — sort of like a pink Halloween. Yes, I had a crush here and there, but really, the only kiss I cared about was the one made by Hershey. Oh, how times have changed. 

This is supposed to be a sweet month, so why do I feel so bitter?

On the morning of this past Valentine’s Day, I checked my phone before the sun had risen, saw the date and screamed into my pillow. 

Dramatic? Yes. Relatable? Absolutely. 

With eyes preparing for a day of being rolled, I begrudgingly opened Instagram to find just about every civilian on planet Earth celebrating their adorable relationships and even more adorable significant others. The finger swiped, then scrolled, then swiped some more. The couples never stopped coming. 

Cupid was hard at work this year, huh!

I’m sorry, I don’t mean to sound like The Valentine’s Day grinch. Trust me, I’m a lover of love, a true romantic and a girl who confidently believes that soulmates exist. But I can’t help but feel frustrated by the sadness women feel when they don’t receive flowers at their doorsteps. 

There is this feeling of not being good enough, that women not in relationships aren’t worthy of giving love, and most importantly, not worthy of receiving it. Behind a sea of chocolates and galentine’s day gifts, there is a loneliness shot into our hearts  — and it’s not from Cupid. 

I’d argue that our society has made a lot of progress in the encouragement of female independence. Yet, still, the weight of being a single woman hangs heavy in our minds and souls. When a woman isn’t in a relationship we tell her to not worry, to maintain hope and to keep her eyes peeled for Prince Charming, for “he’s just around the corner.” The storybooks teach us that love comes when our evil stepmothers make us clean the floors, when the “beast” captures us, when we permanently lose our voice and when we get poisoned by a piece of fruit. 

How romantic! 

The point is, true love is a part of our destiny that is promised. So, when us “singletons” wake up on Feb. 14, we feel like we have failed as women. It’s not the chocolate-covered strawberries or unattractive gifted jewelry that makes us feel like a princess — it’s the expectation of a fairytale romance. 

It’s one thing to recognize this unhealthy pattern of thinking but another to change it. Women have been conditioned to seek love and romance. I mean, is that really a problem?

No, of course not. No one should ever feel ashamed for desiring a relationship or connection. It’s one of the many things that make being alive so beautiful. The problem, however, is the self-hatred and psychological punishment that women experience when they aren’t in a relationship and feel alone. 

We have to understand that there isn’t another person who will “complete” us or make us whole. As we wait for “the one” we lose sight of “the one” in the mirror. The most important person you will ever love is yourself.  

Girls, you are worthy of love, and you don’t need a significant other to prove that. 

By the time the sun had set on Valentine’s day, I wasn’t thinking about my lack of a boyfriend. I was thinking about the beautiful rose my friend brought to school for me, the hug I gave my mom before I went to the bus stop and every person in my life who I love so dearly.  

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone — even you, Cupid!