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My first completely single Valentine´s day

This was the first Valentine's Day in years that I spent completely single (FYI Valentine´s day in Brazil is in June, because you know, who would want to be in a relationship in carnival?). Last year doesn't count because I was living in Spain, and went to Portugal for a friend's wedding, and ended up having a Portuguese affair that gave me butterflies in my stomach. We watched the sunset while drinking wine on the beach, like in a movie. Unfortunately, it didn't last beyond Valentine's Day, haha. But this year, I already knew it would be different. For a while now, and after many therapy sessions, I've been questioning some of my own actions and those of the people around me. On Monday, I read a text by Luisa Peleja that made me realize that maybe I wasn't alone in my questioning. I caught myself throwing myself into so many completely meaningless relationships, proudly proclaiming without a care, "Of course, I hooked up/dated/had a fling – at least I'm not alone!" And mind you, I consider myself an extremely self-assured, independent, and self-sufficient person. I see my friends doing the same. How many times have I stayed longer at a party because I didn't want to leave without hooking up with someone? I confess that 80% of those times, I had a great time, met fantastic people, some turned into relationships, while others didn't go beyond the night. But recently, it's not the same anymore. I think it's one thing to have fun in your early twenties when you have more energy, more time, fewer existential questions, and a less-formed personality. It's a completely different story in your thirties when certain types of behavior from others are no longer funny, when certain topics are intolerable, when the available time to waste on a useless night is infinitely scarcer, and the likelihood of getting into trouble is simply nonexistent (after all, nothing comes close to a well-rested night with a proper skincare routine and hair smelling like Olaplex instead of Marlboro). Returning to Luiza's text, it had the following line: "In our society, being alone is a burden." And I couldn't agree more. Once, when I was in the early days of college (I studied in the USA), a friend came to visit me with her mother. I was at the height of discovering my independence, living alone in Miami, and reveling in simple pleasures like exploring a nearby city alone, coming home at night, and studying until dawn accompanied only by a bucket of Oreo ice cream, WITHOUT ANYONE TO JUDGE ME. I shared with them the immense happiness that my freedom had brought me. When I made that comment, they looked at me perplexed and said, "You're going to be one of those old ladies who end up alone. Even animals don't live alone. You need to find someone." This event, along with many others, stayed in my mind, and I can confidently say that in the last 15 years, if I spent a total of 6 months without anyone, it was a lot. I'm naturally sociable, I don't have issues with many things, I enjoy everything, so finding myself a hot date or a fling is easy. And the fact is, there are plenty of nice guys in the world, so it becomes great fun. Until it isn't. Over the past year, especially in recent months, I started questioning to whom I give my energy, with whom I share certain aspects of my life, and who I allow into my home. Not everyone deserves to share life with me, not everyone is on the same wavelength and genuinely cheers for me. And vice versa. It doesn't mean they are better or worse people; it simply means we're not aligned. And honestly, even when it comes to marriage/dating, it's so difficult for both parties to be aligned all the time. Unintentionally hurting each other and enduring the small wear and tear of daily life is normal and welcomed, but I confess that in my current moment, it's completely dispensable. All this reflection leads me to the conclusion that yes, in our society, being alone is a burden, especially for women. It's synonymous with the idea that maybe something is wrong with us, or that we're not submissive or obedient enough, that we don't fit into certain boxes, that we work too much or enjoy life too much, and so on. The truth is, I believe those who make such comments have no idea what it means to truly live life and be happy because, let's face it, happy people want the happiness of others. Or they're in such a terrible relationship that looking inward and fixing it is so daunting that it's easier to criticize others' lives. But in the end, this was how I spent my first Valentine's Day alone: in Miami, the city where I lived for so many years and that only brings me good memories, with my aunt and uncle and cousins whom I hadn't seen in many years, recording content for my blog (which, to be honest, is more more fulfilling for me than anything else) and having a beautifully simple dinner of a wrap with Coca-Cola, while assembling a puzzle with my little cousins. There will certainly be many other different Valentine's Days: some more lively, some less, some alone, some accompanied. But the distress of being alone is part of my past, and anyone who wants to tell me that "not even animals live alone" is more than welcome to leave my life (and you have my approval to do the same).

And this was my hot date for Valentine´s day.

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