Valentine’s Day for the Valentine-less


Domenica Peloso.

Cupid’s arrow and candy hearts are classic symbols of Valentine’s Day, “the day of love”. But in this case, a candy heart is pictured with several bruises and blood streaming from its base, thus picturing the dark side of love that is breakups.

Domenica Peloso, A&E Outside

In an effort to protect the identity of the following anonymous sources, an unassociated alias was created in place of their real names. 

Chocolate boxes, cheesy instagram posts, overpriced roses…it’s that time of the year. Valentine’s Day can be a special holiday if you have a special someone, but what usually goes unaccounted for on February 14 is the dark side of love. The part that is unforgiving and cruel. 

Breakups: they’re disorienting, dividing, disappointing, and in some cases, devastating. 

As high school students, breakups seem inevitable, considering there is only a 2% chance a high school couple will remain together after their four years, according to Couples Therapy Inc. Most teens are still discovering who they are, and what they want. 

“You need to be able to know how you feel to take care of someone else,” said Lee.

Finding a balance in love, of give and take, is especially difficult in high school relationships.

“It was tough to decipher whether it was just him not loving me, or just showing it in a different way, which is what hurt. And when you put so much energy into someone it’s exhausting, but getting energy back is what refuels you, but when you don’t get that it’s just always tiring…Once he was gone it was a very different feel, where this person I had put so much energy into was just gone,” said Olivia, a student who recently broke up with her boyfriend of nine months. 

In today’s media, breakups are often characterized by the indulgence of ice cream, uncontrollable sobbing, and boxes upon boxes of tissues. In other words, surface level stuff. But what is not portrayed is the constant panic attacks, the severe depression, and the unbearable sleeplessness that can ensue after a breakup. For some, a breakup is not just over exaggerated emotion, but the altering of brain chemistry. 

When a romantic bond is formed, the “feel good” chemical serotonin, that regulates one’s happiness, is released. As a relationship progresses, partners become increasingly dependent on each another as a source for serotonin-almost like a drug. When a couple spontaneously breaks up, that source of happiness is instantly obliterated, thus causing a chain reaction of distress and chaos. 

The more he kept trying to fix things, when I had already told him it was too late, it just annoyed me. And then I started to realize that I didn’t need him as much as I thought I did

— Olivia

“It made me feel like I was gonna die,” said junior Celia. 

Students dealing with breakups may miss that serotonin filled feeling, especially with Valentine’s day around the corner.

“Like I know that the breakup was for the best, and I know I’m much better off without him, but there’s definitely moments where I go back and even though he is awful, I still miss him, because I miss the feeling that I had when I was with him,” said Olivia.

Although Valentine’s Day champions love as a blissful high, it is important to consider those who have experienced the side of love that takes more than gives.  

“Breakups are traumatizing, they truly are,” said Wagner.

To anyone struggling as we enter this “month of love,” realize that love can be found in more places than one, and to never forget the most important one of all: self love. Codependency does not have to exist forever.

“The more he kept trying to fix things, when I had already told him it was too late, it just annoyed me. And then I started to realize that I didn’t need him as much as I thought I did,” said Olivia.