I started dating my first boyfriend at 18. We started dating exactly a week before graduating high school, so growing up, I saw all my close friends and everyone (or what seemed like everyone) in my middle school and high school start dating. I always felt like crap about being single—ESPECIALLY on Valentine's Day.

Now that I have a boyfriend, Valentine's Day has ironically become more about self-love than loving a significant other. It seems cooler to be a “single lady” on Valentine’s Day than it is to have a date, and I felt like I couldn't participate in the "self-love festivities" because I have a partner.

I realized how messed up the idea of Valentine's Day is. Whether I'm single or not, why should I feel guilty about my relationship status? And either way, I could show myself love and still show plenty of love to others.

I always figured, before I started dating, that I needed someone else to love me. I never realized that I could--and should--love myself, and that I didn't need someone else to validate my worth.

As much as I love the recent emphasis on self-love, it has to be recognized that showing love for others feels pretty damn great too. I love treating myself to chocolate and face masks, but I also love treating my boyfriend to dinner, and my mom to lunch.

You don't need a specific day on the calendar to show love to yourself or to anyone else. February 14th is a great day to tell your significant other, your best friend, or your parents that you love them. But honestly, everyday is a great day to show love.

If you show up to your partners house of July 2nd with flowers and tickets to a movie, it'll be a better representation of your love, because it'll be a more spontaneous date than a dinner reservation on Valentine's Day.

I wish I knew before I had a boyfriend that, for those previous 18 Valentine's Days, I was just as worthy of love as everyone who did have a significant other to celebrate with. But regardless, no one should feel guilty about their relationship status. Whether you're single, married, divorced, dating, widowed, or a polygamist, you deserve to feel loved--on February 14th, and on every other day of the year.