A Depressing but Romantic Moodboard for the Single Girl on Valentine's Day

Illustration for article titled A Depressing but Romantic Moodboard for the Single Girl on Valentine's Day
Photo: David Olius/Hulton Archive (Getty Images)

Exactly what it sounds like. Happy Valentine’s Day, ladies! 🙃

Joss Barton, The Summer I Got Bit

I used to imagine that I would be experiencing this cusp of revolution with you, that all those poems I wrote about you, about us, would molt into new life, but I never got to ask you to love me just a little longer, and these tears must be watering some till love soil some dimension beyond this one, and the fumes and the pills melt my brain into pools of moonlight, a dark reflection I can’t make out.

But like the song says: Isn’t it a shame/you have to laugh/before you cry.

Toni Morrison, Sula

“Lonely, ain’t it?”

“Yes. But my lonely is mine. Now your lonely is somebody else’s. Made by somebody else and handed to you. Ain’t that something? A secondhand lonely.”


Rachel Rabbit White in conversation with Katie Ebbitt, “As If Love Were Art,” Newest York

I think the devotional is part of the fantasy, the feeling of something larger, something fated, that we so often feel in the specter of love. But I don’t want to forget that it’s also madness, random, it’s terrifying—to not truly know the other and the ways in which they could and will hurt you. And isn’t that what gives the devotional bit its weight?

SZA, “Normal Girl”

I wish I was a normal girl

Brontez Purnell, Johnny Would You Love Me If My Dick Were Bigger?

We’re naked on the beach or rather I am and all the most beautiful fags are there. We go in the ocean and he says “LET’S DIVE IN THIS WAVE!” Ok handsome dude, whatever you say. The coldness of the Pacific sobers me in this way; he looks concerned. “Where are your glasses?” OH SHIT! I dive to look but of course they are long gone.” The fact that HE has to point out that they’re missing sobers me up too in this way and I love what a total fuck up I am. Beyond the static of lowliness and a million failed romances I look past the horizon line where the ocean and sky blur. A blue million miles. I take stock. There was the sun, the ocean, this pretty man, and a million more pretty men on the beach. There was friendship and also the realization that I would probably be single the rest of my life. And it was ok, maybe ever preferable. And with that little bit I was healed from my 2 and a half year depression (if only for that day, which was good enough for me—I had felt so bad so long). I didn’t worry anymore about what I didn’t have.

Nina Arsenault, The Silicone Diaries

People say, “wouldn’t it be great if people treated you like a normal woman?” I say, “No, actually. No.”


Aaron Edwards, “Say It With Sexts,” SSENSE

As I’ve grown, these connections [with close friends] have blossomed into something that never feels like a substitute or a stand-in for the love of the romantic ilk. Romance lives in the crevices of all meaningful relationships. Sex is great. But have you ever had a friend breathlessly tell you how much they miss you? How deeply they want to be in your arms or stoned on a couch with you once “this is over?” Phew.


Thora Siemsen, “August 11, 2018, Part 1,” Enormous Eye

Just being near a loved one’s stuff can steady. I watch Amy Rose absorb the life of a person she loves and calm. She runs out for more smokes while I order us a pizza. We stalk into the green of the yard we can’t see in the dark, mud caking our heels. I’m breathlessly telling her that I’m done. She squeezes my hand. She reminds me how a friend’s presence can become a rally against the conclusive, against having to know how things will end.


Britney Spears, “Stronger”

My loneliness ain’t killing me no more


Freelance journalist (GQ, W, Esquire, elsewhere), here on weekends


Because jinni is a dogmatic automaton (like you didn’t notice) she has always made it a thing not to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

It’s artificial, crass, commercial and completely forced, right?

But I was driving through downtown, today, and seeing the rush of folks with flowers; immigrants, locals; gay; straight; every light on the rainbow. 

Well, the Valentine Grinch’s heart melted just a little. It was the sweetest.

And Goddess Bless the children, especially. Let them know that they are loved ♡