Valentine’s Day Survival Guide 2022

Valentine’s Day Survival Guide 2022

Bonjour, mes chéries! I’m back, and just in time for Valentine’s Day. You know the drill (and yes I know I skipped this last year)! Grab a coffee or a stiff drink, and let’s catch up. 👀

It’s been nearly ten months since my last post. I could say it was ten months too many, but sometimes you just need to step away and focus on the present. In the last ten months, I started a brand new (and much more demanding) job. I went through phases of high highs and low lows with friends. I dated like a maniac in a mini real-life Bachelorette simulation (vlogs to come) only to stop dating altogether for half a year. I said my first major goodbye to a loved one, my furry dog brother. I worked on a life-changing project that I can’t wait to share publicly. But most of all, I allowed myself to accept a love I’ve been yearning for but always felt undeserving of. To say this was a life-changing 10 months is an understatement.

No matter how many changes occur in my life, I still dread the approach of this holiday every year. This year, I don’t have any fun Q&As or lookbooks or recommendations for you. I don’t have any distractions for you if you’re sad you’re spending another Valentine’s Day alone. All I have is a short story.

You all know I’ve struggled with my relationship with love these few years. I used to be (and guess in some ways still am) a hopeless romantic. I was enamored by the idea of falling in love and being in love. Worst of all, I wanted to fill a life-long hole in my heart sooo badly that I grew insanely desperate. I diverted all the attention away from building myself and put it towards trying to make everyone I crossed paths with into Prince Charming. Luckily, the rocky roads and heartbreaking lessons helped me grow. Unfortunately, it also made me fall out of love with love. Seeing hearts and romance everywhere doesn’t make me want to vomit at all. In fact, it makes me feel nothing. I would argue that indifference and lack of emotion is the scariest place to be.

For over two years, I’ve completely lost interest in dating. Did it go through the notions? Yes. Did I hang onto some hope that one of them might not disappoint me? Yes. Did I actually believe I was going to find him to be with forever during this time? Absolutely not. It was the first time I actually didn’t date with rose-colored glasses or delusional idealist thoughts. I definitely knew what I didn’t want and didn’t cling onto guys I knew were Mr. Wrongs. However, I still wasn’t sure what I truly needed in a partner. After a long sprint of guy after guy after guy, I met someone who I had an insanely intense chemistry with last spring. Despite the emotional connection, we were incompatible on so many levels. It was the first time I did the right thing for myself and walked away first. But after that heartache, I completely gave up dating altogether. I had dated people of every race, religion, socioeconomic background, career, city borough, and age group (within reason of course 🌚). Whoever he is, he clearly wasn’t meant to be in my life yet. So, I decided to keep finding myself.

I always had a feeling that 27 would be a big year. With my 27th birthday just two months away, it’s safe to say that gut feeling was right. Towards the second half of 2021, an opportunity fell into my lap. Not that I had been constantly manifesting an opportunity like this or anything, but I had always joked about getting involved in this field. Even though it felt like a weird fever dream, I dove headfirst into the work, crafting every detail to perfection. My mindset was to have fun while leveraging everything I learn along the way to continue upgrading to a better version of Erica. I planned everything out perfectly. This was work. This was business. This was how I would maximize my ROI.

But. I never planned on the possibility of falling for someone.

Almost overnight, I had to face the one test I’ve been dreading, one that forced me to look myself in the mirror and ask: have I grown enough to not repeat the same mistakes? Will I open my heart so I can live my life more fully? Or will I continue to live in a prison I’ve built around my heart to “protect” myself? Will I go for what is logical and looks good on paper or will I finally allow myself to believe that maybe there are still genuinely good people out there? I have never been appreciated, respected, chosen, never mind fought for. So…why now? And why should I believe this is real?

I decided to take the biggest risk of all: choosing my heart over my head and believe in potential again despite the anxiety it induced and uncertainty I had. Life has funny timing like that. You always get something when you’re least expecting it. I don’t really know what the future has in store for me when it comes to love. I still have the urge to sabotage good things because I’m so comforted by chaos and toxicity. For now, what I do know is I don’t regret choosing to follow my heart. I don’t regret allowing myself to feel again, even though it didn’t work out the way I expected it to.

Maybe 27 will be a big year because I embark on new career adventures. Maybe 27 will be a big year because I get the love I am worthy of, the love I deserve. Or maybe 27 will be a big year because I will finally heal from all my traumas. Finding love is not supposed to be easy. When you’ve built yourself into someone special, it’s ten times harder to find someone else special enough to match you at your level. And when you do, they will go through anything to keep you. Remember that.

Happy Valentine’s Day, mes chéries. May you always love yourself enough that you will allow the RIGHT people to love you too when they enter your life. Until next time, bisou bisou…






Erica Huang
Erica Huang

Based in New York City, Erica Huang is the creator and voice behind Bouge & Rouge. This blog is a playground of her thoughts where she invites you to join her on her journey through her 20s. Erica shares her lifestyle, fashion and beauty tips, adventures, and personal thoughts with the goal of inspiring others to always persevere and be unapologetically yourself.

Find me on: Web | Twitter/X | Instagram | Facebook

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