Call me the romance thwarter. Call me the sap nazi. (No sap for you.) Call me the love debunker.
But whatever you do, don't say I'm cold-hearted.
I simply believe that one can be a whole person without a "significant other." Why is the other the significant one? What about the self?
And what is all that "better half" stuff about? I am my better and worse half, making one whole human.
The other half ideology, as I have now deemed it, is ubiquitous in our culture, making most of us believe that we cannot be happy if we're alone.
Take, for example, our culture's obsession with dating shows, singles services and picture-perfect weddings. Someone - The Man, the System, or what have you - has made an imaginary scenario of how love is supposed to go. First comes love, then comes marriage - the rules are established.
The prescriptions for love and romance effectually make for a lot of pressure on each of us to succeed in relationships. And what if we don't? There must be something seriously wrong with us, right?
Or maybe the wrongness lies in our widely-accepted, rarely-challenged ideologies.
We may be missing some significant points here. We may be clinging to an ideology that just isn't panning out when put into action.
If our goal as a culture is to evolve, we must examine and analyze our current behavior and decide whether to perpetuate or eradicate our practices. This is called conscious evolution.
Let's take a look at some statistics. The United States Census Bureau estimates divorce rates in our country to be at about 50 percent - that is, about half of the people who join in eternal union end up opting out of the agreement. Marriage is stastically a coin flip. Why is it that we allow ourselves to feel so comfortable flipping coins?
The debacle of divorce aside, when we label ourselves as halves of couples, the necessary implication is that none of us are whole.
This Valentine's Day, challenge yourself to be whole: whole-hearted, wholly happy with yourself, wholly confident in your abilities and wholly free to be who you want to be.
Seek to become comfortable with yourself without depending on the constant reassurance of someone else. When everyone else fails, you will still have yourself.
All of this sentimentality towards the self isn't for the mushy and soft of heart; it's for the rebellious. Those that establish themselves as strong, free-spirited and single individuals, not just persons in waiting for the "right one," are rebelling against the conventions that society has built for us.
Bust out of the heart-shaped box. Become the free-moving, ever-changing individual that you were made to be.

- Holly Haworth, romance thwarter and junior in rhetoric and writing, can be reached at olmountaingal@aol.com